Cheap renewables to hit demand for fossil fuels

Academics at the University of Cambridge have warned of an approaching “carbon bubble” that could trigger a global financial crisis as energy efficiency and renewables trigger a drop in demand for fossil fuels.

Writing in scientific journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers called for a “carefully managed” shift to low-carbon investments and policies to deflate the bubble.

Computer simulations created by economists and policy experts suggest that fossil fuels could shift from being...

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Horizon submits nuclear plan

Horizon Nuclear Power has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for permission to build its Wylfa Newydd station on the Isle of Anglesey.

The company, which is owned by Hitachi, wants to build a plant capable of generating 2.7GW of power on the Welsh island.

The Planning Inspectorate is expected to take up to 18 months to consider Horizon’s application for a Development Consent Order.

Horizon wants to begin generating power in the mid-2020s.

Talks with government

Horizon has also submitted...

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Welsh Government offers £200m for tidal project

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has offered £200 million of funding for the Swansea Bay tidal project if the UK Government gives the go-ahead for the scheme.

Jones has written to UK Energy Secretary Greg Clark telling him the project needs an “appropriate” contract for difference, as proposed by the Hendry Review last year.

“In broad terms, my proposal would be for the offer to comprise a Welsh Government commitment to an equity and/or loan investment of £200m, with the UK Government...

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12/06/2018 - Sector Round Up

SSE to pay £1m over annual statement errors

Power supplier SSE is to pay £1 million to energy regulator Ofgem’s consumer redress fund after putting “inaccurate and misleading information” in some pre-payment customers’ annual statements in 2014 and 2015.

Ofgem had opened an investigation in November after SSE reported itself to the watchdog.

Gareth Wood, Director of Customer Service Operations at SSE, said: “As Ofgem has recognised, we’ve put things right and now have stronger measures in...

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UK begins talks on new nuclear station in Wales

The UK government says it has started negotiations with Japanese firm Hitachi over the construction of a new nuclear power station on Anglesey.

Although no final agreement has been reached, Energy Secretary Greg Clark said that public money could also be invested into Wylfa Newydd which would be the first time in more than four decades that the Government has taken a direct stake in a nuclear power plant.

Plans for the site have been under discussion for several years. The original Wylfa...

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UK can lead G7 on emissions commitment argues think-tank

Bright Blue, a centre-right think tank, has called on the UK Government to adopt a legally-binding net zero emissions target.

The organisation said there was a “strong scientific, technological, legal, and political case” for achieving “deeper decarbonisation in the decades ahead”, including through the setting of such a target.

Recommendations made in Bright Blue’s paper include:

● introducing carbon permits based on advice from the Committee on Climate Change for emissions that can’t be...

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SSE becomes last of Big Six to raise prices

The last of the “big six” power companies has announced it is raising its prices due to “sustained increases in wholesale and policy costs”.

SSE is putting its gas prices up by 5.7% and its electricity prices 7.7% higher, following in the footsteps of Centrica, EDF, Npower and ScottishPower, while E.ON has ended discounts and increased standard charges.

Stephen Forbes, Chief Commercial Officer at SSE Energy Services, said: “We deeply regret having to raise prices and have worked hard to...

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More support urged to realise battery storage potential

Additional policy support is needed to increase the use of batteries to store energy if the world is to hit its Paris Agreement climate change targets, according to a new report.

Under the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) sustainable development scenario (SDS), 266GW of battery storage needs to be deployed by 2030, increasing capacity by 80GW from the current level.

During 2017, the rate of deployment was “flat” at 620MWh, excluding pumped hydro storage, which the IEA said was...

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Scotland aims for 90% emissions reduction

The Scottish Government wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050, stepping up its efforts from the current 80% goal.

The devolved administration’s new draft climate change strategy also includes an ambition of achieving a 100% reduction “as soon as possible”.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) government said it would not use carbon offsetting to reach its goals.

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham argued: “Our 90% target will be tougher even than the 100% goal set...

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Global investors urge more action on climate change

More than 280 institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management have urged governments to step up their ambition and action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, support investment in the low-carbon transition, and improve climate-related financial disclosures.

“The global shift to clean energy is underway, but much more needs to be done by governments to accelerate the low carbon transition and to improve the resilience of our economy, society and the financial...

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