Renewable Energy

Minister confirms European funding for Tees Valley

Minister confirms European funding for Tees ValleyCommunities Minister Baroness Hanham has announced £5.4 million of European investment to build state-of-the-art business facilities which will further development on Enterprise Zones.

Lady Hanham confirmed that the European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013 is investing £3.29 million in the HCA owned Darlington Business Growth Hub where work will start later this year.

The Baroness also announced that the European Regional Development Fund is investing £2.1 million in Boho 5, part of the DigitalCity initiative, that is expected to create at least 250 new jobs in 10 years.

The scheme is set to provide 2,322 sq m of high quality business accommodation targeted specifically at small and medium enterprises operating in digital and creative sectors.

Baroness Hanham said: “I am delighted to formally announce European Regional Development Fund investment for the Darlington Business Growth Hub and Boho 5, which will see the development of high quality premises enabling new and growing businesses to create jobs and wealth in Tees Valley.”

Darlington Business Growth Hub will comprise additional 3,200 m² of high quality Grade A office space for small and medium enterprises and is due to open January 2015.

The project will see the creation of at least 25 new businesses and 350 new jobs within the first 15 years of operation. The project is being managed by Darlington Borough Council with the Homes and Communities Agency providing the match funding.

David Curtis, Executive Director at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said:
“The confirmation that these schemes will receive European Funding means that the HCA will invest an additional £5million in creating jobs in the Tess Valley.”

“We will invest £3million in the Darlington Growth Hub to help create a purpose built facility that will help new businesses grow and supports local jobs. Our £2 million investment in Boho 5  is a key part  of our wider long term investment in Middlehaven to help create educational and employment opportunities for Middlesbrough”

The European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is bringing over £300 million into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support.  It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the productivity by £1.1bn per annum.

Government to promote offshore wind investment

Government to promote offshore wind investmentBusiness and Energy Minister Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.

The OWIO is expected to boost the UK offshore wind industry alongside Government support for three offshore wind innovation projects as well as pave the way for new employment opportunities in the trades.

Energy Minister, Michael Fallon said: “Offshore wind is a major success story for the UK, and we want to boost levels of inward investment. This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity.

“We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs.

“Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy.”

The OWIO is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a senior industry figure. The organisation will be a partnership between industry and Government, established by UK Trade & Investment, that will complement the work of DECC and BIS in delivering the Government-wide offshore investment objectives.

Michael Fallon also announced three innovation projects that Government will support as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme:

  • Power Cable Services Limited, based in Kent, have been awarded a £540,000 grant towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology project
  • Aquasium Technology Ltd with partners Burntisland Fabrications Ltd and TWI have been awarded a grant of £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.
  • Wind Technologies Ltd (Cambridge) have been awarded a £728,355 grant to design, manufacture and test an innovative 5MW medium speed drive train concept.

The Minister announced the support during his keynote speech to Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester today.

Industry delegates at the conference are also able to attend the first ‘Share Fair’ session enabling them to hear about investment opportunities from major players in the market. This addresses one of the priorities identified by the offshore wind industrial strategy partnership between Government and industry.

What is your reaction to the Government plans to boost levels of inward investment and create new jobs in the UK offshore wind industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Scottish energy industry gets £600m investment boost

Scottish energy industry gets £600m investment boost

Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission has awarded four contracts worth £600 million to build new electricity substations in the north of Scotland set to create new jobs and boost the trades.  

This multi-million development of the new substations are an integral part of SHE Transmission’s investment programme to heavily upgrade and reinforce the transmission network and will help facilitate the connection of more renewable generation in the north of Scotland.

Miller Quatro is a joint venture between Miller Construction and three Spanish companies, Sacyr Industrial, Isastur and Aditel known collectively as Quatro T & D.

Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to have secured a place on this substation delivery framework.  Miller Quatro is a new entrant to the market place and we are looking forward to working with our joint venture partners to contribute towards the delivery of infrastructure required to support the connection of renewables.”

