Thursday, 31 January 2013

'British Gas broke into my house while I was out'


A WOMAN has spoken of her shock after British Gas ‘broke into’ her house in Poole while she was out.

Rebecca Manston returned to her home in Creekmoor on January 17 to find a letter from the company in her kitchen.

A new pre-payment meter had been fitted outside.

“I asked my husband Jonathan if he had been home to let them in. He said he hadn’t been.

“When I phoned British Gas’s customer services, they had no record of anyone coming to my house,” claimed the mother of three.

Extra funding for UK energy storage research


In a speech at the UK Policy Exchange, Mr Willetts described how the £600 million provision for science announced in the government’s Autumn Statement will be used to boost growth in ‘eight great technologies’ which includes money for the energy sector. £189 million will go towards big data and energy efficient computing. Another £45 million will help to fund advanced materials research including low energy electronics. New R&D facilities will receive £30 million in order to help development in new grid-scale storage technologies thereby helping to improve renewable energy capacity and reduce the UK’s national carbon footprint. £50 million will also go towards vital upgrades to research equipment and laboratories.

The Minister said that the government now needs to capitalise on the unique strengths of the UK’s research base by backing the right technologies and helping to take them through to market.

UK to invest £24 billion to upgrade power grids and promote low carbon energy


The UK will be making a £24 billion upgrade to its power grid with the ambition of connecting more of its low carbon energy sources to its network.

There is increasing stress on the grid system in the UK as renewable energy technologies grow in popularity. Technologies such as onshore and offshore wind farms are becoming more prevalent in the UK energy porfolio and the new investment will be looking to take this into account.

Environmental targets and legislation have also had an impact on the energy mix and the Large Combustion Plant Directive, for example, which deals with industrial emissions, means that oil and coal capacity is likely to be limited. Additionally, the UK is working toward its renewable energy targets; the country hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.

The grid, therefore, will be required to become more flexible, with a careful balance between supply from the less predictable renewable energy sources and that of more reliable supplies such as nuclear power. This will require an upgrade in IT systems, and many of the UK’s electricity assets, which date from the 1950s and 60s, will have to be replaced.

Not only does the grid need to be upgraded, but the impact of this on consumers – including cost and appearance – will need to be considered.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Anesco says commercial interest heats up for fully-funded biomass boilers

A growing number of firms, manufacturers and agricultural businesses are signing up to a scheme that allows them to install biomass technology for free, while benefiting from reduced energy costs and carbon emissions.

A growing number of firms, manufacturers and agricultural businesses are signing up to a scheme that allows them to install biomass technology for free, while benefiting from reduced energy costs and carbon emissions.
Leading energy efficiency solutions company, Anesco, has reported seeing a rise in enquiries as the introduction of government schemes, such as Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and Green Deal, sees the technology grow in popularity among both commercial and domestic markets.

Adrian Pike, CEO of Anesco, explains: “Biomass boilers can generate significant savings on energy bills, while helping businesses achieve their carbon commitment targets. With funding a top concern for organisations, our fully funded offering that allows businesses to install a brand new boiler free of charge, continues to prove popular.”

Through the Anesco scheme, organisations can receive the free supply and installation of a highly efficient, top of the range biomass boiler, including fuel storage, delivery systems, performance monitoring, annual services and maintenance. The cost of each installation is recouped by Anesco for its investors through the RHI payments.

As well as coming at zero cost to an organisation, firms benefit from substantially reduced heating bills, with properties that currently run on oil or LPG based systems reaping the greatest rewards.

Adrian added: “Biomass boilers are particularly useful for organisations who have sizeable heating demands, such as nursing homes, hotels, large commercial units, leisure centres and poultry farms. Installing a system of this kind will bring significant financial savings.”
Anesco is a national company dedicated to helping homeowners, local authorities and businesses reduce carbon emissions through a blend of energy efficiency measures.

