Britain will need to invest “eye-wateringly large sums of money” just to keep the lights on, according to Philip Hammond.
Britain will be well supplied with gas for the winter - with additional power available over what is needed to meet demand, a new report has shown.
Nearly two thirds of people think local councils, not the Government, should decide if fracking goes ahead in their area, a poll suggests. The survey of 1,055 people for Greenpeace which found that 62% of people were in favour of the decision being made locally comes as a public inquiry begins into whether the go-ahead should be given for shale gas exploration at two sites in Lancashire.
Britain’s trade deficit narrowed to £3.2 billion in November, as plunging oil prices cut the cost of imports. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the total trade deficit for goods and services fell from £3.5 billion in October. It added that the deficit for goods alone also narrowed to £10.6 billion in November from £11.2 billion the month before.
The UK faces a tighter energy crunch than last year, with more contingency measures needed to ensure the lights stay on, an assessment from National Grid has shown. The gap between total electricity generating capacity and peak demand would fall to just 1.2% without measures in place such as paying moth-balled power plants to be ready to come online and paying factories to be prepared to power down if needed. With those extra measures in place for times of peak demand, the capacity margin rises to 5.1%, the National Grid assessment shows. Last year’s capacity margin was 4.1% without additional provisions, which raised the breathing space to 6.1%.
tain should embrace fracking or be condemned to higher energy bills and fewer jobs, George Osborne has said. The Chancellor also insisted he did not want to be part of a generation “that says all the economic activity was happening somewhere else in the world” as he reiterated his support for the extraction of underground shale gas.
The number of solar panel installations throughout the UK has almost doubled in a year, as householders and communities increasingly grasp the chance to generate their own power. There are now almost 650,000 installations ranging from large-scale solar farms in fields to schemes on homes, schools and police stations, with electricity-generating photovoltaic (PV) panels on one in every 50 households in Britain. Industry body the Solar Trade Association’s chief executive, Paul Barwell, puts the popularity of solar down to falling product costs, easy technology and financial benefits, with home owners receiving “feed-in tariff” payments for power generated.