Pedro Siguenza Hernandez Chief Executive Officer of Sacyr Industrial said: “This agreement provides a significant opportunity for the growth of our Miller Quatro joint venture. We are fully committed to contributing to our client’s successful development of this framework”.

Demand for connection to the transmission network from renewable developers has increased considerably, requiring significant change to its configuration and operation.

David Gardner, SSE’s Director of Transmission, said: “The award of these contracts, with some of the industry’s global experts will help deliver the infrastructure that is needed to support the connection of renewables, as well as providing a boost to the local communities where we are operating.”

What is your reaction to the new £600 million funding for Scotland that will kick-start the energy industry and boost the trades? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raise your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Time to seize the moment on offshore wind and the renewable industry

Investment in Scottish renewables to top £1 billion and support 11,000 jobs

Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has warned that the UK Government should allocate further investment to boost the electricity market and create thousands of offshore wind jobs.

A recent report by Cambridge Econometrics found that UK GDP will be £20bn or 0.8 per cent higher in 2030 if wind is deployed rather than gas, with 70,000 more jobs created – but that investors needed certainty if we are to secure these benefits.

Ahead of a debate on the Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Committee’s report on the achievability of the Scottish Government’s renewable energy targets, Mr Ewing warned the UK coalition ministers’ mixed messages on energy policy and continuing uncertainty around Electricity Market Reform, including the lack of a decarbonisation target until at least 2016, is risking jobs, investment and economic growth.

The proposals outlined in the Energy Bill published in November 2012 lack measures to give investors confidence beyond 2020, putting the UK at a disadvantage compared to countries like Germany which has already set a clear target of 26GW from offshore wind by 2030.

Scotland would benefit in particular from an increase in offshore wind, as we have a quarter of the offshore wind potential in Europe.

Already, four international turbine manufacturers, Gamesa, Areva, Mitsubishi Power Systems and Samsung Heavy Industries have announced they intend to build turbine manufacturing plants in Scotland, creating an estimated 8,600 potential manufacturing jobs.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Offshore wind has reached a watershed. The industry has enormous potential, and to realise this potential it is essential that investors have confidence.

“Over the past weeks I have spoken to many potential investors who say the uncertainty surrounding Electricity Market Reform is starting to affect their investment decisions.

“The time to reassure them is now. The UK Government must make clear their ongoing support for offshore wind and emulate the Scottish Government’s approach by setting a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target now, not in 2016 as planned under the Energy Bill..

“Offshore wind has the potential to raise UK GDP by 0.8 per cent, and we must seize this prize. The opportunities the industry present us – in terms of jobs, investment, stabilizing energy bills and reducing our carbon output – are too valuable to risk.”

What is your reaction to the support by the Scotland’s Energy Minister to boost the renewable industry and create thousands of renewable jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

CRC simplified to save businesses millions of pounds and create new jobs

Energy Efficiency SchemeCRC Energy Efficiency Scheme will be dramatically simplified in order to help businesses save millions of pounds and create new jobs, the DECC announced today.

The reforms to the scheme are set to deliver 55 per cent cost reduction and a total of £272 million worth of savings for participants in the in the scheme.

The simplification of the CRC programme will make it easier for businesses to feel the benefits of using less energy, and will also support jobs in the energy savings industry.

The changes are expected to increase demand for energy efficient products and services.

Minister of State Gregory Barker said: “Energy efficiency increases productivity and is good for growth so it is important that we continue to incentivise this through the CRC.

“We have listened to the concerns of business and radically simplified the scheme in order to cut down on administrative costs and red tape. And we will consider how to encourage new renewable on-site generation through the CRC scheme.

“The scheme will now be more flexible and light-touch, saving participants money and helping them to save energy”.


Reforms to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme include:

  • Reducing the number of fuels that participants have to report against from 29 to 2 (electricity and gas for heating).
  • Reducing scheme complexity by removing the 90% rule and Climate Change Agreements (CCA) exemption rule.
  • Abolishing the Performance League Table but continuing to publish participants aggregated energy use and emission data.
  • Reducing overlap with other climate change legislation.
  • Withdrawing all state-funded schools in England from the scheme.
  • Government will consider how the CRC can incentivise the uptake of new onsite renewable self-supplied electricity.

