Wednesday, 31 October 2012

M&S to Purchase Renewable Energy from Shanks Food Waste Plant


Milton Keynes based waste and recycling company Shanks Group (LSE: SKS) has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with UK based retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) to supply it with the total renewable energy output of its anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Cumbernauld, Glasgow - a joint-venture with Energen Biogas.

Shanks explained that M&S (LSE: MKS) sends food waste to the 60,000 tonne per year plant, where it is converted into biogas and used for renewable energy generation and digestate for use as a nutrient-rich soil conditioner.

According to the waste company the new agreement will see M&S directly purchase approximately 19,000 MWh per year of electricity from the AD plant - the equivalent energy used to power 33 M&S Simply Food stores - and helping to close the loop for its food waste.

The operator added that around 10% of the facilities power is used on-site to keep the plant running.

Giacinto Patellaro, head of Energy Supply & Risk at M&S, explained that the Cumbernauld facility is helping M&S to maintain two of the targets for its sustainability programme, Plan A - to procure 100% renewable electricity and send zero waste to landfill.

Shanks said that it is currently strengthening its market position in organics, where it has over one million tonnes of treatment capacity across Europe.

Shocking New Form Of Renewable Energy – Highest Wind Energy Glider™ Portable Power Station


The Highest Wind Energy Glider™ is an amazing new power station invention, that uses a new form of renewable energy to produce 100% clean energy.

The Npower Market Report - 30th October 2012


All the latest energy market updates from Npower.

Energy minister John Hayes launches attack on windfarms


The expansion of onshore windfarms may have come to an end after a Conservative energy minister launched an outspoken attack on the technology, saying turbines have "peppered" the UK's countryside and that "enough is enough".

John Hayes said he has asked the planning minister to look again at the relationship between these turbines and the landscape and ordered a review of evidence on the cost of wind energy systems and their effects on the surrounding environment. "We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities," he said.

"I can't single-handedly build a new Jerusalem, but I can protect our green and pleasant land… We will form our policy in the future on the basis of that, not on a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective."

Is co-operative energy the solution to climate change?


With climate change increasingly having a disastrous global impact, growing numbers of local communities are responding by launching their own renewable energy co-operatives in an effort to slash the UK's greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact green energy co-ops are now one of the fastest growing parts of the UK co-operative sector having grown by 24% in the past four years.

"The first co-operatively-owned wind farm opened in Cumbria in 1997," explains Rebecca Willis, co-author of a report into co-operative renewable energy published earlier this year.

"Since then, over 7,000 individual investors have ploughed over £16 million into community-owned wind turbines and other renewable technologies resulting in that there are now over 40 co-operatively-run renewable energy projects across the UK."

Typical of the motivation that lies behind this behind this surge in the numbers of renewable energy co-ops is that demonstrated by Mark Wells, a director of the newly-launched Sheffield Renewables co-op: "When we bring future generations to mind, ignoring the problem of climate change is not an option. So even though climate change is a very big problem, we want to do our bit, and so we chose to work as a community to build a renewable energy scheme."

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

UK gas prices rise on tight system

* Market seen easing Wednesday on warmer weather

* Bullish technicals lift forward curve

LONDON Oct 30 (Reuters) - British prompt gas prices rose slightly between Monday and Tuesday morning as the system was slightly undersupplied but analysts said they expected prices to ease as Norwegian exports were forecast to improve.

Gas for Wednesday delivery rose 0.30 pence to 67.60 pence a therm at 0900 GMT due to a slightly undersupplied system.

Britain's gas demand was expected to be 255.3 million cubic metres (mcm) on Tuesday, data from National Grid showed, and with supplies seen at 251.8 mcm, the system would be left 3.5 mcm undersupplied.

But analysts said that they expected prices to ease as consumption was seen falling and supplies from Norway were set to improve.

"Consumption is forecast down for day-ahead, giving a bearish signal for the NBP day-ahead (gas) contract. On the supply side, flows through the Langeled (pipeline from Norway)are up, adding to the bearish picture and we expect a less tight situation for day-ahead compared to today," analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said.