Anesco is an approved provider under the Government’s Green Deal scheme.
For more details visit or call 0845 894 4444.
Amy Archer
Leepeck Group
023 8063 2211
Email Information

We were naive to think a low-carbon revolution was coming


In recent months, we have seen environmentalists in the UK jittery about policy direction in the government, US Republicans overtly hostile to renewables, the Japanese government abandoning nuclear energy (imports of oil and gas having surged since Fukushima, a trend now likely to continue) and the largest recorded melting of the Arctic ice caps.

All of this seems a long way from the vision of the "third industrial revolution", a concept based on a social enterprise-driven low carbon economy developed by American economist Jeremy Rifkin and enthusiastically endorsed by the European Parliament in May 2007.

"Paradigm shift", an over-used term famously coined by American scientist Thomas Kuhn 60 years ago to explain the progression of scientific thought, is now liberally scattered across all areas of human activity, not least in energy and the environment. But, despite its over-use, Rifkin felt it suited the transformation to a low carbon economy that he saw coming.

Monday, 28 January 2013

How the energy Green Deal can help you stay in the black - Property - House & Home - The Independent


In households all over the UK the heating has been cranked up to full as we brace ourselves against the cold snap. Keeping warm is a costly business and energy bills are through the – poorly insulated – roof, so it is welcome news that tomorrow sees the timely launch of Green Deal, the Government's flagship energy-efficiency scheme.

Many people who want to install renewable-energy systems simply don't have the capital to do so, but under the scheme households can borrow money for energy-efficient home improvements and pay it back through their electricity bills.

If you're interested, you need an assessment first, which could be undertaken by an energy company, DIY store, local tradesperson, or an independent assessor such as One Green Place (, who will produce a report with recommendations for your property.

Green Deal Energy Efficiency Scheme Starts


Homeowners will be able to get Government-backed loans to pay for energy efficiency improvements under a flagship scheme which launches today.

Ministers said the Green Deal would bring about a revolution in energy efficiency - and provide a much-needed boost to the economy.

Officials at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said anecdotal information from suppliers suggested hundreds of households have been assessed for the Green Deal.

But they said precise numbers could not be revealed because they were being collated for official statistics.

Reports had earlier suggested just five assessments had been carried out ahead of the launch, which will see Government-backed loans available for energy efficiency work made available for the first time.

Video - Ireland to build 'giant' wind turbines to power UK homes


UK and Irish ministers will today sign an agreement that could see some of the world's largest wind turbines built across the Irish midlands.

Stretching more than 600 feet (180 metres) in the air, the towers are set to generate energy for millions of UK homes from 2017.

The companies involved say the Irish power is a cheaper form of renewable than UK offshore wind.

But environmentalists have described the scheme as "crazy".

They say it risks damaging Ireland's landscape.

Under the plan, a number of companies are seeking to erect hundreds of wind turbines across the boggy midlands of Ireland. The power generated would be transferred to the UK via undersea cables that would join the grid at two points in Wales.

Greedy energy firms treble profits to £120 per customer in just three months


GREEDY energy giants trebled profit margins to £120 per ­customer in just three months through massive price hikes, a watchdog claimed today.

Angry MPs have condemned the “rip off” increases and accused the firms of cashing in on the recent cold snap.

The “Big Six” suppliers have increased the cost of gas and electricity by up to 10.8 per cent since October and blamed rising wholesale prices.

Before the hikes, energy watchdog Ofgem predicted a “net margin” for energy firms of £40 per customer for the next year.

But after the increases it forecasts a profit of £120 per household.

Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint condemned the hikes, which leave average annual dual fuel bills at an all-time high of £1,420.

Ms Flint said: “It is a scandal that the energy giants have trebled their profit margins in just three short months.

“People are sick and tired of these rip-off tactics. The big energy companies must be stopped from cashing in on cold weather.

UK gas energy chief expresses doubt on shale gas potential - Power Engineering International


The UK government’s hopes that gas power can dramatically change the country’s energy future, has once again come up against high profile opposition.

Chief Executive of Centrica (LSE: CNA), the British Gas owner, Sam Laidlaw said that shale gas will not prove to be ‘the game changer we have seen in America.”