Davey calls for clean development at the United Nations

Speaking in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Edward Davey said urgent actions need to be taken to combat climate change and help the green economy.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said that countries around the world had to make their contribution to reach closer to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Action Plan, and the Cancun Agreements.

Last year, the UN agreed to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change no later than 2015.

That would mean that each country has to cut its carbon emissions and focus on renewable energy resources, boosting the green economy and creating new jobs.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “A global effort is needed if we are to achieve our climate goals – we need to pave the way for the new global deal while delivering more action now.

“Many developed and developing countries have already come forward with pledges under the UN framework to reduce their emissions by 2020. I want to encourage more to do so at Doha and beyond.

“The EU has led the way in calling for more ambition and in enshrining emissions reductions in law. I want to encourage it to move to a more ambitious 2020 emissions reduction target of 30%.

“Here in the UK we are driving forward our plans to move to a lower-carbon energy mix, and this week we will be publishing the Energy Bill which will enable this.

“I also want to see progress at Doha on achieving the global deal that all countries agreed to work towards in Durban last year. For the first time all countries agreed to sign up to a legally-binding deal to be adopted by 2015, and at Doha we need to agree a plan for these crucial negotiations.”

Green Deal joins forces with Kier to boost the trades

Kier Services is the latest big builder to gain Green Deal accreditation from leading certification body NICEIC paving the way for employment in the trades.

Kier Services is now certified to carry out installer work and improve the energy efficiency of existing domestic and non-domestic buildings.

Green Deal is the Government’s flagship scheme to reduce energy emissions from homes and buildings across the UK. It is forecast to create thousands of new jobs in the building services engineering sector.

Last month the new Energy Company Obligations (ECO) was launched, with the aim of making up to 14 million homes more efficient through insulation, draught proofing, double glazing and other measures which are designed to reduce the energy usage.

Scott Murray, head of energy at Kier, said, “Kier has a great track record in providing repairs and maintenance in the housing sector, maintaining in excess of 300,000 homes – together with success in delivering similar government backed energy efficient and funded schemes such as the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and CERT.

“As these current initiatives are phased out, Kier aims to be at the forefront of the Government’s new flagship initiative, not only helping to reduce carbon emissions by fitting energy efficiency measures, but by working with customers to consider changes in their behaviours to help combat the challenges of fuel poverty.”

NICEIC offer certification to any business wishing to become a Green Deal installer or advisor. The certification process ensures standards are maintained by any business undertaking Green Deal work for consumers.

Green Deal approval involves checks of all quality procedures within an organisation in addition to an ability to carry out the work. By going through these rigorous checks customers can have confidence in the firm they select to carry out the work.

Green Deal Project Manager at NICEIC, Nick Wright, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Kier on this important initiative. Green Deal installers will be responsible for carrying out the work which will see millions of homes across the UK upgraded to improve energy efficiency.

“It is vital that all firms carrying out this type of work have the correct and appropriate procedures in place. Consumers need to have confidence in the firms they employ to make Green Deal a success.”

 

Bradford resource recovery centre will create new trade jobs

A major new resource recovery facility, that will boost Bradford’s construction industry and create hundreds of trade jobs has been given the go ahead. 

Members of Bradford Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee have approved plans to build the state-of-the-art centre that will produce enough electricity to power around 20,000 homes.

Construction giant Skanska will be responsible for delivering the project and will work in a joint venture with AECOM, a global provider of professional technical and management support services, to design, build and commission the Resource Recovery Facility.

FCC Environment (formerly Waste Recycling Group (WRG)), a leading UK waste management and energy recovery company, will operate the facility.

The facility will mechanically extract valuable recyclable materials from Bradford and Calderdale’s household waste before using the remainder to produce electricity to be supplied to the National Grid.

It will divert over 90% of Bradford and Calderdale’s waste away from landfill each year, help the councils increase their recycling rates to over 50% and generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes.