The UK's MetOffice said it expected maximum temperatures to rise from 12 degrees Celsius on Tuesday to 14 degrees on Wednesday, easing heating demand.

But the MetOffice said that temperatures were expected to drop back to highs of just over 10 degrees later in the week.   Continued...

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British prompt gas prices rose slightly between Monday and Tuesday morning as the system was slightly undersupplied but analysts said they expected prices to ease as Norwegian exports were forecast to improve.

Gas for Wednesday delivery rose 0.30 pence to 67.60 pence a therm at 0900 GMT due to a slightly undersupplied system.

Britain's gas demand was expected to be 255.3 million cubic metres (mcm) on Tuesday, data from National Grid showed, and with supplies seen at 251.8 mcm, the system would be left 3.5 mcm undersupplied.

But analysts said that they expected prices to ease as consumption was seen falling and supplies from Norway were set to improve.

"Consumption is forecast down for day-ahead, giving a bearish signal for the NBP day-ahead (gas) contract. On the supply side, flows through the Langeled (pipeline from Norway)are up, adding to the bearish picture and we expect a less tight situation for day-ahead compared to today," analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said.

Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power by 2018, research says


Renewable energy capacity will overtake nuclear power in the UK by 2018, if current rates of growth continue, and will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015, according to new research.

The amount of electricity supplied by wind energy alone is up by a quarter since 2010, in a surprisingly good year for the renewables industry. While the government has notably cooled on wind power – more than 100 Tory MPs signed a statement this year opposing new windfarms, and the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, has queried the future of subsidies – the industry has continued to grow, with investment in offshore wind up by about 60% to £1.5bn in the past year. Planning approvals for onshore windfarms also rose, up by about half, to reach a record level, according to the trade association Renewable UK.

Despite the outspoken opposition from many Tory MPs against wind power, there was a rise in the amount of onshore wind capacity approved last year for the first time since 2008.

UK households build up £1.2 billion of credit with energy companies |


More than a £1billion is owed by energy companies to millions of customers who are overpaying on their gas and electricity bills.

A new survey has found that 55 per cent of UK households claim to currently be in credit with their gas and electricity suppliers.

The research by estimates that those households with a credit balance on their utility bills are owed £80 on average, meaning energy providers are benefiting from an extra £1.2 billion of customers’ cash.

Read more:

Monday, 29 October 2012

Ofgem moves to get a better energy deal for small firms - Energy and Utilities


AS ENERGY company EDF becomes the latest to increase its prices, the energy regulator says it will be looking at ways to protect small businesses from getting tied into confusing contracts.

Ofgem says 150,000 small businesses could be given increased protection with penalties for suppliers if they fail to meet adequate standards of service.

The proposals were welcomed by business leaders, who say the changes could be a “shot in the arm” to help companies get a fairer deal.

Andrew Wright, Ofgem senior partner, markets, said: “Our retail market review showed that small businesses want fairer treatment from suppliers, clearer information about contracts, and more protection from misselling. Our proposed reforms seek to address these issues. We urge suppliers to show they are committed to restoring the confidence of business consumers by getting behind our proposals.”

Currently, Ofgem safeguards on small businesses only apply to those which employ up to ten people and which have bills of around £5,000 a year. The extension of the scheme would cover bigger businesses facing £10,000-a-year bills.

Friday, 26 October 2012

EDF Energy Raises Energy Prices By 10.8%

Drax to sell £180 million of shares to fund biomass conversion


Drax, the U.K.'s largest power station, is planning to raise £180 million through a new share placing to support its transformation into a predominantly biomass-fueled power generator, the company announced.

Drax plans to convert three of its six units to biomass, turning the North Yorkshire coal-fired power station into one of the largest renewable energy plants in Europe.