Friday, 25 January 2013

Sainsbury’s ‘world first’ LED roll-out to slash energy costs

Gas market whistleblower sacked after accusing firms of price fixing

eth Freedman, the whistleblower at the centre of energy market manipulation allegations, has been sacked by his price reporting agency, ICIS Heren.

Freedman's concerns about unusual movements in the wholesale gas trade triggered investigations – which are ongoing – by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and the energy regulator, Ofgem.

Freedman said his sacking was "classic victimisation and intimidation of a whistleblower".

"[They're] protecting the management at the expense of those lower down the food chain," he said. "I feel victimised for blowing the whistle.

"I was doing the right thing. I was protecting the ICIS brand – when we spot abuse we take it to the regulator. [But] I was treated as if I was the bad guy. It's outrageous."

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Could A Donut-Shaped Island Create Permanent Renewable Energy?


The term "artificial islands" invokes a sense of lavishness and environmental hubris: perhaps that’s because they often make headlines in the context of Dubai’s ambitions to create an archipelago of fake, vacation-home-filled islands in the shape of the world.

But in Belgium, planners are working on creating a sustainably oriented, donut-shaped island in the North Sea to serve as a storage point for wind energy, which otherwise can get wasted when demand for power flags, according to Reuters. Energywise explains the mechanics behind the project:

‘Cow power’ turns manure into clean energy


Green power from cow pies? No bull, it turns out.

Farms across the northeast have begun employing an intricate scientific process, using cow manure as a fuel source, that creates enough power to sustain not only the farms themselves, but in some cases, surrounding towns, too.

The process, commonly known as “cow power,” may hold the key to help revolutionizing the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

One farm in particular, a large dairy operation in Maine, produces clean-burning gas from cow manure and food waste and, in the process, generates enough electricity to power 800 area homes continuously. That product alone holds the potential to earn the facility $800,000 a year, according to the Morning Sentinel.

Read more:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Belgium Plans Off-Shore Renewable Energy Island


Whilst we get to explore many new innovations in the world of commercial energy production, we don’t get to use the term ‘donut-shaped’ very often – but that’s about to change thanks to a large-scale project being planned in Belgium. Announced earlier this week in Zeebrugge, Belgian ministers revealed their plans to build a dual-purpose energy ‘island’ off the coast of the North Sea. It’s purpose? To serve as a pumped-storage hydroelectricity facility for wind energy produced by wind farms both on land and off-shore.

‘Big Six’ lose out to green energy suppliers in company satisfaction survey | Solar Power Portal


Despite holding 98% of the market share, the Big Six energy companies have been roundly beaten by smaller suppliers offering green energy in this year’s Which? energy company satisfaction survey.

For the second year running, Good Energy has come out on top with an overall score of 85% with the 100% renewable energy supplier receiving particular commendation for its customer service and energy efficiency advice. However, the Big Six did not fair so well with Npower and EDF Energy finishing bottom of the survey for another year, with scores of 39% and 46% respectively.

Businesses sleepwalking into a Resource Crunch - Carbon Trust


New international research from the Carbon Trust shows business not prepared for global resource crunch

Belgium Plans Off-Shore Renewable Energy Island


Whilst we get to explore many new innovations in the world of commercial energy production, we don’t get to use the term ‘donut-shaped’ very often – but that’s about to change thanks to a large-scale project being planned in Belgium. Announced earlier this week in Zeebrugge, Belgian ministers revealed their plans to build a dual-purpose energy ‘island’ off the coast of the North Sea. It’s purpose? To serve as a pumped-storage hydroelectricity facility for wind energy produced by wind farms both on land and off-shore.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Tidal #energy may be the right decision for the UK


The United Kingdom may hold vast potential in terms of tidal energy, according to a new report from researchers with the University of Southampton. The report highlights the prospects of tidal energy and how the United Kingdom can benefit from its use. Researchers believe that a significant portion of the UK’s energy needs can be met through the use of tidal energy, but that the government has not yet shown enough support to make this type of alternative energy a reality.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Can The Green Deal Save You Money On Your Home


Green Deal – It’s finally been launched but can it help you save some money? There’s still some finalising that must be done on it and just two key energy providers have gotten on board with it. However, here’s the gist of the green deal:

VIDEO - Gas market whistleblower sacked after accusing firms of price fixing

Seth Freedman, the whistleblower at the centre of energy market manipulation allegations, has been sacked by his price reporting agency, ICIS Heren.