The scheme at Bowling Back Lane will create 80 permanent jobs with a further 300 positions created during construction.

Speaking after the committee’s decision Mark Tribe, Project Director for Pennine Resource Recovery (PRR), said: “Our project will bring great economic and environmental benefits to Bradford and Calderdale and we’re delighted councillors have recognised this.

“No matter how environmentally responsible we are, our society will always generate waste.  The Resource Recovery Facility will ensure we deal with waste in a sustainable way and avoid sending it to environmentally damaging and increasingly costly landfill sites.

“This decision is great news for Bradford and Calderdale.  The scheme has been specifically designed for the area and we will be working very closely with local training and employment agencies to ensure that local people across both districts are able to benefit from the employment and training opportunities on offer.”

Benefits for residents and the economy within the Bradford and Calderdale areas include:

• 300 jobs during construction

• 80 permanent jobs during operations

• 80 apprenticeships

• 124 weeks of work experience for school children

• 1,500 weeks of work experience for unemployed people

• Up to £50,000 a year donated to a Community Fund

• Contracts available for local recycling companies

• £30million in construction contracts

Industry urges EU policy-makers to build low carbon future

A group of energy giants will today launch a new alliance aiming to stimulate the renewable industry as Europe seeks to advance its low carbon economy and create new trade jobs.

The so-called Energy Partnership will be launched today in Brussels by its founding partners Alpine Energie, Dong Energy, First Solar, GE, and Shell.

The companies said they are aiming to promote the use of gas alongside the growth of renewables by creating policies that effectively integrate the two technologies.

They maintain that both gas and renewables could play a critical role in the European Commission’s 2050 Energy Roadmap, and that the two technologies will be highly complementary until at least 2030.

They argue that gas can provide a low carbon and flexible energy supply that can help balance out the supply of intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar.

Launching the partnership, Stephan Reimelt, chief executive of GE Germany, will say that combining renewables and gas will be the key to building a low carbon economy.

“Companies from different parts of the energy market are launching this new alliance because the evidence is clear that renewables and gas offer the most affordable, reliable, and sustainable pathway for an energy secure Europe,” he will say.

Jörg Gmeinbauer, director of Alpine Energie, will say the alliance can herald a shift in the debate around EU energy policy.

“It’s time for a systems approach to Europe’s energy policy,” he says. “We need integrated policies, market reforms, and investment in generation, transmission, and infrastructure if we are to achieve Europe’s energy goals.

“We have formed the Energy Partnership because together the partners can offer practical pathways to the future based on the synergy between renewables and gas.”

New incentives to drive Green Deal uptake

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has announced the launch of a new project that will kick-start the Green Deal and creates new jobs.  

Speaking alongside climate change minister Greg Barker at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, UKGBC’s chief executive Paul King welcomed the implementation of the scheme and outlined its potential for stimulating economic growth.

Mr King praised the Government’s commitment to the scheme, but warned that it needed adequate support to accelerate the level of uptake and implement its objectives.

He said: “The Green Deal still has the potential to be truly revolutionary in driving mass home retrofit. This new market could, if nurtured properly, create jobs, stimulate economic growth and protect consumers from ever-rising energy prices”.

Among those taking part in the UKGBC task group are Saint-Gobain UK, the Association for the Conservation of Energy, the CBI, Sweett Group, L&Q, Marks & Spencer, Willmott Dixon and Travis Perkins.

Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, which is supporting the new project, said that despite the strong industry support for the Green Deal, more needed to be done to encourage households to take it up.

Dr Montgomery said: “Collaborating with the UK-GBC on this Green Deal Task Group project will help us to ensure that we can help Government effectively navigate the options they have available to them for capitalising on that opportunity.”

Incentives to be included:

  • Stamp duty banding/rebates
  • Council tax banding/rebates
  • Energy efficiency feed in tariff
  • Subsidised interest rates for Green Deal
  • Low interest loans (outside Green Deal)/ Green mortgages (underwritten by Government)
  • Lump sum grant/payment (cashback/vouchers)
  • Progressively tightening minimum standards, inc. extending to owner-occupied sector
  • Salary sacrifice (tax free scheme) through work/tax credits
  • VAT cut extension to a wider range of measure

£33m Essex College Scheme to Boost the Trades

South Essex College has signed a £33 million contract with Skanska which will see the building of a new 2,500 place student campus in Essex.

