RSS News from Europa.eu, IEA, Theguardian
First steps in a reshaping of the energy industry landscape
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 14:12:00 GMT
There is a growing disconnection between current energy trends and climate goals
After stalling last year, renewable power capacity additions to hit double-digit growth in 2019
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:50:00 GMT
Solar PV drives strong rebound, with help from onshore wind
It’s taken years, but at last there’s real hope for meaningful climate action | Caroline Lucas
Fri, 20 Sep 2019 07:00:03 GMT

The young protesters have been inspiring. Politicians have to respond – and our Green New Deal bill will slash carbon emissions

It’s been more than 10 years in the making, and is the top demand of the youth strikers gathering on Friday for the UK’s largest ever climate protest – which is why Friday is also the first attempt in Britain to put legislation in place to make a Green New Deal a reality for our country. Working with the Labour MP Clive Lewis, I am launching the full version of a Green New Deal bill (formal title, the decarbonisation and economic strategy bill), which sets out a transformative programme driven by the principles of justice and equity. It aims to move our economy away from its harmful dependence on carbon, at the scale and speed demanded by the science, and to build a society that lives within its ecological limits while reversing social and economic inequality.

Related: It's time for nations to unite around an International Green New Deal | Yanis Varoufakis and David Adler

Instead of economic growth, we should prioritise health, reducing inequality and tackling the climate emergency

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The world can’t afford to relax about oil security
Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:49:00 GMT
This year's World Energy Outlook explores the oil security implications of changing energy dynamics.
IEA statement on situation in Saudi Arabia: Update
Wed, 18 Sep 2019 14:36:00 GMT
Agency is committed to ensuring global oil markets remain well supplied
A capital allocation dilemma in energy transitions
Wed, 18 Sep 2019 11:53:00 GMT
Institutional investors will play a key role in meeting global climate and sustainability objectives
IEA commends Iraq’s plans to reform its electricity sector
Tue, 17 Sep 2019 17:25:00 GMT
Moves to carry out difficult but necessary changes will make sector more ‘reliable, secure and affordable,’ says IEA Executive Director
Smart energy meter rollout deadline pushed back to 2024
Mon, 16 Sep 2019 17:32:30 GMT

Government decision follows critics saying 2020 deadline had no chance of being met

The government has pushed back the deadline for its £13bn smart energy meter rollout by four years to 2024 after critics said the project had “no realistic prospect” of meeting its deadline.

The government has bowed to pressure to extend the deadline after a damning report from the National Audit Office said households might be forced to pay £500m more than expected after a string of delays affecting the software underpinning the network.

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IEA statement on situation in Saudi Arabia
Sat, 14 Sep 2019 19:15:00 GMT
IEA monitoring the situation closely
The US shale revolution has reshaped the energy landscape at home and abroad, according to latest IEA policy review
Fri, 13 Sep 2019 15:13:00 GMT
Impressive reductions in CO2 emissions from the US power sector can continue and spread to other sectors
US Senator Lisa Murkowski becomes newest member of Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency
Thu, 12 Sep 2019 19:30:00 GMT
Chairman of US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources brings invaluable expertise to high-level panel
Oil Market Report: Taking a breather
Thu, 12 Sep 2019 09:52:00 GMT
In recent weeks, tensions in have eased and oil industry operations appear to be normal
Morocco and IEA co-host workshop on the future of clean cooking
Wed, 11 Sep 2019 16:40:00 GMT
Current trends in household cooking in Morocco and pathways towards cleaner and sustainable solutions
The European Union continues to lead the global fight against climate change
Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:07:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 11 September 2019 The European Commission today adopted a Communication reaffirming the EU's commitment to accelerated climate ambition. Preparing for the Climate Action Summit by the United Nations Secretary General in New York on 23 September, the Commission recalls that the European Union has...
Speaking points by Vice-President Šefčovič on the EU preparation for UN Action Summit
Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:04:00 GMT
European Commission - Speech [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 11 September 2019   It is a pleasure to speak to you again about the Energy Union and climate change after the summer. It was a very hot summer, which is not only good news.
Energy firms plan UK's first carbon-neutral 'industrial cluster'
Sun, 08 Sep 2019 23:01:56 GMT

Humber drive aims to shrink carbon footprint of UK’s most polluting industrial zone

Energy companies have ignited multibillion-pound plans for the UK’s first carbon-neutral “industrial cluster” in the Humber.