Freedman's concerns about unusual movements in the wholesale gas trade triggered investigations – which are ongoing – by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and the energy regulator, Ofgem.

Freedman said his sacking was "classic victimisation and intimidation of a whistleblower".

"[They're] protecting the management at the expense of those lower down the food chain," he said. "I feel victimised for blowing the whistle.

"I was doing the right thing. I was protecting the ICIS brand – when we spot abuse we take it to the regulator. [But] I was treated as if I was the bad guy. It's outrageous."

Hinkley Point is 'shovel ready' as Energy Bill reaches crucial stage

Should energy investors bet against Warren Buffett?


A battle is developing between new energy and old energy and it is one that may present opportunities to investors.

Following the tsunami that hit the Fukushima power station in Japan in 2011, Germany shut down its eight nuclear power plants and began the process of building 16 new coal-fired plants instead. The first, which will supply 3pc of the country's total electricity needs, was completed in August, with the remaining 15 due for completion by 2020.

Needless to say, Germany will not be hitting its target of reducing carbon emissions by 40pc by 2020 – and prior claims of a complete conversion to renewable energy by 2050 look dubious too.

Green campaigners may be up in arms, but this local return to fossil fuels is indicative of a worldwide regression.

More than 1,200 coal-fired power plants are currently being planned worldwide according to the World Resources Institute, with three quarters of them in China and India.

Belgium to build 'battery island' to store wind farm energy — RT


Belgium plans to build a horseshoe-shaped artificial island off its North Sea coast to store energy generated by its wind farms. The project will also double as attraction for sea birds (and possibly flocks of tourists).

­The ambitious undertaking was unveiled this week by Belgian North Sea Minister Johan Vande Lanotte, as he reported on the implementation of marine special planning.

The island is planned to be built over the course of five years about three to four kilometers off the coast near the village of Wenduine in the province of West Flanders. It will be about three kilometers in diameter, and will have a giant water reservoir occupying most of its territory.

Energy will be stored by pumping seawater out of the reservoir. It is then recovered when needed by guiding the water back in through a hydropower plant at the heel of the 'horseshoe.'

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Experts Tip China to Reach 100 GW of Wind Power by 2015 | Energy Live News


Whilst the Bloomberg report earlier this week painted a picture of a world slipping in it’s investment in green energy, one bright spark was China – who have been tipped today to produce a staggering 100GW from wind power alone by 2015.

China, which overtook the United States as the country investing the most in clean energy last year, announced that it was ramping up its wind power development over the next 24 months following a new goal set by the government.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Will the e-bike take over the electric car?

Will the e-bike take over the electric car?

In Germany, consumers purchased over 1,000 electric cars using state subsidies and roughly 320,000 bikes without any subsidies. In 2011, 31 million bicycles using an electric motor were sold throughout the world. Three percent of the UK uses the electric car with the other 97 percent using e-bikes.

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Our office in Birmingham, is closed today because of the snow – so unfortunately we cannot take your phone calls.

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Households face energy price hike


E.ON is the last of the big six energy giants to increase its tariffs this winter, meaning that its typical standard dual fuel customer paying by cash or cheque will see their bill rise by around £110 a year to £1,370.

The latest price hike comes at a time when households up and down the country are turning up the thermostat, with forecasters saying Britain will be coated in up to 10in (25cm) of snow on Friday.

Comparison website said that the recent increases have widened the gap between the cheapest tariffs on the market and the standard deals being offered by the big six companies to more than £300 a year.