Construction of the scheme is set to start immediately with the new learning campus being ready to open in the summer of 2014.

Skanska will be responsible for the construction of three and four storey buildings covering around 150,000 sq ft. It has the target of achieving BREEAM excellent rating and the facility will incorporate rainwater harvesting, air source heat pumps and roof level PV installations.

The project is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the construction sector.

The new college aims to boost local construction skills and will teach welding, brickwork, carpentry, engineering, mechanical, electrical and plumbing skills.

Following the completion of the new facility, Skanska will undertake landscaping and associated works which will include car parking, cycle storage and external landscaping.

Paul Heather, Managing Director of Skanska for London and the South East said: “We have successfully delivered a number of world-class education facilities across Essex in recent years and this has enabled to bring together a wealth of experience, skills and expertise to this project.

“The development of the new Thurrock Campus will provide excellent facilities for the students, teaching staff and the wider community and we are proud to be part of creating this key learning environment”.

Clean Energy of Northern Seas to Boost the Renewable Industry

Over forty organisations have today joined forces to set out a long-term vision for the development of offshore wind in the northern seas that will boost the green economy and create new jobs.

The new network, called Norstec, includes world leading manufacturers, cutting-edge developers, supply chain firms as well as industry bodies representing the trades.

Its mission is to maximise the energy potential generated across the northern sea region which will benefit businesses in the renewable industry and boost the trades.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who first introduced Norstec at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, emphasised on the benefits offered by the production of clean energy and encouraged the use of renewable resources.

Mr Cameron said: “I continue to be strongly supportive of the UK offshore renewables sector and am delighted to see Norstec rising from the waves.

“As I said, when I launched this network last April, we are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said: “The offshore wind industry represents a massive growth opportunity for the UK and our neighbours around the northern seas, bringing jobs and re-energising once thriving industrial heartlands on the East Coast and beyond.

Mr Davey said that the Government is determined to work closely with businesses in order to make the most from offshore renewable resources.

He said: “Norstec will help the offshore wind industry in the northern seas to grow and create a new industrial revolution, driving economic growth across this part of Europe. I’m delighted to see the potential for offshore wind deployment in the northern seas set out so clearly and vividly.”

 

Major transformation in St James’s area to create new jobs

The Crown Estate has submitted four planning applications as part of a £450 million redevelopment plan that will transform the St James’s area in central London and create new jobs.

A major part of St James’s will be rebuilt to create nearly 340,000 sq ft of mixed-use accommodation between Regent Street and Haymarket.

The lead scheme, known as St James’s Market, will see the building of a commercial redevelopment which will create offices, retail and restaurant space behind preserved historic facades in central London.

The proposals mark the next stage of the Crown Estate investment programme for St James which comprises nearly 50 per cent of the buildings in the area.

James Cooksey, Head of St James’s Portfolio said: “Our investment in St James’s builds on the area’s status by providing a first rate destination amenity space for those living, working and visiting the area.

“Together with our Gateway scheme and investment in Trafalgar House and British Columbia House, it demonstrates the major progress we’re making in delivering on our St James’s strategy.”

Commenting on the proposals, Alastair Smart, Head of Development said: “St James’s Market is perhaps the most significant development we have ever undertaken and builds on the two schemes currently on site as part of our investment in St James’s and Regent Street to provide modern space for global businesses.”

The St James’s Market proposals also include three associated private residential and affordable housing schemes. These will create new homes totalling 60,000 ft2, ranging from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom family homes.

In March 2012 The Crown Estate consulted the local community and received strong levels of positive feedback on the proposals, particularly in relation to the improvements to the accommodation and quality of the public areas in St James’s.