The company is now looking to secure capital funding for the conversion, which the company estimates will cost between £650 and £700 million. Drax today confirmed it will take on £100 million in new debt and increase its existing credit facility from £310 million to £400 million.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

42% consider energy supplier switch


Two-fifths of households are looking into switching energy providers following a recent string of bill hike announcements, a study has suggested.

Smart Meter Company #Bglobal in £670k swoop for Draig Technology

UK makes biggest emissions cuts in Europe

The United Kingdom cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than any other European country in 2011, over-achieving on targets under the Kyoto protocol on climate change. Some of the reduction was owing to milder weather and an increase in renewable energy generation, but the sluggish economy is also likely to have contributed.

France and Germany also made sizeable cuts in emissions, but Spain and Italy are lagging and are in danger of missing their Kyoto targets, according to figures released by the European Environment Agency on Wednesday (24 October).

The EU as a whole will meet its target under the 1997 treaty, which requires developed countries to cut their emissions by a total of just over 5% from 1990 levels by the end of 2012. Currently, EU member states are the only major countries pledging to continue the Kyoto protocolbeyond the end of this year, when its current provisions expire.

IKEA set to invest £1.2 billion to achieve all-renewable energy supply by 2020


IKEA has allocated £1.2 billion to finance solar and wind projects up to 2015 in a bid to meet all its on-site energy demands from renewable sources by 2020.

With a target to become “energy and resource independent” by 2020, the Swedish furniture retailer also hopes to improve the energy efficiency in IKEA Group operations by at least 20% as revealed in its People & Planet Positive strategy published today.

Video - The Npower Market Report - 24th October 2012

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

UK Company Makes Petrol From Air


A British company has this week unveiled a revolutionary new form of technology that can create petrol from air around us. Based in the North of England, Air Fuel Synthesis describe themselves as a small company, but those around them are already heralding their invention as a potential thunderbolt to the commercial energy market.

Monday, 22 October 2012

The energy chief paid £1.2m who gets 12% off HIS power bill thanks to a staff discount


Highly paid energy bosses who are imposing above-inflation price increases on their customers can claim staff discounts on their power bills that save them around £150 a year.

Senior executives and managers at five of Britain’s six energy giants are entitled to cuts in their household fuel bills of up to 12 per cent while they impose increases of up to 9 per cent on consumers.

The millionaire chief executive of Scottish firm SSE, Ian Marchant, 51, is taking advantage of the staff discount. He claims a 12 per cent discount on the energy bill for his luxury home – estimated at £140 a year – despite receiving a £1.2million pay package.

Read more:

It is wind power that will send our bills sky-high


ast week, I returned from a visit to India – which last July suffered the most extensive power cut in history, affecting 600 million people – to find our own energy policy in a worse shambles than ever. Provoked by soaring energy bills, which have recently risen by a further 13 per cent, David Cameron again displayed his astonishing naivety in such matters by promising to force energy companies to charge only the lowest prices for their gas and electricity – just when even Ofgem has been warning us that we too face the prospect of massive power cuts, thanks to the imminent closure of so many of our power stations.

It is more than five years since I began warning here that Britain’s lights were in danger of going out, thanks to the lunacy of successive governments in shutting their eyes to this crisis. Yet Mr Cameron’s only response is to indulge in a political gimmick prompting almost universal howls of derision, and serving only to show that he knows even less about the real world of energy than his technically illiterate Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey.

IoS investigation: The great British energy rip-off


The "big six" energy firms were last night accused of maintaining a "stranglehold" over millions of consumers, after new figures showed that they each control more than two-thirds of the market in different regions across the UK.

An average of 70 per cent of households across all regions use the same electricity supplier, with the proportion rising to 85 per cent in some areas, undermining claims by the Government and Ofgem, the regulator, that the energy market is operating competitively.

The figures, uncovered by Labour, are published in the wake of the confusion over the future of energy bills after David Cameron pledged in the Commons to force companies to offer householders the "lowest tariff" – a promise that within hours was exposed as unworkable. The Prime Minister clashed with the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, who backed Ofgem's proposals, published on Friday, for a simplified tariff system that encouraged consumers to switch between firms.