Two years ago, customers on standard dual fuel tariffs were paying up to 23% or £221 a year more than those on the cheapest deals, but the latest round of hikes has increased the price gap to almost a third (30%) or £312, said the website.

Ever wondered how much energy your neighbour uses?


Have you ever wondered how energy efficient your neighbour is or how much they spend on their energy bills? Well, a new report claims householders could cut their gas and electricity bills by as much as £70 a year if they could compare each other’s energy bills.

Think tank Policy Exchange claims there is “evidence” both internationally and in the UK that people cut the amount of energy they use when they compare it to a more energy efficient neighbour’s bills. The ‘Smarter, Greener, Cheaper’ report suggests the Government should extend energy efficiency schemes like the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to allow schemes that can help households reduce their energy bills to compete for subsidies.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Aberdeen firm Wood Group secures $50m North Sea deal


Energy services provider Wood Group has won a $50m (£31m) contract for a major UK North Sea development.

The Aberdeen-based firm's brownfield services division will hook-up and commission the Golden Eagle Area Development (GEAD) project on behalf of Nexen Petroleum UK.

Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) will provide management, labour, materials, services and equipment for the project.

First oil is expected to flow from the field in late 2014.

Golden Eagle, which lies about 68 miles north east of Aberdeen, will include two platforms connected by a 70m bridge.

WGPSN will employ about 100 personnel to service the contract from its headquarters in Aberdeen.

UK managing director Dave Stewart said: "This is a key project for WGPSN and we are very proud to have been selected by Nexen to provide support to one of the most significant offshore developments in the UKCS."

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

'New breed of wind turbines' offered by green energy firm in Lincolnshire

Video - The Npower Market Report - 15th January 2012

Clean Energy Investment Tumbles 11% in 2012


Despite 2012 proving to be a rich year for The Energy Bill, the development of new technologies and potentially game-changing projects in the UK, it seems investors worldwide weren’t quite as encouraged by news from the commercial energy sector as we were, as worldwide investment in green energy projects fell 11% last year. Reports from the BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance) confirmed that $268.7bn was invested in 2012. Whilst an impressive figure on it’s own, this makes 2012 the second-most successful year on record for the clean energy sector – behind 2011.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Investors spooked by 'complex' UK Energy Bill - Telegraph

Rising energy and food bills keep inflation high | Business |

UK #Energy bill will not keep the lights on unless key questions are answered


On Tuesday, MPs scrutinising the energy bill sink their teeth into the detail for the first time. The bill is pivotal to the UK's energy future, and – as we will tell them when we give evidence – a number of serious challenges face the MPs responsible for making it work.

This is a bill to keep the lights on while decarbonising our economy at an affordable price. And it matters for customers just as much as it matters for business. There is a still a long way to go before the bill becomes law, but some key questions already loom large as we get ready to deliberate the finer details.

Firstly, will the government be able to deliver on all of the responsibilities it is taking on itself? The powers in the bill effectively give government the power to decide which generation technologies are built, at what scale, where, when and by whom. This is a remarkable amount of intervention, basically amounting to public sector procurement.

With this in mind, parliament will have to consider the government's track record on long-term procurement in areas such as private finance initiatives, defence contracts and rail franchises (the list could go on …) It will also need to consider whether the new powers would allow too much scope for political intervention or procrastination in vital investment decisions. As someone who works for a company investing around £4m a day in Britain, I am perhaps understandably nervous on this, given the track record in 2012.

Battersea Power Station: £600m worth of flats at London landmark sold in four days


More than £600million worth of property inside London’s redeveloped Battersea Power Station has been sold in a four-day stampede.

Prices ranged from £343,000 for a studio to £6million for a penthouse as 600 flats were snapped up at what was thought to be the fastest selling property development on record.

Rob Tincknell, chief executive of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “It’s been like the start of the Harrods sale.

"It really has been phenomenal. We had people queuing from 6.30am on Thursday and the London allocation sold out in days.”

