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31 Jan

The Impact of Brexit on Business

by Simon Thompson
9 Aug

Hinkley Point Postponed Until September

by Sarah Wilkinson
 
Hinkley Point has Postponed Plans until September   Towards the end of July, last minute delays were proposed for Britain’s first new nuclear power plant for a generation. The decision for Hinkley Point, Somerset, came into place after Theresa May’s Government announced a new review. Resulting in the decision on the future of Hinkley Point being postponed until September. After the EDF board approved the £18 billion project, within hours their decision had been subsided by the new Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark. He announced the project will be delayed. He said: “The UK needs a reliable and secure energy supply and the government believes that nuclear energy is an important part of the mix. The government will now consider carefully all the component parts of this project and make its decision in the early autumn.” Critics say that Hinkley Point is “poor value for money” and “very risky”.   The government has promised to pay EDF a cemented cost of £92.50 per mega-watt hour of electricity for a substantial 35 years. Questions have been raised regarding the association in the project with the Chinese State nuclear firms who are due to invest one third of the Hinkley Point project. The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, has stated that he feels as though the ‘mutual trust’ is in jeopardy as a result of the recent delays to the nuclear project. This will continue unless the Hinkley Point power station is given the green-light again. Liu Xiaoming said: “Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture. Mutual trust should be treasured even more. “I hope the UK will keep its door open to China and that the British government will continue to support Hinkley Point – and come to a decision as soon as possible so that the project can proceed smoothly.” The two reactors which are planned to be constructed at Hinkley Point are expected to generate the right amount of electricity in order to meet 7 percent of the UK’s energy needs. This would enforce power in 5.8 million homes. Considering recent delays, the power is expected to be produced by 2033. Before the recent changes, the initial prediction for power to be produced was 8 years before this date, therefore allowing Hinkley Point to be producing power by 2025. Given the above, the government have insisted that Hinkley Point represents a good deal to assist the replacement of Britain’s ageing power plants. Old coal stations have been shut down to environmental rules and old nuclear reactors have to also bid farewell. What are your views on the new Hinkley Point plans? Do you agree with the critics comments or do you think Hinkley Point will be a good investment in the energy industry? Should the plans be postponed or should we go ahead ASAP with our new nuclear power plant station?
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2 Aug

UK Declared 5th Most Energy Efficient in the World

by Sarah Wilkinson
 
Energy Efficient Countries The UK has been declared the fifth most energy efficient country in the world! It is refreshing to receive such positive news this week in comparison to recent news stories flooding the headlines. ACEEE also known as American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy created a report ranking 23 countries, 75% of all energy consumption is represented in these 23 countries. The report evaluated the energy efficiency in multiple sectors involving transportation, building and industry also, the national efforts calculated to control energy use. The UK received the honour of 5th place due to the changes such as abandoning the Green Deal, a 20% cut to future spending and a 33% cut to the countries energy efficiency obligations target. The report displayed that the nation has strong policies to improve fuel economy and advance vehicle technologies, much more can be done to help improve the overall efficiency of the freight and passenger transport systems. Germany, unsurprisingly won first place with Italy and Japan not far behind. Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Africa ranked at the bottom of the list. Steven Nadel, the Executive Director at ACEEE spoke about how energy efficiency is underutilised throughout Governments, he said: “Energy efficiency is often the lowest cost means of meeting new demand for energy. Governments that encourage investment in energy efficiency and implement supporting policies save citizens money, reduce dependence on energy imports and reduce pollution. Yet energy efficiency remains massively underutilised globally despite its proven multiple benefits and its potential to become the single largest resource to meet growing energy demand worldwide.” More than £43 billion has been invested in the energy industry in the UK. Resulting in 54, 000 jobs being implemented into the economy. A £200 billion investment plan is in place to improve the energy industry in the UK by 2020. This will involve closing down old power stations, an upgrade of the powerlines which fuel our homes and also an improvement must be made regarding the use of low carbon energy.
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12 Jul

Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 – Can we do it?

by Sarah Wilkinson
 
Renewable energy can be composed in a wide variety of ways: wind, solar, hydro, tidal, and geothermal and also biomass. Renewable energy is something that is vastly growing throughout Europe therefore the European Union has lowered its dependence on imported fossil fuels and makes its energy production more sustainable. The 2020 package is a set of mandatory regulations to ensure the EU meets its climate and energy targets by 2020. Therefore the target is set to cut 20% in greenhouse gas emissions, to use 20% of EU energy from renewable sources and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency. The target in each country in the EU differs according to national wealth – from a 20% cut for the richest countries to a maximum 20% increase for the least wealthy. A target of 20% final energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020 has been set for the EU by the EU’s renewable energy directive. To achieve this, each country of the EU is required to have at least 10% of their transport fuels come from renewable sources by 2020. Also, the countries have devoted to embracing their own national renewables targets ranging from 10% in Malta to 49% in Sweden. Britain has set a target of 15%. Each EU country has adopted national renewable energy action plans showing what actions they intend to take to adhere to their renewable targets.   These plans have been split into sectors of: electricity, heating and cooling, transport, planned policy measures, the different mix of renewable technologies they expect to employ and the planned use of cooperation mechanisms. Following from this, Amber Rudd conceded the UK does not have the right policies in place to meet the EU 2020 targets of sourcing 15% of energy from renewable sources. Rudd told the MP’s that reaching the target would be difficult and went on further to say that the UK could end up having to buy renewable energy from its European neighbours if it fell short. “It’s my aim we should meet the 2020 target. I recognise we don’t have the right policies, particularly in transport and heat, but we have four to five years and I remain committed to making the target,” she told the energy and climate change committee. To find out more information on the 2020 targets, click here.
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