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Renewables/Energy Transition

A £240m energy efficiency scheme delivered ‘negligible’ savings

A flagship home energy efficiency policy which cost taxpayers £240 million failed to deliver energy and carbon savings, the National Audit Office has said. Improving energy efficiency in the UK’s 27 million homes, which are responsible for more than a quarter of the country’s energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions, is seen as key to tackling climate change, energy security and fuel poverty.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Green Investment Bank legislation could be required, peers told

New laws could be required to ensure the Green Investment Bank continues investing in renewable projects when it is privatised, a Government minister has suggested. Cabinet Office Minister Lord Bridges said he recognised concerns that the state-owned bank could be broken up or used to fund other non-green projects once it is privatised under Business Secretary Sajid Javid’s plans. The proposal has been controversial and Liberal Democrat peers warned there was no requirement that it continues its so far successful mission to boost renewable projects once it is sold off.

Renewables/Energy Transition

MP urges Tories to rethink green energy plan

Aberdeen MP Callum McCaig has called on the UK Government to rethink its plans to end a renewables subsidy scheme a year early after it suffered a defeat in the Lords. Labour put forward an amendment to the Energy bill, deleting the policy to close the Renewables Obligation to onshore windfarms from next April, which was carried by 242 votes to 190. Energy minister Lord Bourne warned peers to “move carefully”, but his opposite number Baroness Worthington said early closure would save no more than 30p per household each year.

Oil & Gas

Shell decision to halt Arctic drilling ‘must become turning point’

Shell’s decision to pull out of drilling in the Arctic should be a turning point in the fight against climate change, green campaigners have said. Environmentalists also called on the company, which recently left the high-profile Prince of Wales’ Corporate Leaders’ Group on climate change amid the Arctic drilling controversy, to set out how it was going to move its business model to one that was compatible with curbing global temperature rises. Campaigners fear an oil spill from Arctic offshore drilling could be very damaging to the environment and exploiting the region for fossil fuels would undermine efforts to tackle climate change.

Other News

Green Energy Centre could put St Andrews University at ‘cutting edge’

A new £25 million green energy centre at St Andrews University will put the institution at the “cutting-edge” of environmentally-friendly technology, according to a Scotland Office minister. The project will create 225 jobs and it is hoped the site at Guardbridge will help regenerate part of north-east Fife, with apprenticeships and opportunities in the construction of the centre. The scheme is part of a drive by St Andrews to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral university. The biomass facility will use only virgin roundwood, locally sourced from forests, and hot water from the plant will be pumped underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews.

Other News

David Cameron defends ‘green’ policies amid solar energy row

Prime Minister David Cameron insists the Conservatives have been the greenest government ever. The Tories have taken criticism this week after unveiling plans to slash subsidies to solar power projects - with opponents claiming it would take Britain’s renewable energy sector “back to the dark ages”. And today questions have been raised about the UK’s decision to suspend a ban on a type of pesticide linked to serious harm in bees and pollinators. However, Mr Cameron hit back at his detractors and argued his administration had done a great deal for the environment and renewable energy.

Other News

‘Green’ policies add £60 to energy bills, says think-tank

The Government’s “green” policies have added around £60 to the average consumer energy bill in the last five years, a report has suggested. Energy company profits have added £70 to rising bills, and accounted for around £77 of average household dual fuel costs in 2014, while energy and climate policy costs accounted for £89, the study from think-tank Policy Exchange said. The report called on ministers to maximise efforts to improve household energy efficiency and to focus carbon-cutting efforts on mature technologies such as onshore wind to tackle climate change at least cost to the consumer.

Other News

Labour ‘would create one million green jobs’

A Labour government would bring in a legal target to slash carbon emissions from the power sector and improve energy efficiency for five million homes, as it seeks to create a million new “green” jobs. Setting out details of Labour’s “green plan”, shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said that “building a more equal society means tackling climate change and protecting nature”. The plan includes a legally binding target to decarbonise electricity supplies by 2030, delivering energy efficiency upgrades to at least five million homes over 10 years and developing a green industrial strategy to create a million new jobs.

Renewables/Energy Transition

More Scots back green energy measures

Almost four in five Scots want the next UK government to continue to implement renewable energy measures such as wind and wave power, according to a new survey. Almost two-thirds also want the next government to continue policies that help cut emissions and tackle climate change. A YouGov poll commissioned by industry body Scottish Renewables questioned 1,008 people on February 24 and 25. It found that 79% backed the continued development of renewable energy sources compared to just 26% who back fracking for shale gas, 45% who support new nuclear power stations and 49% in favour of the building or extension of coal and gas-fired power stations.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Green energy centre funding secured

Funding has been secured for a £25 million green energy centre at St Andrews University which will create 225 jobs. It is hoped the site at Guardbridge will help regenerate part of north-east Fife, with apprenticeships and opportunities in the construction of the centre. The scheme is part of a drive by St Andrews to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral university.

Other News

Norway deal to boost green power

The world’s longest electricity connector is to be built between the UK and Norway to supply low-carbon power from the Scandinavian country. The 450-mile (724km) long “interconnector”, which has the capacity to supply enough electricity to power nearly three quarters of a million UK homes, will help with energy security and could cut consumer bills, officials said. It will be the first electricity interconnector between the two countries, with the £1.5 billion cost of the scheme split between the UK and Norway.