Monthly Archives: March 2011

Fury after 5 gas bosses bag £3.2m in bonuses as prices soar


Gas chiefs sparked fury last night by awarding five bosses £3.2million in bonuses – less than three months after jacking-up bills.

The payouts were among a near £16million boardroom bonanza at British Gas owner Centrica last year.

The directors’ windfall formed part of a £135million bonus pool shared by the firm’s workforce which critics said would infuriate hard-pressed customers.

Biggest winner was Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw who took home a package of almost £2.3million last year, including a £941,000 salary and a hefty £900,000 bonus.


UK greenhouse gas emissions up 2.8 percent in 2010

Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 2.8 percent in 2010 due to increased power generation,  largely due to cold weather early and late in the year, provisional data  from the government showed on Thursday.

In 2010, UK emissions were provisionally  estimated at 582.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, compared  to 566.3 million tonnes in 2009, the Department of Energy and Climate  Change (DECC) said in a statement. Under the U.N.’s Kyoto  Protocol, the UK has to cut emissions 12.5 per cent below 1990 levels  from 2008 to 2012. Britain also has its own, longer-term, aim of  reducing emissions by 34 percent by 2020.


Chris Huhne faces legal challenge over nuclear link to cancer in children

The government has ordered an expansion of the UK’s nuclear programme without properly factoring in evidence that nuclear power stations cause an increase in cancer cases in children living nearby, according to a legal challenge in the high court.

The case alleges that the energy and climate secretary, Chris Huhne, did not properly review the evidence on cancer when giving the go-ahead  for the
expansion last year. Lawyers claim the action could delay, or  even stop, the programme of new reactors.

Rory Walker, a 24-year-old community worker from Lancaster, has won legal aid to launch the unprecedented case.


British renewables investment drops 70%

Figures released today (March 29) appear to show the UK is rapidly collapsing as a renewable energy hub.

Apparent fear amongst private investors over the Conservative lead coalition’s position on renewable power seems to have completely stalled what was a rapidly growing market, according to the figures.

World-wide statistics released by the influential American Pew Charitable Trust claim the UK’s private investment in clean energy fell by 70% in 2010.

The drop in UK funding comes depite figures for the rest of the world where, overall, investment grew by 30% to a new record of $243 billion in 2010.


Should Britain Turn its Back on Nuclear?

The catastrophic events in Japan that led to Fukushima’s nuclear crisis made the world review their concepts about nuclear energy generation. What once was seen as an effective way to generate carbon free electricity is now being questioned about its safety that will sure comprise its economical viability.

What happened at Fukushima’s nuclear power plant caused deep wounds on the nuclear industry, forcing governments in every corner of the globe to review their nuclear development policies.

Read More:


UK to inject £3.2bn in renewables by 2014

The UK is set to increase its renewable energy budget to over £3.2bn for the next three years, UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has revealed.

Huhne has vowed to leave no stone unturned in support of Scottish renewable energy projects in particular, in the belief that Scotland is vital to the UK’s climate change targets.

He has given a snippet of the upcoming UK budget, announcing that the UK will increase its renewable energy monetary allocation to over £3.2bn in the next three years.

‘If we are to meet our climate change targets, Scotland will be mission critical. Success here will define our low carbon legacy,’ said Huhne.


Make Carbon Reduction Commitment Work for Business


The CBI today (Tuesday) warned that the Government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme is untenable in its current form, as it reiterated its call for the incentive behind the Carbon Reduction Commitment to be restored.

Launching a new policy brief, Back to the Answer: Making the CRC work, the UK’s leading business group argues that the Government’s decision to remove the revenue-recycling element at October’s Spending Review has undermined the original purpose of the scheme of encouraging organisations to cut emissions.

The CBI added that the fact that the decision was made just two weeks after the final deadline closed came as an unexpected blow to organisations that had joined the scheme in good faith.


Solar energy ‘still viable’ despite tariff shake-up


Sun farms, converting sunlight to electricity on a large scale, were being planned for this region until the government declared its intention to rewrite the tariff for green electricity last weekend – and could still be viable, according to one specialist.

The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for electricity from renewables was published only a year ago and both the National Farmers Union and the Country Land & Business Association say changing the rules now is unfair and short-sighted.

But the Department of Energy and Climate Change says the original FiT was threatening to create more solar power than DECC could afford while failing to provide enough incentive for turbines linked to anaerobic digesters, producing gas.

DECC is officially “consulting” but is proposing to halve the payments for solar production feeds of more than 50 KW and add a little extra for digester power from August 1. However, it wants to make conditions to discourage the use of crops as opposed to waste in digesters – which the farmers’ lobby says is also a mistake.


Surge in business for new NI electricity firm…

A new Irish electricity company, which offers a pay-as yougo service and does not issue bills, has signed up more than 350 customers within weeks of its launch.

Prepaypower was set up in 2009 and, after a development phase, was launched on a pilot basis at the start of this year. This month, the company moved out of this test phase and expects to hit 500 customers by this week.

Aidan O’Neill, Prepaypower’s chief executive, said the firm installed its own technology in customers’ homes and customers could then purchase ‘‘credit’’, similar to a mobile phone, and input the unique code into their home system.

The firm charges the same unit prices and standing charges as the ESB, but also applies a fixed daily charge of 30 cent. O’Neill said customers could top up at about 500 prepay points nationwide, or could top up over the phone.

As yet, no online top-up service is available, but the firm is currently developing such a facility. Customers can top up by €5, €10 or €20, or by combinations of these amounts, subject to a daily cap of €175.