Energy: We must mix to match future demands in Britain


Energy is vital for our everyday needs, it is one of the largest household costs, it is core to our economic recovery – but rarely has it been the focus of political and media attention.

Straight after the 2010 election, David Cameron came to the department of energy and climate change to set our mission. We had to deliver new investment to keep the lights on, we had to respond to consumers' concerns about prices and, of course, we had to be the greenest government ever.

It was a mission that showed the prime minister "got" energy. He knew that you can't have energy security without renewables, that you can't keep the lights on without a step change in investment, but that there are limits to what consumers would, or could, pay. For the first time in years, the UK would have an energy policy.

That meant getting away from the sterile debate that you were only pro-consumer if you were against the energy companies and vice versa. The reality is different. As old plants close, we need twice as much investment in replacement plants this decade as Labour achieved in the last. Drive investors away and in a few years supply won't meet demand, forcing prices up and businesses into shutdown.

Five more solar companies join £50 million DECC damages claim


Five companies have announced that they will joining the three previous solar companies in requesting damages from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The companies claim that the "unlawful and unfair" cuts to the feed-in tariff caused substantial damages to the solar companies’ respective businesses.

Previously, three solar companies requested that the department agree to pay £2.2 million in damages or face the prospect of another High Court battle. DECC responded to the request in August, refuting all liability and refusing to pay the claimed damages after insisting it was not responsible for the losses.

Prospect Law, the legal team representing the previous claimants, has issued DECC with another formal ‘Letter Before Claim’ on behalf of the other five solar companies seeking damages. The move brings the total demand for compensation to approximately £50 million. Prospect Law expects more firms to come forward and file proceedings within the next few days.

Hot topic - wood burning stoves can bring fuel bills down


With energy prices on an ever upward trajectory, Britons are increasingly turning to wood-burning and other solid fuel stoves to heat their homes – in some cases running them on home-grown or recycled wood.

Last year more than 180,000 UK homes had a stove installed, and sellers say this week's domestic gas and electricity price increases will only add more interest to the sector.

"Every time the big energy companies put up their prices we head off to the pub to celebrate," says John Nightingale, who has run his family business ( for the past 30 years from his base, now in Devon. He says customers install stoves to reduce carbon emissions, but principally to bring down their heating bills

‘Petrol From Air’ Produced by UK Company

Tariffs row shows UK's energy market is broken


It was an extraordinary statement. A Conservative prime minister declares that (a) competition and markets fail and (b) state intervention is necessary to regulate prices. Thank you, David Cameron for telling the truth about the UK's energy market, even if it was a slip up. Just as extraordinary was the political chaos the next day, the backlash from the industry and the desperate atttempts to "clarify" the policy.

But the truth is that Britain's energy market is broken – and Labour is just as guilty for not taking on the energy cartels. Switching benefits those prepared to put in the legwork but at the cost of other consumers left on dud tariffs. The idea of making the big six give consumers their lowest tariff is not so daft: yes, the cartel might withdraw its cheap tariffs and leave us on their single, pricey one. But that will at least smoke them out, and allow new operators to offer simple, cheaper tariffs. We may also see the end of the "bait-and-switch" tactics beloved of the energy firms, where they lure you in then push the price up when you're not looking.

As we report this week, Ovo Energy is making headway but it is up against a cartel that uses the profits from customers on dud tariffs to subsidise cheaper tariffs for switchers. It's a "market" rigged against new entrants from the start. The mobile phone industry operates a depressingly similar model. I love that the best deals from the big providers are currently "Online Fixed Price Energy April 2014 Dual Fuel" followed by "Blue + Price Promise May 2014." Is this real competition or just confusion marketing?

Friday, 19 October 2012

Portable Turbine Power From Uprise Energy


Whilst everyone wants to embrace the idea of renewable, clean commercial energy the reality is that there will be many occasions when it’s simply not realistic. The humble petrol generator, for example, is a mainstay in just about every venture outside of a settlement; from festivals to theme parks to less-pleasant uses such as military installations and motorway work. It’s easy to forget that something so commonplace could be so detrimental to the environment.

