Barack Obama will take what has been described as ‘the biggest step to tackling climate change’ when he announces his revised Clean Power Plan. President Obama has been very vocal throughout his two terms in office about the effects of climate change, and has recently been quoted saying ‘climate change is not a problem for another generation, not any more.’
Glasgow Airport has announced that it has saved £11,000 on its energy usage by implamenting energy management measures. The measures included switching to energy efficient vending machines and LED lighting throughout the site. Almost 600 staff were also trained in energy efficiency, which will help to keep day to day energy waste costs at a minimum.
Centrica has stated that it will be cutting 6,000 jobs after the British Gas side of the company had reported a doubling of its profits for the first part of the year. The majority of the job losses will effect the UK and Centrica is hoping that the majority of the job losses will be through redundancies.
The profits of British Gas have risen from 265 million to £528 million from this point last year, and Centrica has promised to create more jobs in other areas of their business to compensate for the 6,000 they will be cutting.
There has been a huge push by the industry to raise awareness of ESOS through articles, webinars, seminars and workshops, yet there are still some companies that have not started to act on ESOS yet. With the December the 5th deadline now fast approaching, you would think that the majority of companies that must comply, would have at least started to gather the information required for the audit, however, this is not the case.
A gas discovery has been made in the North Sea in one of its most mature regions, by Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil and its partner Total E&P Norge. This comes on the same day that the UK authorities have granted 41 offshore exploration licences in a round of awards.
Critics have pointed out that the award to drill does not mean that the company’s will actually drill, however the opposing side state that the fact there is huge demand for the licences shows that the UK’s North Sea oil and gas industry are still attractive.
The London Mayor and Uxbridge MP Boris Johnson has announced his plans to make London the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) capitol of Europe. The plans include developing areas of certain boroughs where ULEV’s will be able to gain access to preferential parking and charges. It is believed that this will create an incentive for people to but the vehicles, with them being able to park closer to their destination for a cheaper price.
The Government has set out its plans to reduce business energy costs and residential energy costs. The plans centre around the scrapping of subsidies for solar and biomass generation, which has been highly criticised by environmental groups that claim it is a massive step backwards for the UK’s renewable energy industry.
Two primary schools from Lincolnshire have decided to opt for a four week summer holiday instead of a six week holiday. This is something that has been widely debated over the past 3 years, with some experts claiming that six weeks is to long of a break. Others argue that with the amount of information children are expected to digest through term time, they need a long break to allow their minds to rest and prepare for the following year, where the workload jumps up a level.
With Iranian nuclear talks finished and Iran about to make a return to the global oil market, many people are asking what sort of impact it will make on oil prices. Many people expect the increased supply will cause a decrease in price, however, the Russian Energy Minister disagrees. He believes it will not impact global oil prices at all, as the market has already adjusted to accommodate increased supply from Iran.
There has been calls for the EU to act upon its air pollution levels, which are reportedly responsible for 400,000 premature deaths each year. The environmental Members of the European Parliament have stated that a 70% reduction in air pollution could save anywhere up to £40 billion by 2030.
Boris Johnson the London Mayor has been urged to take action to lower the amount of pollution diesel cars are causing. This comes after the London Assembly, who scrutinise the mayors annual plans, stated that the air quality are among the worst in the EU.
The UK has already been warned this year by the European Supreme Court to reduce its levels of air pollution. Diesel vehicles are a major contributor to NO2 levels in the capital, with reports suggesting they make up 40% of the total NO2 levels.
The National Grid has taken steps towards securing Great Britain’s electricity supplies for this coming winter. The National Grid is the system operator which connects power plants to major substations and is responsible for ensuring that the electricity generated in Great Britain can be spread efficiently throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
According to the International Energy Agency there is currently a massive amount of oversupply in the market, which cannot possibly be absorbed. This will then push the oil price lower, possibly lower that what was seen in January when prices fell to their lowest for 5 years.
The oversupply is being generated by OPEC refusing to cut its supply in an attempt to gain extra market share. Another contributing factor has been the US shale oil boom, which has revolutionised the way the US drills for oil, allowing them to up their volume by a considerable amount.
The Government has said it will continue to support the North Sea oil and gas industry by establishing a governing body that will be in charge of regulation to help with recover and asset stewardship. The industry had begun to struggle when the oil prices had crashed towards the back end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, and has only recently started to recover. However, the Government do not believe the recovery is picking up enough pace, which is why they will create the Oil and Gas Authority.
Annual gas contracts fell in June after they had initially risen to 47.0p/th due to worries over a production cap in Groningen, which limited the supply. Groningen is Europe’s largest gas field and has imposed an output cap of 30bcm after an EU court ruling. However, this rise was then counter balanced by strong Russian and LNG supplies, eventually pushing down prices. The Greek crisis has also had an effect on gas prices, with the euro weakening against the pound, imports have been a lot cheaper.
It is expected that todays budget will announce huge cuts to green energy subsidies after key Conservatives called them ‘out of control’. The Department of Energy and Climate Change was ran by the Lib Dems over the past 5 years during the coalition government, which is what the out of control spending has been blamed on.
A stronger relationship with China must be a priority for the EU if it is to boost its funding in sustainability. The President of the European Committee of Regions stated that if Europe is to get the funding it requires to make urban areas more sustainable, it must look to China for investment.
The President reiterated claims he has already made that it is important for city pairing and partnerships between regions in energy efficiency. He believes that city’s and regions working together to meet energy efficiency targets works a lot better that city’s going it alone.
A recent government report has reviled that a fracking site within a mile of your home could reduce the value of your property. Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing is the process of using pressurised liquid to fracture the rocks deep beneath the ground, to allow any natural resources such as gas and oil to move more freely.
China will aim to reduce its carbon emissions by 65% by 2030 from the levels recorded in 2005, which has came as great news. This comes after a new worldwide carbon emission plan unveiled by the worlds largest greenhouse gas emitters.
Previously China had committed to cut emissions by 45% by 2020 from 2015 levels, so the news announced this week is continuing the trend of China reducing its carbon footprint.
The UK’s day-ahead prices fell this week due to much higher temperatures than seasonal norms, which increased the amount of electricity generated by solar power. This also caused a drop in peak power demand, which pushed prices even lower. The wholesale cost of electricity is now fast approaching the lows seen in January after a downward trend over the last couple of months.