Green Industry Offers Jobs Growth

The scale of green employment and low-carbon infrastructure investment has been rising, employing a significantly larger workforce than other UK industry, a major report by the Green Alliance think tank revealed today.

According to the report, the current state of the Green Economy, which is worth £122 billion, has been consistently growing by 5 per cent since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

The Green Economy currently forms almost 10 per cent of the total economic activity in the UK, employing 939,600 people in low-carbon and environmental jobs.

The Green Alliance said the UK’s top 20 infrastructure projects in 2012-13 will deliver a £23 billion investment which will bring further employment opportunities for people in the trades.

Speaking to Business Green today, report author Alastair Harper, said that some of the biggest projects in the pipeline are in the offshore wind industry as well as in public transport, nuclear and other renewable programmes.

He said: “All you are going to get with more road, gas and airport infrastructure is the same level of capital investment we’ve been bumping along with since the 1970s.

“In contrast, the green economy is about new projects that can attract new investment, and provide a source for exports.”

Mr Harper said that despite negative language from some ministers, the green industry has been able to get major international investors “to open up their wallets” and invest in the low-carbon sector.

What is your reaction to the low-carbon investment which led the green economy to succeed in crating hundreds of thousands of green jobs? Do you agree with the current trend which is forecast to continue in future? 

Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Multi-million ‘village green’ homes plan would create new trade jobs

A multi-million planning application to build 5,750 new homes and create thousands of new trade jobs has been submitted to Ashford Borough Council.

The major development programme will take place at the 415 hectare site at Chilmington Green, building thousands of new homes arranged in three distinctive neighbourhoods with a high street, a secondary school, four primary schools, a park and extensive areas of green space.

The planning application has been prepared for the developer consortium, Hodson Developments, Jarvis Homes, Pentland Homes and Ward Home, to deal with UK’s current housing shortage.

Project manager for the consortium, Ian Bull, said that as one of the largest developments in Ashford, the housing scheme will set benchmark for new communities and increase employment opportunities in the area.

Mr Bull said: “Those well-designed places offer communities a lifestyle of wellbeing through a range of employment opportunities, cultural facilities and services, a mix of housing tenures including affordable housing, well-connected and walkable neighbourhoods, and the chance for people to connect with nature through carefully landscaped streets, parks, private gardens and allotments.”

Richard Hutchings, project director at engineering consultancy WSP, who prepared all the engineering and environmental designs and documentation to support the application, said that that developing effective transport, utilities and drainage strategies to ensure efficient delivery of the major urban extension have been the biggest challenges of the project

Mr Hutchings said: “Perhaps most significant was the development of a sustainable transport strategy that resolved existing capacity problems on the A28 corridor by reducing reliance on private vehicle travel and promoting alternative options such as walking, cycling and public transport.”

What is your reaction on the major housing scheme in Ashford that will pave the way for jobs on the building engineering industry? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Cameron says dive in for £30bn jobs boost on the Severn

Thousands of new trade jobs could be created as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, encouraged officials to reconsider plans to build a £30 billion barrage across the Severn estuary between England and Wales.

After a meeting with Peter Hain, who left his post as shadow Welsh Secretary in 2010 to back the project, David Cameron has asked ministers to take another look at the multi-million scheme which will create 20, 000 construction jobs and diversify the country’s energy supply.

It has been estimated that the 10-mile barrage from the Vale of Glamorgan to Somerset would provide 5% of the UK’s electricity demand, creating tens of thousands of additional jobs in activity around the barrage.

Hain told BBC Wales that it was a “more productive meeting than might have been expected”, revealing that “Number 10 are taking the barrage much more seriously than has been the case over the last few years”.

It is understood that much of the funding for the scheme would come from global private investors and taxpayers’ money will not be spent. According to Mr Hain, ‘several’ sovereign wealth funds have already come forward to finance the project, including investors from Kuwait and Qatar.

Mr Hain said: “Government support is an absolute pre-requisite for getting the whole project underway.

“Not a penny of taxpayers’ money would be needed for this £30bn investment, which would be transformative for Wales.

“It would create 20,000 jobs in construction and another 30,000 in activity around the barrage.”

