RSS News from Europa.eu, IEA, Theguardian
IEA closely monitoring Strait of Hormuz situation, stands ready to act if needed
Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:22:00 GMT
The right of free energy transit is critical to the global economy and must be maintained
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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IEA launches new tool for tracking oil and gas-related methane emissions worldwide
Tue, 16 Jul 2019 12:42:00 GMT
'Methane tracker' released alongside report highlighting opportunities and limits for gas to support energy transitions
Energy Market Authority of Singapore and the IEA co-host first ever Regional Training Programme on Green Buildings
Tue, 16 Jul 2019 10:32:00 GMT
More than 100 participants from 15 countries convened in Singapore to discuss a path towards a low-emission, efficient and resilient buildings and construction sector
IEA hosts high-level meeting on technologies for a clean energy future
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 10:37:00 GMT
US Deputy Energy Secretary, EDF CEO and EU Energy Director-General discuss hydrogen and nuclear power with IEA leaders
Oil Market Report: Re-balancing slows down
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 09:30:00 GMT
Market tightness is not an issue for the time being and any re-balancing seems to have moved further into the future
Global patent applications for climate change mitigation technologies – a key measure of innovation – are trending down
Thu, 11 Jul 2019 10:02:00 GMT
One of the key measures of innovation in climate change mitigation is showing worrying trends, according to new evidence from the IEA and the OECD
The who and how of power system flexibility
Wed, 10 Jul 2019 11:59:00 GMT
Regulatory innovation and international cooperation are practical steps towards an energy transition
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...
IEA unveils global high-level commission for urgent action on energy efficiency
Tue, 09 Jul 2019 09:53:00 GMT
Headed by Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, panel brings together global political, business and thought leaders to recommend stronger policy actions
Carbon market negotiations under the Paris Agreement
Fri, 05 Jul 2019 20:04:00 GMT
IEA contributed to recent global climate change conference in Bonn ahead of next COP25, in Chile
Bitcoin energy use - mined the gap
Fri, 05 Jul 2019 11:35:00 GMT
Of all the potential implications of blockchain for the energy sector, the energy use of cryptocurrencies – and bitcoin in particular – has captured the most interest
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...
Addressing the diversity challenge in energy sector recruitment
Mon, 01 Jul 2019 15:52:00 GMT
barriers faced by women in conventional sectors, such as oil and gas, can persist in their emerging counterparts, such as clean energy
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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Three reasons why the IEA report on hydrogen is a game-changer
Tue, 25 Jun 2019 15:33:00 GMT
Policy makers should be ready to start putting hydrogen plans into action.
IEA holds largest ever energy efficiency conference and launches new global commission for urgent action
Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:36:00 GMT
Government ministers, CEOs and over 400 energy efficiency leaders from around the world attend Dublin event
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...
IEA Technology Collaboration Programme holds its third universal meeting
Wed, 19 Jun 2019 17:09:00 GMT
Innovators and strategic thinkers from around the world discuss key trends in energy technology and research
Speech by Vice-President Šefčovič at the CEPS 2019 Low-Carbon Economy Forum on Industrial Implications of EU and Global Climate change policy
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 14:31:00 GMT
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Speech Brussels, 18 June 2019 I am delighted to open the CEPS Low Carbon Economy Forum for 2019. I recall that I was very proud to open the CEPS Energy Climate House at the start of the mandate, back in 2015.
Press remarks by Commissioner Arias Cañete on the National Energy and Climate plans covering the period 2010-2030
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 10:13:00 GMT
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 18 June 2019 * check againts delivery *   Today marks an important stage in EU climate and energy policy and one which I as Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action am particularly happy about.
Questions and answers: National energy and climate plans explained
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 10:07:00 GMT
European Commission - Fact Sheet Brussels, 18 June 2019 What are the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs)? The National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) are the first ever integrated mid-term planning tools that Member States are required to prepare in view of the implementation of the Energy Union objectives,...
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.
Press remarks by Vice-President Šefčovič on the National Energy and Climate plans covering the period 2010-2030
Tue, 18 Jun 2019 10:04:00 GMT
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 18 June 2019 * check against delivery *   I often say that the Energy Union cannot be built in Brussels. We need our Member States to be co-pilots. And the National Energy and Climate Plans are the best way to facilitate this broad, on-the-ground...
IEA takes part in G20 Energy and Environment Ministerial in Japan
Sun, 16 Jun 2019 09:47:00 GMT
Contributions include major report on hydrogen as well as work on innovation gaps and investment in low-carbon power
State aid: Commission approves introduction of stringent emission limits in Italian capacity mechanism
Fri, 14 Jun 2019 09:45:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 14 June 2019 The European Commission has approved under State aid rules the introduction of stringent CO2 emission limits in the Italian capacity mechanism. The measure will contribute to ensuring security of supply and increase the level of environmental protection without unduly distorting competition...
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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Green gas and the question of digestion | Letters
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 16:57:42 GMT
Simon Richards says the science behind green gas manufacture is straightforward, we just need a government with guts. ffinlo Costain thinks energy companies should be more upfront

Your article (Energy: 1m British homes are now using green gas, 27 April) was great to read. Much is written about renewable electricity, but the truth is that the average British household consumes four kilowatt hours of gas for every one of electricity. Decarbonising our gas supply is evidently relatively difficult compared with electricity.