Video - Energy bills: #Ofgem sets out plan for simpler tariffs


Energy regulator Ofgem has unveiled proposals to force suppliers to tell customers about the cheapest gas and electricity tariffs they have on offer.

Ofgem said the proposals, which the industry has described as "challenging", would make the market "simpler, clearer and fairer".

The plans include firms to showing their cheapest tariff on bills.

It follows days of uncertainty over David Cameron's plan to force firms to put customers on their lowest tariffs

Ofgem's proposals also include banning complex multi-tier tariffs, new personalised information to help consumers find their best deal, and ensuring customers default to the cheapest option at the end of fixed-term contract.

Flexitricity Pushes the Envelope in Growing UK Demand Response Market


Demand response is expanding its wings in many ways. About a year ago, two companies used demand response for frequency regulation in the PJM market, the grid operator that covers the Mid-Atlantic.

A similar project just played out in the United Kingdom, where Scottish demand response company Flexitricity recently dispatched sub-second demand response from a manufacturing plant for frequency services for National Grid.

The two pilots would make it seem as though the demand response markets are moving along in tandem from both sides of the pond. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Demand response is a far more mature market in the U.S., where a few large companies and endless startups bid megawatts into ever-changing markets. The bulk of the megawatts have traditionally gone to capacity resources, but increasingly, demand response is playing in additional markets, including frequency regulation and spinning reserves. Residential demand response is also increasingly becoming a reality in small doses.

In the U.K., however, there has traditionally been more generation than was needed, leaving little need for load shedding from the commercial and industrial sector. That is changing. “Everyone has known available generation is on its way down, but it’s not down yet,” said Alastair Martin, founder and chief strategy officer at Flexitricity.

George Osborne 'describes green lobby as environmental Taliban'


The joking reference reflects the Chancellor's position as the Treasury fights to water down renewable energy commitments in the Coalition's Energy Bill, according to a newspaper.

It comes after the Government's quad of top decision makers - Osborne, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander - met yesterday to thrash out details of the legislation with Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey. The bill is expected to be published within weeks.

Mr Davey is said to be pushing for a legally binding commitment to the total amount of carbon that can be emitted by power stations by 2030, in order to "bind in" the Government to renewable energy.

The Liberal Democrat minister has also been arguing that the Treasury should guarantee loans that energy companies will need to invest in new renewable and nuclear power stations.

However, Mr Osborne and the Treasury have been opposing both measures, reflecting the Chancellor's growing scepticism about the need to take immediate action to "de-carbonise" the economy during a recession, senior Conservative sources told The Independent.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Measuring bioenergy crops' carbon footprint credentials


Generation of electricity and heat from plant material is listed in the suite of renewable energy technologies that the UK governments think can help deliver 15% of the nations' energy consumption by 2020.

Video Greenwire £6bn plan to import Irish wind power

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Energy Bills: Cameron Promises New Laws

Energy Bills: Cameron Promises New Laws

Amid mounting concern about the soaring cost of power, the Prime Minister vowed to legislate to tackle the often-confusing array of prices.

"I can announce that we will be legislating so that energy companies have to give the lowest tariff to their customers," he told MPs during Prime Minister's Questions.

His intervention follows a string of above-inflation price hikes by major energy companies in recent days.

Ministers have previously encouraged customers to shop around to make sure they have the best deal.

They have also announced moves to require energy companies to inform their customers if they could be on cheaper tariffs.

But the forthcoming Energy Bill will go further by introducing a requirement for companies to give people the best tariff for their circumstances.

The announcement came after consumer body Which? called for an urgent independent review into the rising cost of household energy bills.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said the energy market was "broken".

A review was needed to look at rising prices and whether competition between suppliers could be made to work more effectively to help consumers, he insisted.

