RSS News from Europa.eu, IEA, Theguardian
More people have access to electricity than ever before, but the world is falling short of its sustainable energy goals
Wed, 22 May 2019 06:01:00 GMT
Stepped-up efforts are required to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy
IEA holds Energy Efficiency Training Week in Paris
Mon, 20 May 2019 15:25:00 GMT
Participants from 40 countries take courses aimed at strengthening knowledge and networks
Executive Director makes official visit to China
Fri, 17 May 2019 16:16:00 GMT
Dr Fatih Birol meets with Energy and Science Ministers and launches new report on China’s gas market
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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Oil Market Report: Markets remaining calm
Wed, 15 May 2019 09:43:00 GMT
Despite the difficult geopolitical backdrop and other supply problems, headline oil prices are little changed from a month ago
Speech by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in the context of the opening of LNG export terminal in Hackberry, Louisiana, United States
Wed, 15 May 2019 07:43:00 GMT
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 15 May 2019 Mr President, Governor, Senators, Ambassador Sondland, Distinguished guests!   Thank you very much for inviting me today to celebrate the construction of the first train here at the Cameron LNG export facility.
Global energy investment stabilised above USD 1.8 trillion in 2018, but security and sustainability concerns are growing
Tue, 14 May 2019 01:00:00 GMT
Spending in the US grew the most thanks to shale and power grids while China remains the largest investment destination
IEA holds high-level workshop on outlook for offshore wind energy
Mon, 13 May 2019 12:36:00 GMT
Participants from Europe, the US, Japan, China and elsewhere discuss future development plans
State aid: Commission approves provisional measure ensuring security of local electricity supply in Slovakia
Fri, 10 May 2019 09:45:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 10 May 2019 The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules the compensation granted by Slovakia to electric utility company Slovenské Elektrárne a.s. for temporarily supplying a mandatory quantity of electricity from indigenous fuel sources into the Bystričany electricity system node in...
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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International Energy Agency publishes new review of Morocco’s energy policies
Tue, 07 May 2019 11:43:00 GMT
Report welcomes country’s reforms to foster sustainable energy sector
Renewable capacity growth worldwide stalled in 2018 after two decades of strong expansion
Mon, 06 May 2019 10:12:00 GMT
Unexpected break in the trend raises concerns about reaching long-term climate goals, according to IEA
Discours du Vice-Président Maroš Šefčovič à la conférence de presse conjointe avec Peter Altmaier et Bruno Lemaire à la suite de la réunion de l'European Battery Alliance
Thu, 02 May 2019 10:30:00 GMT
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Paris, 2 May 2019 Cher Ministre Le Maire, cher Ministre Altmaier, mes chers collègues, Je voudrais féliciter la France et l'Allemagne, pour leur leadership, dans cette filière stratégique européenne de la batterie.  Stratégique pour l'avenir de notre mobilité propre; stratégique pour accélérer la transition écologique (la montée en puissance des renouvelables) ; et...
U.S. liquefied natural gas exports up by 272% as EU and U.S. host High-Level Business-to-Business Energy Forum
Thu, 02 May 2019 08:32:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 2 May 2019 U.S. liquefied natural gas exports up by 272% as EU and U.S. host High-Level Business-to-Business Energy Forum. In their Joint Statement of 25 July 2018 in Washington D.C., President Juncker and President Trump agreed to strengthen EU-U.S.
Executive Director on official visit to the Czech Republic
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 14:51:00 GMT
Meets with Prime Minister Babiš and speaks at European Nuclear Energy Forum
Statement by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on the third political meeting under the European Battery Alliance
Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:50:00 GMT
European Commission - Statement Brussels, 30 April 2019 Today we held our third political meeting under the European Battery Alliance in less than 18 months. Respective ministers were very clear about their resolve to prioritise the establishment of a strategic battery value chain in Europe –and therefore to...
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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New IEA report provides practical roadmap to address Iraq’s current electricity shortfall and future energy needs
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 00:45:00 GMT
Executive Director presents recommendations to President, Prime Minister and Ministers of Oil and Electricity
Key Gas Trends 2018
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 13:30:00 GMT
In 2018, the OECD natural gas production increased by 7.4% compared to 2017 and reached a record total production of over 130 bcm in December 2018
The clean hydrogen future has already begun
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 13:36:00 GMT
There is a growing international consensus that clean hydrogen will play a key role in the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future.
IEA statement on global oil markets
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:37:00 GMT
The IEA will continue to monitor the oil market closely
State aid: Commission approves €385 million support for production of electricity from renewable sources in Lithuania*
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 09:45:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 23 April 2019 The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a scheme to support electricity production from renewable energy sources in Lithuania. The measure, open to all types of renewable generation, will contribute to the EU environmental objectives without unduly distorting...
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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Key Oil Trends 2018
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 13:30:00 GMT
Total OECD annual oil production increased by 10.3% in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching a record total monthly production of over 100 million tons
IEA hosts high-level meeting on Africa’s energy outlook
Thu, 18 Apr 2019 08:57:00 GMT
Day-long workshop discussed ways to promote greater energy development across the African continent
State aid: Commission approves €5 billion Polish support for cogenerated electricity and surcharge reductions for large energy consumers; opens in-depth investigation into reductions in capacity mechanism surcharge
Mon, 15 Apr 2019 09:46:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 15 April 2019 The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules (1) a Polish scheme to support high-efficiency cogeneration and (2) reduced surcharges to finance the scheme for energy-intensive users.
Speaking Points Press conference on the State of the Energy Union
Tue, 09 Apr 2019 11:07:00 GMT
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery] Brussels, 9 April 2019 Speech by Vice-President  Šefčovič, in charge of Energy Union, in Brussels   ·      I am proud to stand here today, to present this package with one simple message – the Energy Union has become reality.
The Energy Union: from vision to reality
Tue, 09 Apr 2019 10:44:00 GMT
European Commission - Press release Brussels, 9 April 2019 The fourth report on the State of the Energy Union, adopted today, shows that the Commission has fully delivered on its vision of an Energy Union strategy guaranteeing accessible, affordable, secure, competitive and sustainable energy for all Europeans.
The state of the Energy Union explained
Tue, 09 Apr 2019 10:44:00 GMT
European Commission - Fact Sheet Brussels, 9 April 2019 . What does today's package include? Today, the Commission publishes the fourth State of the Energy Union report. The State of the Energy Union Report is an important tool to highlight and monitor the implementation of this key priority of the...
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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What is the energy price cap and how does it work?
Wed, 02 Jan 2019 08:50:56 GMT