In the last quarter of 2018, just over half of UK electricity was derived from fossil fuels, compared with, despite the progress outlined in the article, roughly 99% for gas. Unlike our electricity grid, our gas network has a staggering capacity for storage, and the science behind green gas (biomethane) manufacture is straightforward. We just need a government with guts.
Simon Richards
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

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Slow burn? The long road to a zero-emissions UK
Sun, 21 Apr 2019 06:00:44 GMT
Extinction Rebellion protesters want a carbon-free UK by 2025. But can the financial and political hurdles be overcome?

It is the near future. You wake in a house warmed by a heat pump that extracts energy from deep below the ground and delivers it to your home. (Your gas boiler was outlawed years ago.) You rise and make yourself a cup of tea – from water boiled on a hydrogen-burning kitchen stove. Then you head to work – in a robot-driven electric car directed by central control network to avoid traffic jams.

At midday, you pause for lunch: a sandwich made of meat grown in a laboratory. At the end of the day, you are taken home by a robot car – through countryside festooned with solar panels and turbines.

Related: A zero-emissions UK is a huge task. But the benefits will also be huge

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Scientists invent 'transparent wood' in search for eco-friendly building material
Wed, 03 Apr 2019 09:00:38 GMT

New material could replace plastic or glass in construction of energy-efficient homes

In an era of glass and steel construction, wood may seem old-school. But now researchers say they have given timber a makeover to produce a material that is not only sturdy, but also transparent and able to store and release heat.

The researchers say the material could be used in the construction of energy-efficient homes, and that they hope to develop a biodegradable version to increase its eco-friendly credentials as an alternative to plastic, glass or even cement.

Related: What's the carbon footprint of ... a house

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Don't know how to save the planet? This is what you can do
Mon, 25 Mar 2019 06:00:14 GMT

Should we become vegetarians? Is it OK to fly? The author of There Is No Planet B, A Handbook for the Make or Break Years, answers the big questions

Our food makes up something like a quarter of our greenhouse gas footprint, and at the same time as cutting this we need to feed a growing population better than we are doing now, while rescuing our haemorrhaging biodiversity and avoiding an antibiotics crisis. There is no escaping the clear evidence that humans need to reduce their meat – especially beef and lamb – as well as dairy consumption. When we feed a soya bean to a cow, we get back only about 10% of the nutrition in beef, and it comes with a hefty dose of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) and very likely some deforestation.

Mike Berners-Lee is the author of There is No Planet B. He is a professor at Lancaster University and the director of Small World Consulting.

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Low-carbon heating to replace gas in new UK homes after 2025
Wed, 13 Mar 2019 17:36:43 GMT

Environmental groups say chancellor’s climate change pledges do not go far enough

Gas boilers will be replaced by low-carbon heating systems in all new homes built after 2025 in an attempt to tackle the escalating climate crisis, Philip Hammond has said.

In his spring statement, the chancellor said new properties would use alternative systems, such as heat pumps, to help the UK reduce its carbon emissions.

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Gas strategy in the UK is wrongheaded | Letters
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 18:15:29 GMT
It is no surprise that the government’s strategy on fracking has been deemed unlawful, write Robin Russell-Jones and Geraint Davies. Carbon emissions will be even lower if the gas boiler is run on hydrogen gas, writes Carl Arntzen. And Stephen Martin and Stephen Sterling say wealth redistribution is needed to reduce global warming

It is no surprise that the government’s strategy on fracking has been deemed unlawful (Fracking guidance illegally ignores climate change, 7 March). Gas may be more fuel efficient than coal when burnt, but shale gas is 95% methane, and methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. According to the IPCC it has a global warming potential (GWP) 85 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe. Misleadingly, HMG have relied on an obsolete figure of 36 for the GWP of methane, dating back to 2013.

Methane levels plateaued in the late 1990s, but have started to increase again over the past decade and have now reached 1,900 parts per billion, against a pre-industrial level of 700. Fracking is the obvious culprit. Satellite data over the US has shown that methane leakage exceeds 5% of shale gas production, an observation that fits with more recent studies by Nasa showing that fossil fuels are the major contributor to the continuing rise in atmospheric methane.

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MPs turn heat on ministers amid boiler installation slowdown
Thu, 21 Feb 2019 12:57:57 GMT

Critics warn of ‘chronic public health crisis’ as green initiative leaves homes in the cold

Campaigners and MPs have accused ministers of leaving vulnerable households in the cold, as new figures showed installations of insulation and boilers have sunk to their lowest levels since the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme started six years ago.

Delays to legislation were blamed by fuel poverty campaigners for the fall, which coincided with households being hit by energy price hikes.

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Let’s make 2019 the year of a green new deal | Letters
Thu, 03 Jan 2019 18:09:21 GMT
Richard Murphy and Colin Hines suggest a number of ways that revenue could be raised to fund energy efficiency in all buildings, renewables and local transport systems

The counter to Larry Elliott’s gloomy economic projections for 2019 (For those inclined to pessimism, the new year offers plenty to be worried about, 31 December) is to be found in his earlier article making the case for countries to put their economies on an “environmental war footing” (We’re back to 1930s politics: anger and, yes, appeasement, 20 December).

To deliver this will, however, require that people be convinced that they will benefit and that there is the money to pay for such a transformation.

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UK power stations' electricity output lowest since 1994
Thu, 03 Jan 2019 00:01:06 GMT

Energy efficiency and changing economy cut generation by 1% in 2018 as renewables supplied 33% of electricity

The output of British power stations fell this year to levels last seen almost a quarter of a century ago, while renewables achieved a record share of the UK electricity supply.

Electricity generation in 2018 was the lowest since 1994, when Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour party.

Related: New offshore windfarms push UK renewables to record

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