An alliance of companies including National Grid, Drax and Norway’s state energy company, Equinor, are leading a campaign to shrink the carbon footprint of Britain’s most polluting industrial zone.

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The IEA and ASEAN: “Key strategic partners” in pursuit of Southeast Asia’s energy goals
Fri, 06 Sep 2019 09:34:00 GMT
IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol took part in the 37th ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting in Bangkok
Trump turns lights off on Obama-era rules for energy efficient bulbs
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 16:30:12 GMT

Billions of lightbulbs will remain far more inefficient than their main alternative, costing Americans more in energy bills

The Trump administration has come up with its latest bright idea – scrapping rules that require energy efficiency standards in lightbulbs.

The Department of Energy is eliminating stricter efficiency standards on about half of bulbs sold in the US. The repealed rule, enacted during Barack Obama’s presidency, was aimed at phasing out older-style inefficient incandescent and halogen lightbulbs by 2020.

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Privatising energy is doomed to failure | Letters
Sun, 25 Aug 2019 05:00:06 GMT

Small, private energy firms can’t hope to compete in a global market

The possible failure of some smaller energy suppliers might not raise major issues, even for their customers, but clearly illustrates the stupidity of privatisation of such vital national resources (“Small energy companies risk going bust in financial shock”, News). Oil and gas prices are determined by global markets, so there is little scope for competition there; in fact, the artificial competitive elements might even contribute to increased prices as British suppliers outbid one another in order to get enough for their needs. The dozens of companies involved, all with shareholders, managers and employees to be paid, inevitably increase costs when compared with the state-run enterprises that successfully ran the businesses for decades.

At the same time, alternative energy supplies are very limited, while the bulk of the costs of energy delivery to consumers are fixed, so the role of competition is almost non-existent: companies can cut back on maintenance, a possible factor in the recent power failures, or staff wages, but not much else.

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UK should cut vehicle use to hit zero-carbon target, say MPs
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 05:00:59 GMT

Scathing report says Tory governments have held back progress on clean energy goals

The government should discourage personal vehicle use and reward energy-efficient homebuilding to meet its legally binding target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, MPs have said

In a scathing parliamentary report, the cross-party science and technology select committee said recent Conservative governments have promised more but done less on the climate crisis, which has left several gaping policy holes that need to be filled.

Related: The nine green policies killed off by the Tory government

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Oil Market Report: Economic woes hold sway over geopolitics
Fri, 09 Aug 2019 09:29:00 GMT
Brent prices have eased back from the most recent high
Three priorities for energy technology innovation partnerships
Thu, 01 Aug 2019 16:15:00 GMT
International collaboration can help governments maximise the impact of innovation efforts and accelerate clean energy transitions
President of Georgia joins Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency
Mon, 29 Jul 2019 10:30:00 GMT
President Salomé Zourabichvili is newest member of panel that includes ministers, business executives and thought leaders
Not so smart: bad meter installations leave customers in debt and in the dark
Sun, 28 Jul 2019 07:00:09 GMT

Consumers are left footing the bill when a much-vaunted new technology goes wrong

Valerie Cooper has always budgeted carefully in order to pay her utility bills on time. Now she faces cancelling a holiday to celebrate her husband’s 70th birthday after her supplier, Shell, turned her £1,450 credit into £666 arrears overnight. The cause was the botched installation of a smart meter which was supposed to save her money.

“An engineer came in October 2017 and by 8pm he was still having problems trying to get the new meter to pick signals up,” she says. “He took it out and put our old meter back in and returned next morning. The smart meter still didn’t work so he fitted another one – which already had a reading on it.”