With the average bill up 13% since a Government energy summit a year ago, "it is no wonder consumers tell us that energy prices are one of their top financial concerns," he said.

He claimed there was little evidence that the Government was living up to its promise to make energy companies more competitive, with 75% of consumers on the most expensive tariff, and the numbers switching suppliers continuing to decline.

Mr Lloyd said people were questioning whether they were being fairly charged for gas and electricity, as companies blamed wholesale price rises and the cost of implementing environmental and social policies for bill increases.

He added: "The time for action is now. Warm words alone are not enough to keep consumers from the cold this winter."

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "Households facing rising energy bills this winter aren't going to be helped by more inquiries or investigations that could take years to complete and implement.

"We know what the problems are, we want to get on with tackling them now. We're focusing on action, not more words.

"The fact is reforms by Government and Ofgem, including electricity market reform through the forthcoming Energy Bill and Ofgem's ongoing Retail Market Review, offer the quickest way to boost consumer confidence in the energy market."

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint said: "Which? are right to say that Britain's energy market is not working in the public interest.

"For too long energy companies have been able to get away with blaming wholesale prices when bills go up, but failing to pass on savings when wholesale prices fall."

Irish wind farms could power three million UK homes


POWER from 700 wind turbines in the Irish countryside could be transmitted under the sea to Wales to provide energy for three million homes.

Element Power wants to connect the Republic of Ireland with the National Grid at Pentir near Bangor and Pembroke in south west Wales – using two giant undersea cables.

The firm says surplus power from Ireland – generated in the Bog of Allen – could provide 10% of the UK target for renewable energy.

It could ease pressure for controversial on-shore turbines in Wales although anti-turbine campaigners on Anglesey said they did not want impose “inefficient” windmills on other communities.

A New Green Energy Idea: Harvesting Deep Ocean Currents


A new type of ocean power generator could harvest the steady, reliable energy of deep ocean currents, and a group of companies are working together to place the first 1-megawatt system on the seafloor. The companies are currently raising money for the demonstration project and say they're investigating R&D funding from the U.S. Navy and the Department of Energy.

The grid connections and system software are being designed by Eaton Corporation, a power management company with experience in linking renewable energy sources like wind and solar farms to the grid. The 1-MW turbine will come from Triton, a Florida-based company that primarily builds deep-ocean subs. Eaton representatives say the 1-MW demonstration project could easily be built up to a utility-scale current farm by adding more turbines.

Deep ocean currents are generated by differences in the ocean's salinity and temperature around the continents. They run at a constant speed of about 3 to 5 knots (5.5 to 9 kilometers per hour), according to Eaton's Department of Defense account development manager Jim Spaulding. "You’d be amazed at how steady-state these deep ocean currents are," Spaulding told me. "That’s the appeal: It’s very, very consistent."

The consortium hasn't picked out a spot yet for its demo, but Spaulding mentioned the waters off the coast of Florida as one attractive option. There, strong currents can be found within a couple of miles from shore and at relatively easy-to-reach depths of 30 to 150 meters, he said. Eventually, Eaton plans to build systems at depths of 300 to 500 meters.

Amazing Video - New Portable Wind Turbine Power From Uprise Energy


Portable Turbine Power – Uprise Energy

Whilst everyone wants to embrace the idea of renewable, clean commercial energy the reality is that there will be many occasions when it’s simply not realistic. The humble petrol generator, for example, is a mainstay in just about every venture outside of a settlement; from festivals to theme parks to less-pleasant uses such as military installations and motorway work. It’s easy to forget that something so commonplace could be so detrimental to the environment.

Ten energy-saving tips you haven't heard before


1. Buy a halogen oven It can roast a chicken in 30 minutes. A halogen oven uses 75pc less electricity than a conventional electric oven. When you combine this lower use of power with the 50pc faster cooking time you are can see a big reduction in your electricity bill.