The government’s price cap on standard rate energy bills comes into effect today

It’s a cap on the price that individuals pay for energy if they are on a “standard variable” energy tariff or a tariff they haven’t chosen – known as a “default tariff”. These are the most basic packages offered by energy companies, and tend to apply if you haven’t shopped around for a better deal.

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AI and drones turn an eye towards UK's energy infrastructure
Sun, 02 Dec 2018 14:05:21 GMT

National Grid using artificial intelligence to check drone footage of 7,000 miles of wires and pylons

National Grid has turned to artificial intelligence to help it maintain the wires and pylons that transmit electricity from power stations to homes and businesses across the UK.

The firm has been using six drones for the past two years to help inspect its 7,200 miles of overhead lines around England and Wales.

Artificial Intelligence has various definitions, but in general it means a program that uses data to build a model of some aspect of the world. This model is then used to make informed decisions and predictions about future events. The technology is used widely, to provide speech and face recognition, language translation, and personal recommendations on music, film and shopping sites. In the future, it could deliver driverless cars, smart personal assistants, and intelligent energy grids. AI has the potential to make organisations more effective and efficient, but the technology raises serious issues of ethics, governance, privacy and law.

Related: Artificial intelligence will be net UK jobs creator, finds report

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Smart meters rollout labelled a 'fiasco' as consumers face extra £500m bill
Fri, 23 Nov 2018 00:01:07 GMT

National Audit Office says that with 39m meters still to be replaced, government has no chance of hitting 2020 deadline

Consumers face paying half a billion pounds more than expected for the rollout of smart meters and the programme has no chance of hitting its deadline, the UK’s spending watchdog has warned.

The National Audit Office said that with 39m old-fashioned meters yet to be replaced, there is “no realistic prospect” of meeting a goal of all homes and businesses being offered one by the end of 2020 as planned.

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Smart meter installations 'need to hit 30 a minute'
Mon, 19 Nov 2018 06:00:21 GMT

Energy firms set to miss government deadline for rollout

Energy suppliers need to triple smart meter installation rates to complete a national rollout by 2020, according to the consumer champion Which?

Large suppliers would have to install 30 meters every minute, every day, for the next two years, to meet the government deadline.

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Weatherwatch: tension mounts over solar energy 'betrayal'
Mon, 12 Nov 2018 21:30:24 GMT

From April, the government may no longer pay for surplus electricity households produce

For five years, the output of the solar panels on my roof has declined steadily. In 2018, however, it has already passed record levels in mid-November. In May, June and July, output was 50% above average; September and October were also good.

This demonstrates the quixotic nature of British weather – but also the benefits of the flexibility of the government scheme that pays homeowners for the surplus electricity they produce.

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Drilling starts to tap geothermal power from Cornwall's hot rocks
Tue, 06 Nov 2018 17:28:43 GMT

Boreholes near Redruth would be UK’s deepest and could kickstart zero-carbon power source across country

A trailblazing energy project has started drilling the UK’s deepest ever borehole in Cornwall in a bid to use heat from hot rocks as a zero-carbon source of electricity.

The team behind the £18m scheme hopes to create the UK’s first deep geothermal power station and ignite a renewed interest in the technology’s wider potential.

Related: UK renewable energy capacity surpasses fossil fuels for first time

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People burning wet wood on inefficient stoves 'poisoning themselves'
Thu, 11 Oct 2018 05:14:32 GMT

Study highlights ‘shocking contribution’ of domestic wood and coal fires to air pollution, which causes 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK

People burning wet wood on inefficient stoves are poisoning themselves and their neighbours, according to a new report from a leading thinktank.

The IPPR study highlights the “shocking contribution” domestic wood and coal fires make to the UK’s air pollution crisis, which causes 40,000 early deaths a year and devastating health problems for hundreds of thousands of others.

Related: Invisible killer: how one girl's tragic death could change the air pollution story

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The need to invest in renewables | Letters
Tue, 09 Oct 2018 17:24:35 GMT

Feed-in tariff subsidies must not be abandoned, writes Sandra Walmsley, while Gaynor Adey says the UK government should look again at the Swansea Bay tidal project

Nicholas Stern suggests that strong political will is needed if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change (All leaders must recognise the choice: act decisively now or suffer the consequences later, Analysis, 8 October). Unfortunately, there no evidence of such will, and the rollercoaster of policy for renewables means that potentially thriving industries have faced uncertainty.

82% of UK citizens support renewables, yet the management of subsidies has already reduced the number of registered PV installers by more than 60%. Current proposals on abandoning feed-in tariff (FiT) subsidies will cause even more job and skills losses. Maintaining the current export tariff on FiTs is essential. Proposals for all suitable new buildings to have renewable energy systems would have a major effect on carbon emissions for a very small proportion of the costs.

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