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Letters: don’t recycle plastic – burn it | Letters
Sun, 28 Jul 2019 04:59:03 GMT
Trying to reuse plastic is hopelessly inefficient

We have been going the wrong way with plastics for the last 30 or more years (“Waste no more? Plan to turn plastic into fuel for homes”, News). The effort of collecting, transporting and cleaning them for possible recycling has largely failed, created much more pollution and contributed massively to climate change. The idea of burning plastics and using the energy to heat our homes was proposed by the plastics company Dow more than 30 years ago: it suggested treating all plastics as “borrowed oil”. At that time, ordinary domestic waste had a calorific value of low-grade coal, so the suggestion was that this waste should be burned in efficient plants with heat recovery and treatment of the gases produced, perhaps even trapping the carbon dioxide produced, rather than trying to recycle the complex (and dirty) mix of plastics.

Today, with higher use of more complex plastics, this makes even more sense. Mixed plastics cannot really be recycled: they are long-chain molecules, like spaghetti, so if you reheat and reprocess them, you inevitably end up with something of lower performance; it’s called down-cycling. Newsprint is what happens when you recycle paper: low strength is inevitable. Of course, this idea doesn’t deal with all the plastic already in our environment, even in our purified drinking water. Quite simply, this cannot be removed and, apart from some distressing images of trapped animals, seems to be causing little impact on human or animal life.

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State aid: Commission approves support for six offshore wind farms in France
Fri, 26 Jul 2019 10:08:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 26 July 2019 The European Commission has found support to six large offshore wind farms in French territorial waters to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measures will help France reduce CO2 emissions, in line with EU energy and climate goals,...
Commission refers Italy to the Court for failure to transpose EU rules on protection against radiation
Thu, 25 Jul 2019 10:11:00 GMT
European - Press release Commission Brussels, 25 July 2019 Today, the Commission has decided to refer Italy to the Court of Justice of the EU due to its failure to transpose the revised basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation (Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom).
Energy: Commission refers Belgium to the Court for failing to comply with EU rules on electricity and gas markets
Thu, 25 Jul 2019 10:11:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 25 July 2019 Today, the European Commission has decided to refer Belgium to the Court of Justice of the EU for failure to ensure the correct implementation of EU electricity market rules (Electricity Directive, Directive 2009/72/EC) and of the EU gas market rules (Gas...
A million homes lined up for energy bill cuts
Tue, 23 Jul 2019 17:53:58 GMT

Ministers admit much more needs to be done to reach fuel poverty targets

One million more homes in England could be in line for help to cut their energy bills under the government’s latest strategy to tackle fuel poverty.

Ministers plan to change the way the government calculates whether a household is fuel poor, after admitting that much more needs to be done to reach its own fuel poverty targets.

Related: UK energy-saving efforts collapse after government subsidy cuts

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How melting plastic waste could heat homes
Sat, 20 Jul 2019 16:53:00 GMT
Breakthrough means less pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions

It is a problem bedevilling households across the UK: what can we do with the mountains of food-spattered plastic waste left in our bins?

Now a group of scientists say they have the answer – by using the detritus of domestic life to heat homes.

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Weatherwatch: harnessing heat to save for colder days
Fri, 19 Jul 2019 20:30:05 GMT

Scientists have designed a molecule that can capture the sun’s heat as it falls on glass windows during the day and release it at night – or store it up for winter

The ability to collect heat from the sun as it hits glass windows during the day, and release it at night when it gets cold, sounds a brilliant idea to combat global heating. It would be still better if heat could be stored until the following winter and used to warm homes and offices.

A team of scientists has designed a molecule than can do both those things. It is made of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen and when hit by sunlight re-forms into a different molecule that stores the energy to be released later.

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UK energy-saving efforts collapse after government subsidy cuts
Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:16:01 GMT

Only 10,000 upgrades such as loft insulation happen each month compared with 65,000 in 2014, report shows

Efforts to end fuel poverty and energy waste by making the UK’s draughty homes more efficient have collapsed by almost 85%, according to new government data.

The report, published on Thursday, shows that the number of energy efficiency upgrades undertaken each month has fallen to 10,000 on average for the six months to the end of May. This compares with an average of 65,000 a month in 2014.

Related: I've seen the future and it's Norwich: the energy-saving, social housing revolution

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I've seen the future and it's Norwich: the energy-saving, social housing revolution
Tue, 16 Jul 2019 16:30:16 GMT

The 100 homes on Goldsmith Street aren’t just smart and modern. They may be the most energy-efficient houses ever built in the UK. Could this be the start of proper social housing?