Cost: £70-£100. Savings: depend on use

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Fracking to get green light within weeks

Rollovers don't do SMEs any favours as energy prices soar


Here we go again. British Gas and npower's announcements on Friday that they are joining Scottish and Southern in raising energy prices means three of the Big Six suppliers have announced winter cost hikes before the clocks have even gone back. Expect the others to follow suit rapidly.

For cash-strapped small and medium-sized enterprises, rising energy bills are becoming a real headache – one recent survey even suggested that as many as 8 per cent of SMEs would be forced to close by a 25 per cent increase in costs. The Federation of Small Businesses says its members' electricity bills have risen 100 per cent over the past eight years, while their gas bills are up by 125 per cent.

Consumers are paying more too, of course, but there is at least some very stiff competition in the household sector. By contrast, SMEs find it much harder to shop around for savings between competing suppliers – chiefly because of the industry's anti-competitive practices.

Britain risks falling behind in the race for clean energy


As the coalition prepares to introduce its energy bill into Parliament in the next few weeks, it must demonstrate political leadership and ensure that its policy is based on robust economic analysis, recognising and addressing failures of the market.

The most obvious market failure is created by the fact that, without policy, the price of products and services that involve emissions of greenhouse gases does not reflect the costs of damage caused by climate change.

A strong and stable carbon price corrects this market failure and helps to produce a level playing field on which new low-carbon technologies, such as wind, solar and carbon capture and storage, can compete against fossil fuels. However, it is not the only market failure that holds back these new technologies.

A failure arises as well from the inability of capital markets to manage the risks associated with investments in new technologies properly.

And other failures are associated with the limitations of networks, particularly concerning public transport and grids. Most consumers and many firms do not yet fully understand the technological opportunities that are available.

Environmental science agencies told to help oil firms drilling in polar regions


Some of Britain's top environmental science agencies are being told to use their skills to help "de-risk" investment for UK oil companies in the polar regions.

The demands are contained in a consultation document on an already controversial move to merge the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) with the National Oceanographic Centre.

The "outrageous" new strategy direction is at odds with a House of Commons committee calling on the government to stop drilling by Shell in the Arctic over safety concerns and worries that the sea ice is melting faster than ever, warn critics.

Some banks have already decided they will not support operations in the far north, but the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which is pushing the tie-up between the BAS and the National Oceanographic Centre, says in its consultation brief: "A long-term vision is needed to equip UK business and UK investors with the edge needed for de-risking major investment decisions in hostile, unfamiliar environments."

Wave Power Potential on Scottish Coast


Following a recent batch of interesting and topical renewable energy articles on the Catalyst Commercial website, we thought that the recent study into harnessing the wave power from around the UK was a perfect fit.

A recent study conducted by the Crown Estate (who owns the British foreshore and seabed) has reported that utilising wave energy around the Scottish coast could yield around 18 gigawatts (GW) of power, whilst England and Wales could also offer up 8.7GW if tidal energy technology were to be harnessed effectively.

The findings, handled by the Crown Estate Energy & Infrastructure Portfolio, report that tens of gigawatts could go into the UK’s energy supply by efficient use of wave, tidal stream and tidal range projects at sites around Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Opus Energy announces creation of 90 new jobs at its Northampton office


A Northampton-based energy supplier has announced it is taking on another 90 new staff in Northampton during the next year.

Opus Energy, which currently employs 450 staff at its Northampton and Oxford sites, is planning to take on dozens of new staff in its customer service centre in Moulton Park.

The firm, which has been listed in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 league table, is also planning to take on five new recruits to a new apprenticeship scheme.

Scottish Power Announce Increased Fuel Prices


Another 2.3 million households are facing higher energy bills after the 4th of the big six energy suppliers announces its prices will rise by an average 7% from the 3rd of December. This is the 4th time price increase announcements have been made in a matter of days prompting real concerns from consumer groups across the UK. This 7% increase will mean a typical monthly direct debit customer will see their average annual dual fuel bill rise to £1,271.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Scottish Power to raise prices

Scottish Power becomes the latest energy company to announce a price rise, with gas and electricity bills going up by 7% on 3 December.

