You don’t have to be a whizz at maths to see that the [energy bill] targets will require a steep growth rate in renewables. It would be a remarkable trajectory, taking wind from a 1% share of the nation’s electricity to around 25% in under 15 years, overtaking nuclear power in the process. But can this actually happen?
Yes it really can, provided the industry (both in the UK and abroad) continues to make the strides it has been making over the past few years. At around 9.30pm on a cold day in mid-September last year, something extremely exciting happened in the UK (albeit completely unnoticeable to all but a few operators in the National Grid’s control centre): wind power set a new all-time generation record of 3.98GW. “System demand” at the time was 34.9GW which meant that, for the first time in the UK’s history, the wind was meeting more than 10% of our total electricity demand, nearly 12% actually.
The FTSE 100 company warned that commercial volumes continued to be hit by a large rise in unemployment in the North West of England in the last two years.
But United, which covers seven million people in the North West, posted a 4% increase in revenue to £822.9 million in the half year to September 30 as prices rose 5.8%.
The Cheshire-based group said underling pre-tax profit was up 3% to £190 million in the period as it invested £354 million in its network.
The company, which revamped its customer services last year after it received more complaints than any of its rivals in 2010/2011, said complaints had fallen a further 12% in the half year. It had no “escalated” complaints for the first time, it added.
Chief executive Steve Mogford said: “We are continuing to invest in our network for the benefit of our customers, the environment and the local economy.”
head of next week’s Autumn Statement from the Chancellor George Osborne, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has issued a report that calls for a new package of green taxes and fiscal incentives to help stimulate investment in the top end of the waste hierarchy.
In the report, Beyond Landfill: Using Green Taxes to Incentivise the Waste Hierarchy, the ESA also warns that policy makers rely too much on landfill tax to deliver their waste and resources objectives.
VINCE Cable will officially open the UK’s “green” bank based in Scotland, as he announces details of its first investments.
Funded with £3billion of Government money, the The Green Investment Bank (GIB) in Edinburgh, will help to develop a green economy.
First to benefit from the fund is a project in the north east of England that will generate energy from waste.
Around £8million will go to the construction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Teesside, the first of six planned over the next five years.
This will be matched with a further £8million from the private sector, according to the Government.
The GIB will also invest £5million to fit manufacturer Kingspan’s UK industrial facilities with systems that will reduce its energy consumption by 15 per cent.
Speaking in Edinburgh, where the new bank is headquartered, Mr Cable will say: “The Green Investment Bank – a key coalition pledge – is now a reality.
“It will place the green economy at the heart of our recovery and position the UK in the forefront of the drive to develop clean energy.
“Three billion pounds of Government money will leverage private sector capital to fund projects in priority sectors from offshore wind to waste and non-domestic energy efficiency, helping to deliver our commitment to create jobs and growth right across the UK.”
Whilst still officially unannounced the Coalition government’s Energy Bill has already begun to make waves amongst the commercial energy industry, after more of it’s details were made public this week. The Energy Bill is much-awaited by the entire energy market as it is set to lay out the way in which Britain will meet it’s energy needs over the coming decades, with key topics like decarbonisation, renewables, subsidies and business energy all set to be addressed.
With the results from the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme submissions expected imminently, eyes are likely to focus on the performance league table and how authorities compare, both with each other and with the private sector.
In a recent survey of suitability officers participating in the Carbon Trust’s public sector carbon network, 61% reported that the carbon reduction commitment has helped get energy consumption recognised at a senior level within local authorities. The majority of these (39% of 61%) suggested that the scheme’s financial imperatives have been the direct cause of the closer focus.
New research commissioned by the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has revealed that a large number of top executives and main investors within the UK electricity industry believe that government’s proposed Electricity Market Reforms (EMR) will not help the UK meet its 2020 decarbonsiation target.
The results of the survey, titled Electricity Market Reform: Call For Clarity, show that 77% of those surveyed felt that EMR will not enable the 2020 decarbonisation targets to be met. In contrast, only 18% felt that it would.
A large majority of respondents (64%) also indicated that they think the UK will fall short of its 2020 private sector investment target of £110 billion. The majority felt that the target was ‘out of reach’, with a number questioning whether it would even be possible to spend that amount of money by then.
Of all sectors supported by EMR, offshore wind generation was seen to be the sector given the biggest boost by the outlined proposals. Nearly 80% of those surveyed saw the investment case for offshore wind boosted compared to 54% for gas-fired generation and 41% for nuclear.