By the time the sales centre at the riverside site closed on Saturday afternoon 600 buyers, from City bankers to a former power station worker, had written out cheques.

Buyers have to pay a £2,500 booking fee followed by 10% of the purchase price on exchange, which has to be within four weeks.

The keenest interest was for the larger townhouses and penthouses overlooking the Thames, which have multi-million-pound price tags.

How Britain went tilting at windmills


The unfortunate technical term is “intermittent renewables”. This is the name given to the wave of green energy sources such as solar, wind and wave power. Wind farms are certainly “renewable” but they are also unreliable, say opponents.

When the wind does not blow – and that is surprisingly often, even in our allegedly tempestuous archipelago – a wind farm is not a power station but a collection of useless white fans on a hillside. Meanwhile, a nuclear plant or gas-fuelled turbine keeps churning out electricity, day and night, with Stakhanovite determination.

Now opponents of wind energy have another stick with which to go tilting at windmills. The Public Accounts Committee, chaired by the increasingly redoubtable Margaret Hodge, has produced a report slamming the “generous” licence deals, worth about £17 billion, that have been done with just two engineering companies, Macquarie and Transmission Capital Partners, to provide the necessary infrastructure to connect wind-derived electricity to the grid. Under the 20-year deal, agreed under the last Labour administration but rubber-stamped by current Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) ministers, energy firms are paid even if they fail to deliver energy to households.

Ms Hodge, a Labour MP, described the contracts this week as a “licence for the private sector to print money at the expense of hard-pressed consumers”. And this comes at a bad time. A growing population, a series of unusually cold winters, increasing demands on power and a national grid stretched to its limit have seen fuel bills double, in real terms, in the past eight years, now averaging more than £1,300 a year per household. The infrastructure deal alone will add around £35 a year to bills, as the cost of the subsidy is passed back to consumers via the suppliers. This will be the final straw for the growing number of wind-farm opponents, who claim it is an inherently expensive and unreliable technology that represents poor value for money in the fight against climate change.

Alternative energy gaining traction in the UK


The United Kingdom has been investing more heavily in alternative energy in recent months. Throughout 2012, the government has been showing a strong interest in alternative energy, especially in terms of offshore wind power. The Department of Energy and Climate Change, which has been a strong advocate for the adoption of alternative energy in the UK, has announced that the country has reached a significant milestone in its use of clean power.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Power firm Iberdrola rethinks selling UK stake


The Spanish owner of Scottish Power has pulled back from selling a stake in its UK business, the BBC understands.

Iberdrola planned to sell a slice of its distribution and grid networks to help reduce debts.

A deal would also have helped to share the cost of up to £8bn of planned investments to upgrade the electricity system in the south of Scotland, north-west England and Wales.

It is understood after the sale of other assets, the UK plan is on hold.

The UK business, trading under the Scottish Power name, is a core asset for Spanish-owned Iberdrola.

Last year, the group sold non-core assets including 32 wind farms in France and a share in a Spanish telecoms operator.

UK tidal power has huge potential, say scientists


The UK is underestimating the amount of electricity that could be generated from tidal sources, new research says.

The analysis says that estuary barrages and tidal streams could provide more than 20% of the nation's demand for electricity.

Despite high costs, experts say tidal power is more reliable than wind.

The predictable nature of tides makes them an ideal renewable energy source, the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A reports.

But finding effective ways of utilising their latent power have proved elusive.

Wind farm mistakes 'will lumber consumers with higher electricity bills for two decades'


Customers will suffer because £17billion of contracts handed to companies to transmit power to the mainland were ‘too generous’.

The deals guarantee rich pickings for investors because ministers failed to learn the lessons from tangling with big business through private finance initiatives, the public accounts committee warned.

Chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: ‘The terms of the transmission licences appear to have been designed almost entirely to attract investors at the expense of securing a good deal for consumers.’