Rows of glossy black tiles glisten in the afternoon sun, dripping down the facades like a neatly controlled oil slick. They cap a long row of milky brick houses, whose walls curve gently around the corners at the end of the street, dissolving into perforated brick balustrades, marking the presence of hidden rooftop patios. A planted alley runs between the backs of the terraced houses, dotted with communal tables and benches, where neighbours are sitting down to an outdoor meal.

This is Goldsmith Street, a new development of around 100 homes, built by Norwich city council, without a profit-hungry developer in sight. They are not homes that fit into the murky class of “affordable”, or the multitude of “intermediate” tenures. This is proper social housing, rented from the council with secure tenancies at fixed rents. Not only that, it is some of the most energy-efficient housing ever built in the UK, meeting the exacting German Passivhaus standards – which translates into a 70% reduction in fuel bills for tenants. It might not look groundbreaking, but this little neighbourhood represents something quietly miraculous. And it almost didn’t happen.

Related: Council housing: it's back, it's booming – and this time it's beautiful

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Commissioner Cañete at the conference on cyber security in the energy sector
Tue, 09 Jul 2019 09:57:00 GMT
European Commission - Speech [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 9 July 2019 Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,   The energy system is one of the most complex and largest infrastructures in Europe. It is also one of the most critical assets for a modern society and as such the backbone for...
Member States' compliance with EU law in 2018: efforts are paying off, but improvements still needed
Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:09:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 4 July 2019 Today's Annual report on Monitoring the Application of EU law sets out how the Commission monitored and enforced EU law in 2018. The online Single Market Scoreboard, also published today, evaluates the performance of EU/EEA countries in the EU single market...
Feed your dog insects and microwave your dinner: a 24-hour guide to going green
Mon, 01 Jul 2019 06:00:45 GMT

From borrowing clothes to switching search engines, there are ways to boost your environmental credentials throughout the day

Britons use 840bn litres of water a year showering, with some power showers using up to 15 litres a minute. Aerator shower heads, such as Lowenergie’s (£12.99), save water by acting as a sieve, reducing space for the water to flow through while maintaining water pressure.

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Under new rules for selling solar power, is it still worth it?
Sun, 30 Jun 2019 07:00:11 GMT

With a big outlay and a six-month wait before the launch, do you invest now, wait or skip it?

Householders keen to install solar panels are weighing up their options after the government unveiled new plans for the way people will be paid for supplying renewable energy. The scheme, which will be launched in January next year, works in a different way to its predecessor – and is likely be less lucrative. With solar photovoltaic (PV) panels – the most popular domestic option – costing between £5,000 to £8,000, and six months before the new scheme is up and running, should consumers buy now, wait or skip it?

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Brexit is political poison, and it’s green policies that are suffering | Molly Scott Cato
Wed, 26 Jun 2019 08:00:12 GMT
The spat over VAT on solar batteries shows how Brussels-bashing is taking precedence over urgent social priorities

• Molly Scott Cato is a Green MEP

As pro-European MEPs we grow weary of the government claiming credit for European achievements while blaming Brussels for its own inaction or mismanagement. The capping of credit card charges is a sterling example. We battled for this in the European parliament while our government tried to block the move in the European council. Once passed, and finding that customers rather liked the idea of lower bills, ministers claimed the credit, suggesting that “rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain”.

Conversely, finger wagging at Brussels to deflect from British government failure is a well-rehearsed strategy. The latest blame game is about household solar batteries, which HMRC claims must be subject to the higher rate of VAT because of EU state aid rules. So let’s firmly hit the off switch on the misinformation being peddled on this issue and get to the truth of the matter.