British Gas raises green electricity bills


People on a British Gas tariff which sources power from renewable sources will have an 11% leap in their electricity bills, the company said on Friday.

The increase in the sustainable energy tariff, which is almost double the rise in British Gas's dual fuel prices announced today, is due to the higher costs of generating electricity from renewables, the firm said. The increase will affect about 4,000 customers.

The sustainable energy tariff matches every unit of electricity a customer uses with a unit of 100% British renewable energy. Even with subsidies for technology such as onshore and offshore wind, which add about £20 on average to all energy bills, British Gas said it was more expensive to get electricity from UK renewables.

In order to make tariffs "simple and fair" for all customers, the cost of using renewable electricity is being reflected in the price for consumers who choose the green tariff, ensuring the costs will not be borne by other households.

SSE price hike kicks in today

Npower Buries It's Price Increase in Fridays News


Following hard on the heels from British Gas that it would be putting its gas and electricity price up from November 16th, by an extra £80 on to its typical annual dual fuel bill, which is an average increase of 6% affecting some 8.5 million customers . Its rival npower followed with an average rise of 8.8% for gas and 9.1% for electricity which will ad an extra £108 per year to its typical annual dual fuel bill affecting some 3 million customers.

Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released... and here is the chart to prove it


The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.

Read more:

Sunday, 14 October 2012

British Gas And Npower Confirm Big Bill Rises

British Gas And Npower Confirm Big Bill Rises

Bills will increase by an average 8.8% for gas and 9.1% for electricity from November 26th, the company said, just hours after British Gas confirmed its average dual fuel tariff would rise by 6% - or £80 annually - from November 16.

Npower's 6.5 million residential customers will have to endure their steeper increases 10 days later.

Both companies blamed rising costs largely outside their control.

Rival SSE is due to increase its tariffs by 9% on average from Monday.

Of the other 'big six' firms only E.ON has pledged not to raise prices for the remainder of 2012.

EDF Energy and Scottish Power have not made any promise that they will not increase prices by the end of the year.

The companies have long been accused of being quick to raise prices but slow to bring them down again as they protect profits at a time of rising investment costs.

There was outrage in July after British Gas announced a 23% surge in profits. The company admitted that price rises the previous year helped it rack up operating profit of £345m in the first half of 2012.

It has claimed that the impact of steep rises in bills over the past three years has resulted in consumer costs rising in line with inflation only for those who have taken advantage of a range of energy efficiency measures.

The company said it had helped such customers' gas costs fall by as much as 40%. It has announced further measures, including free loft and wall cavity insulation.

It also launched a new tariff that fixes prices for a year at its new levels but guarantees that should standard prices fall, customers' prices will fall by the same amount.

British Gas managing director Phil Bentley said: "Unfortunately, we cannot run our business sustainably on lower margins and still make the investments in jobs and future energy sources that Britain needs, especially if the country is to grow its way out of recession."

But its arguments were largely dismissed by consumer groups.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, said the increase would leave many households facing a winter where they are "scared to turn on heating for fear of the cost."

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "With winter approaching, low-waged people will now be terrified."

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker told Sky News that this winter's Energy Bill will be the biggest shake-up of the industry since privatisation and give extra teeth for regulator Ofgem to improve energy markets.

He added: "We are also rolling out the Green Deal this winter. This is the biggest ever energy efficiency programme, that will help millions improve their homes so they are better insulated. We have also brought in the Warm Home Discount, which will provide an extra £130 for two million of the most vulnerable households this winter."

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Wholesale Business Electricity Prices


Oil prices fell from a high of $117.0/bl to a two-month low of $107/bl on 20 September as Saudi Arabia pledged to boost production and keep oil prices low. Coal prices remained below $100/t for much of the month as a result of continued oversupply, falling to a two-month low of $98.0/t on 24 September.

Carbon prices followed the wider energy market downwards; 2013 EU ETS carbon allowances remained below €8.0/t for much of the month, hitting a four-week low of €7.3/t on 18 September.