Monday, 18 October 2010

Eight new nuclear power stations for UK

Chris Huhne, Britain's Energy Secretary, has given the go-ahead for eight new nuclear power stations in Britain - but has not said they will be built, just that companies can build them if they want to.

However, he also said that that there will be no public subsidy for nuclear but that the Government was considering a limit on liability. This, it may be argued, is a for of subsidy because it means that taxpayers take on the risk if there is an accident and for the clean up costs.

"The Government has not ruled out the maintenance of a limit on operator liability set at an appropriate level provided that it is justifiable in the public interest, is the right way of ensuring that risk is appropriately managed, and that, overall, any potential cost or risk to the Government can be justified,..." - Chris Huhne

Other notable developments in the Energy Secretary's announcement were plans to build up to 44,000 wind turbines around the coast, official encouragement for households to put up solar panels, significant investment in developing new carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology and the scrapping of the proposed 10 mile barrage across the River Severn.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cleantech Investment in the UK

Growth Business UK ezine has an interesting interview with David Gudgin, a partner at Albion Ventures which is active in venture capital for the renewable energy sector. Worth checking out. He thinks the Wind sector is the 'trickiest' but sees long-term growth in the Feed-in-Tariffs scheme.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Solar Panel Cowboys

An undercover investigation by Which? magazine found that 10 out of 14 UK solar panel installation companies surveyed overstated the effectiveness of the systems.

Some companies quoted savings of as much as 50%. One company claimed the test homeowner would save £35,000 over 20 years, which the magazine described as a "massive exaggeration" - with £5,000 being nearer the mark.

Not a single company in the survey identified all the important technical challenges related to providing a quote. Only one, Southern Solar, was adjudged to have provided sensible advice.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Green Month at British Library Business

A mail in our inbox announces that it will be 'Green Month' at the British Library Business IP Centre in May.

"Throughout May we're holding special events that explore green an ethical business, the oppportunities, the practicalities and the reasons to get involved."

More details here.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Renewable Energy - A Warning from Germany

Dr Richard North has picked up on an important report from the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, entitled: "Economic impacts from the promotion of renewable energies: The German experience" - (don't worry, it's in English).
This paper critically reviews the current centerpiece of this effort, the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), focusing on its costs and the associated implications for job creation and climate protection. We argue that German renewable energy policy, and in particular the adopted feed-in tariff scheme, has failed to harness the market incentives needed to ensure a viable and cost-effective introduction of renewable energies into the country’s energy portfolio. To the contrary, the government’s support mechanisms have in many respects subverted these incentives, resulting in massive expenditures that show little long-term promise for stimulating the economy, protecting the environment, or increasing energy security. In the case of photovoltaics, Germany’s subsidization regime has reached a level that by far exceeds average wages, with per-worker subsidies as high as 175,000 €
(US $ 240,000)

Dr North's own commentary on this report usefully brings in some UK examples:
Yet, this is the scheme (feed-in tariffs) that is to come into force in the UK on 1 April. Predictably, organisations such as the National Trust are leaping on the bandwagon, having already fitted PV to their Dunster Castle in Somerset. They are adding insult to injury by attracting funding from Barclays, the "Big Lottery Fund Bio-Energy Capital Grants Scheme" and the Rural Development Programme. Equally predictably, they do not tell us how much this is going to cost other electricity consumers, concentrating instead on the illusory "carbon" savings.

He ends with:
Forgive me for harping on, but this is so staggeringly stupid – in a land beset with stupidity – that it is difficult to take on board. One can only surmise that they really cannot be that stupid, and it is all a joke. After all, the scheme is set to start on 1 April.

We forgive you Richard. At least you're taking notice and trying to warn us.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Rosenblatt New Energy Awards

The Rosenblatt New Energy Awards attracted an audience of more than 400 cleantech entrepreneurs, investors, academics and advisers to recognise the achievements of leading companies in the renewable energy industry.

List of winners and shortlisted companies.

Martin Dix, founder of Current Cost, won the top accolade following the success of his company in selling more than 400,000 energy monitors.

Friday, 19 February 2010

DEFRA's Climate Challenge Fund at Work

DEFRA has squandered an estimated £8.6 million of taxpayers' hard-earned money through its Climate Challenge Fund on this.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Feed-in-Tariffs from Solar Panels

From April 1, households which install photovoltaic solar panels and feed the energy (green electricity) in to the national grid will be paid 41.3p per kilowatt hour (kWh).

A typical 2.5 kWh system takes up about 10 feet by 10 feet and costs about £14,000 (with install). The Department of Energy and Climate Change (natch) estimates this size of kit will produce about 2,125 kWh per year - so total returns (including reduced electricity bills) would be in the region of £1,050 per year. You can also factor in a property price boost.

More details at For those of you who don't own your own roof, tough. This subsidy isn't for you. Remember, under NuLab governments you peons are only fit for means-tested credits in order that you can be controlled. For the rest of us, wahey! That's a yield of 8 per cent. Maybe this climate change bollocks isn't so bad after all.

Monday, 8 February 2010

The Green Police

Coming to an eco-fascist state near you.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Glaciergate: Now the scandal spreads to India

From Christopher Booker's Sunday column in the DT.
I can report a further dramatic twist to what has inevitably been dubbed "Glaciergate" - the international row surrounding the revelation that the latest report on global warming by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) contained a wildly alarmist, unfounded claim about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. Last week, the IPCC, led by its increasingly controversial chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, was forced to issue an unprecedented admission: the statement in its 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 had no scientific basis, and its inclusion in the report reflected a "poor application" of IPCC procedures.

This has become big news in India and Dr Richard North, one of the most outspoken critics of the whole AGW scam, was interviewed on India's leading English-language TV news channel discussing the issue with Dr Vijay Raina, a glaciologist who had also criticised Pachauri.

As Dr North points out, it's another 'follow the money' scandal, and his barbs at Pachauri's penchant for £1,000 suits and high living really hit home.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Drastic Cuts in Carbon Emissions Make No Economic Sense

So says Bjorn Lomborg, in an op-ed for The Washington Times (no, really!)
...trying to force cuts in carbon emissions is a solution that will cost far more than the problem it is meant to solve.

So what does he suggest instead? Well, spending $100 billion per year on green energy research and development with the goal of making green energy as cheap as fossil fuels.

This is much more in-line with this website's thinking. We want a greener future but see no point in hobbling, or even destroying, our economy in pointless and politically motivated attacks on the current (primarily fossil fuel) methods of delivering cheap energy.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Kite Power Generation

The turbine may be the icon of modern wind power generation for now but it could be replaced by the kite in most, if not all, wind generation applications sometime in the next couple of decades.

Here is an excellent summary of developments in this area of renewable energy research from 'Black Hole Sunset' posting at The Daily Politics website.