Related: HMRC pushes steep VAT increase for new solar-battery systems

Related: Two-thirds of Britons agree planet is in a climate emergency

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Energy security: The synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity networks - European solidarity in action
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 14:10:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 20 June 2019 On Thursday, President Jean-Claude Juncker signed, accompanied by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, the political Roadmap implementing the synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity networks with the Continental European Network via Poland together with Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Lithuania, Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister...
Vice-President Šefčovič speech at the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Commission's long-term vision for a carbon neutral European economy by 2050
Thu, 20 Jun 2019 08:35:00 GMT
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 20 June 2019 President Jahier, Distinguished Members, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to join you here at the Economic and Social Committee Plenary session the last one before the end of this legislative mandate to discuss the Commission's Strategy for...
Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 10:06:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 18 June 2019 The Commission has today published its assessment of Member States' draft plans to implement the EU's Energy Union objectives, and in particular the agreed EU 2030 energy and climate targets.
Philip Hammond won’t tackle the climate crisis. But a Green New Deal would | Molly Scott Cato
Thu, 06 Jun 2019 16:51:08 GMT

The chancellor says we can’t afford to save ourselves. Let’s leave such absurd thinking behind – and invest in green policies

• Molly Scott Cato is the Green MEP for the South West of England

I’m surprised I can still be shocked at the incompetence and shortsightedness of this government. But then along comes the chancellor, Philip Hammond, expressing his inane and irresponsible view that we can’t afford to tackle the climate crisis. He has warned that Theresa May’s distant target of 2050 to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions will cost the UK over £1tn and starve schools, police and hospitals of funds, while making the UK “economically uncompetitive”.

I’m inclined to respond: it’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the science; it’s literally a matter of life and death. This is a planetary emergency which requires us to look well beyond the business-as-usual approach of the past 100 years – and think outside of the box.

Related: The Guardian view on a Green New Deal: we need it now | Editorial

Related: The climate crisis is our third world war. It needs a bold response | Joseph Stiglitz

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How you and your government can tackle air pollution
Fri, 17 May 2019 08:46:07 GMT

From walking more to reducing waste, here’s what you can do to make a difference

Most air pollution is produced by the burning of fossil fuels and waste, and this is the focus of the World Health Organization’s global recommendations:

Related: Air pollution may be damaging 'every organ and cell in the body', finds global review

Moving from coal and gas power stations and diesel generators to solar, wind and hydropower

Prioritise walking, cycling and public transport over cars in urban areas and shift to electric cars

Improve the energy efficiency of homes to reduce heating needs and avoid coal and wood burning inside

Promoting waste reduction and use incineration only when unavoidable and when emissions controls are in place

Reduce the burning of stubble in fields upwind of cities

Create green spaces in cities to help remove some pollutants

Retrofitting of buses, heavy goods vehicles and black cabs, which is the next most effective option

Scrappage schemes for older, polluting vehicles and subsidies for electric vehicles can also help reduce pollution, although ministers have cut the latter

Policies such as cutting speed limits on polluted motorway sections, labelling pollution levels clearly on new cars and training people to drive more cleanly all had minimal impact

Avoid spending long periods of time in places where pollution builds up, such as busy roads

If you travel on foot or a bike, using backstreet routes away from congested roads can cut exposure by half. Even on busy streets, cyclists experience less pollution than drivers

Some scientists recommend parents use covers on their buggies to protect infants

Go to work earlier, before the rush hour has begun and levels of pollution have built up

When air pollution is high and if you have lung condition such as asthma, reduce or avoid strenuous outdoor exercise, or do your exercise inside

There is very little evidence to recommend the use of face masks, according to the BLF

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Labour to end energy consumer 'rip-off' and renationalise network
Wed, 15 May 2019 21:35:49 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn and Rebecca Long-Bailey will say heat and electricity are a human right

Labour will announce plans on Thursday to seize back control of Britain’s energy network from private shareholders in an effort to fight climate change and end fuel poverty.

Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, are expected to say that heat and electricity should be a human right for all and nationalisation of the network is key to decarbonising the economy.

Related: We can undo privatisation. And it won’t cost us a penny | Will Hutton

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Britain passes one week without coal power for first time since 1882
Wed, 08 May 2019 13:05:51 GMT

Landmark follows government pledge to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2025

Britain has gone a week without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since Queen Victoria was on the throne, in a landmark moment in the transition away from the heavily polluting fuel.

The last coal generator came off the system at 1.24pm on 1 May, meaning the UK reached a week without coal at 1.24pm on Wednesday, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator, which runs the network in England, Scotland and Wales.

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