Ministers hope 15 per cent of Britain’s power will come from wind farms by 2020. But that requires £8billion of investment in equipment such as platforms, cables and substations.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

UK pays £1.3bn in 'backdoor bailout' paying for roads and wind farms in Europe


Ministers have handed £1.3billion to a Luxemburg-based quango to help finance European projects in a ‘secret bailout’ for the EU’s most troubled countries.

British taxpayers’ money has been spent on wind farms schemes, solar panels and roads in countries such as Spain and Greece through a deal with EU leaders to increase UK contributions to the European Investment Bank.

Read more:

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Manufacturers considering solar to beat rising energy prices


High tech manufacturers in the UK are considering investing in their own renewable power supplies, particularly solar, to shield themselves from future energy price increases.

A survey of over 400 senior executives in the UK high tech manufacturing sector by multinational GE revealed “high levels of concern” over future UK energy supply, with two thirds of respondents reporting “detrimental” effects on their business from a lack of clarity on energy policy.

The vast majority of survey respondents – 84% - said they were concerned over the future affordability of energy in the UK. Some three in five – 61% - expressed concern over the future security of energy supply in the UK.

As a consequence, almost half – 49% - are considering investing in on-site renewable energy generation or energy efficient technologies. Of this group, 61% said they were considering installing solar power at their business premises.

Icelandic volcanoes could help to power UK via subsea Scottish cable


ICELAND has offered to become a “green battery” for the UK by building the world’s longest subsea power cable, which could bring geothermal energy ashore in Scotland.

Icelandic state electricity producer, Landsvirkjun, said yesterday that it was considering constructing a 1,000km link by around 2020 to supply electricity generated by its vast volcanic energy resources direct to Britain.

An earlier proposal to connect Iceland’s electricity grid with the UK would have come ashore north of the Border, but Landsvirkjun said yesteday no decision on the final route had been taken.

Hordur Arnarson, chief executive of Landsvirkjun, said: “We can serve as a green battery for the UK. We believe it’s a win-win situation, because we have a flexible source of renewable power, which could be used to balance supply and demand in Britain. It will be the longest subsea cable in the world.”

UK Government officials said the project was aimed at improving energy security for the entire UK, while environmental groups welcomed the prospect of the energy line.

Battersea Power Station flats go on sale - Telegraph


The 800 properties range from £338,000 for a studio apartment to more than £6m for one of the nine river-facing penthouse flats and form part of the first phase of the grade-II* listed building's conversion, which is also set to include offices, shops, a gym, spa and theatre.

Attractions - apart from residency in the iconic Art Deco building in south west London - include an indoor 'Winter Garden', a private cinema, bar and library.

Preparatory work on the site began in 2012 after a consortium of Malaysian giants- SP Setia, Sime Derby and the Employee's Provident Fund - paid £400m to buy the power station, and the first properties are expected to be completed by 2016.

Last chance to protest before the EU snuffs out thorium energy in Europe


Just as China, Japan, India, Russia, Norway, and the US Academy of Sciences hone in on the tantalising prospect of safe, clean, and ultimately cheap energy from thorium nuclear reactors, the Europeans seem to be going in the opposite direction.

I return to the thorium theme so soon after my column on Monday because a great number of readers share my enthusiasm for the mineral, an optimal way to restore public trust in nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster.

Today is the final chance to submit opinions for the 2013 agenda of Europe's nuclear strategy body.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

100% Renewable Energy - The Only Way Forward | The Energy Collective

British Wind Power Gets Record Breaking Blades Boost

Whilst 2012 ended on a high for solar power, with a number of innovative new technologies being developed across the globe, there was also plenty to cheer about for commercial electricity providers who rely on wind power. Studies found that the world could meet (and indeed, surpass) it’s energy demands solely using wind power, and that seems to have spurred on some activity right here in the UK energy market.

The Government-backed Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has hired British root company Blade Dynamics to create record-breaking blades for new off-shore wind turbines.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

British Gas chief Bentley in line for explosive £13m pay-off


THE HEAD of British Gas, who has presided over an 84 per cent increase in the average domestic bill during his seven years at the helm, is set to leave the utility company this year with a pay-off estimated to be worth as much as £13 million.

Phil Bentley, managing director of British Gas since 2006, will quit this year as part of a management overhaul. According to the Daily Mail, his 'golden goodbye' could feature a year's salary (£635,000), a bonus worth £399,000, a pension pot of £3.6m and £8.3m of shares.

The paper notes that "as millions endure the greatest squeeze on living standards since the 1920s... 53-year-old Mr Bentley's potential windfall would be enough to pay a typical family's gas and electricity bill for 9,500 years".

Labour energy spokesman Tom Greatrex told the paper: "British Gas customers, who have seen their bills soar on Phil Bentley’s watch, will be astonished at the level of his pay-off... it will strike many as an obscene level of reward."

Read more:

400,000 Jobs in #Renewable #Energy Industry to Be Created by 2020


The renewable energy industry is expected to create 400,000 jobs by 2020 across the UK, with most jobs being created in the northern part of the UK. 1700 jobs are due from new contracts in Scotland too as companies are trying to source for labour locally.

Recently, the ‘Meet the Buyer’ event held by County Durham firm Banks Renewables was attended by 150 energy firms. Banks Renewables is planning to construct the Moor House and Lambs Hill wind farms in Durham, and Tata Steel has a new £2m Offshore Processing Centre in Hartlepool to produce sections of pipe that will be used to make foundations for offshore wind turbines. To supply cabling, JDR Cables has invested £30m in upgrading its Hartlepool factory, which employed 130 people.

Scotland will see 1700 new jobs being offered by companies such as Gamesa, AREVA and SSE, while in Wales, 300 jobs will be needed to construct Pen-y-Cymoedd wind farm. In Northern Ireland, the Belfast shipyard has 75% of its capacity geared towards offshore renewables, with DONG Energy’s £40m improvements to Belfast Harbour. This means that the shipyard will have to furnish offshore wind farms such as the one West of Duddon, which alone creates 450 jobs.

In Newcastle, OGN is building a facility to manufacture offshore wind turbine foundations that will create 700 jobs during operations and a further 100 during the construction, plus 200 more jobs in the regional supply chain.

Report: Manufacturers concerned over impact of UK energy policy


Manufacturers have expressed "high levels of concern" at the UK's energy policies and are increasingly looking to invest in their own electricity supply to insulate themselves against price shocks.

That is one of the stark findings from a survey of over 400 senior executives working in the UK High Tech manufacturing sector, conducted by engineering giant GE.


Coalition reasserts commitment to be “greenest government ever”
Tory modernisers vow to make the green economy the mainstream economy

It found a perceived lack clarity over the coalition's energy policy as one of the biggest challenges manufacturers face, with two thirds of respondents who have noticed a policy impact reporting it had detrimentally affected their business.

Meanwhile, 84 per cent of respondents voiced concerns about the affordability of energy and 62 per cent expressed fears over security of supply. In addition, 46 per cent said they were concerned about energy-related carbon emissions.

As a result, almost half of businesses surveyed said they have considered generating their own power on site or investing in energy efficient technologies.

January 2013 - Business Energy Market Report | Catalyst Commercial Services - The Market Leading Business Energy Broker


During December annual wholesale gas and power prices were relatively stable, but shorter-dated contracts rose to 10-month highs as a result of increased demand following colder weather. Oil, coal and carbon prices all dipped in early December following fears over the economies in the EU and US. But hopes of renewed growth in China boosted prices back to November levels later in the month.

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Monday, 7 January 2013

British Gas boss Phil Bentley to quit


Speculation that Bentley had fallen out with Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw has been played down. But with Laidlaw likely to remain in post for the foreseeable future Bentley is having to look elsewhere if he wants a chief executive role.

Bentley, who was credited with improving British Gas' customer services and call centre operations, was paid £681,000 last year. He also has £6.7million in shares and has a £210,000-a-year pension.

Laidlaw is due next month to update investors on his strategy for the group, which also comprises an oil and gas exploration and production business and a North American operation. Centrica declined to comment.