What is your reaction to the Prime Minister’s support to urge ministers to reconsider building plans for the £30 billion barrage that will create thousands of new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Approved Plans for Building 3,000 Homes in Cambridge to Create New Trade Jobs

The University of Cambridge has been granted planning permission to build 3, 000 new homes as part of its £1 billion development in northwest Cambridge, creating significant employment opportunities for people in the trades.

The planning application for the 150 hectare site was approved by local authorities today, paving the way for residential and development partners to start building construction work in early 2013.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates welcomed the project’s planning consent. He commented that the £1 billion investment will encourage economic growth and create new jobs, showing that Cambridge is truly open for business.

Mr Bates said: “This new development and investment in the University will be a major boost to jobs in the area and help attract even more business.

“A booming Cambridge economy is good for our local communities and the nation as we have the ability to help the country out of recession.”

The University of Cambridge said in a statement today that it will provide 1,500 homes for key University and College employees, 1,500 homes for sale and accommodation for 2,000 students.

New 100,000 square metres research institutes will be built to the University’s wide range of community facilities. Around one third of the site will be used as public open space for sports, informal recreation and ecological use.

“This development is a major part of the University’s long term future,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. “It will provide much of the residential and research accommodation that the University needs as it grows over the next 20 years.”

Councillor for South Cambridgeshire District Council, David Bard, said: “This development is key to the next stage in the development of Cambridge and will be an exemplar of sustainable living. The plans are of a very high quality and will deliver a new community that everyone will be very proud of.”

What is your reaction to the £1 billion investment at the University of Cambridge that will encourage economic growth and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

The Trades Praise Clegg’s Commitment to Renewable Energy

The largest trade association in Britain, the Renewable Energy Association (REA), has welcomed Nick Clegg’s announcement to provide a £100 million fund for green investment that will boost the renewable energy industry and create new jobs.

Making the announcement today, Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said that the multimillion fund will enable the UK Green Investments team (UKGI) to see more domestic and foreign investments to the renewable industry.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, praised the Deputy Prime Minister for his leadership and commitment to the renewable energy sector.

He said: “We need clear leadership from the top of Government on renewable energy, so the Deputy Prime Minister’s unequivocal commitment to renewable energy is very welcome and timely.

“He is quite right that a global energy revolution is underway and we look forward to working with him to ensure the UK fulfills its extraordinary potential.”

However, Mr Hartnell said that the Coalition Government needed a more stable policy framework to make sure the UK’s renewable industry continues to expand, paving the way for green jobs in the future.

Mr Hartnell said: “The Coalition Government needs to do much better on providing a clear and stable policy framework to make sure the UK isn’t left further behind.

“Recent decisions on support levels for renewable power technologies, which have failed to provide the expected certainty out to 2017, together with the uncertain status of the Electricity Market Reform package, do not provide the stable framework that industry needs.”

Do you also welcome Nick Clegg’s intervention to boost the green economy? What else the Government could do to further accelerate green investment and create more jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Green Investment is set to Create New Jobs in the Trades

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced a £100 million fund for green investment which will create new jobs in the renewable energy industry.

Speaking to an energy conference in London’s Lancaster House today, Mr Clegg defended the Government’s commitment to support the renewable energy sector, outlining lasting benefits to the UK low-carbon economy.

He announced multi-million contracts by UK Green Investments (UKGI) with fund managers Equitix and Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL) to provide initial capital to encourage foreign and domestic investment in non-domestic energy efficiency.

The Deputy Minister’s announcement was hailed with a £12 million expansion by a recycling firm Closed Loop in Dagenham, East London, that will create and safeguard 100 jobs.

The UK is the sixth largest market in low carbon goods and environmental services in the world. It contributes 3.9 per cent of the UK’s GDP and employs 173,000 people.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Coalition Government is ‘unreservedly committed’ to help Britain’s low carbon sector thrive, providing a clean and green economy.

He said: “There is a global energy revolution underway and the UK is not going to be left behind. We’re leading from the front.

“Together we find ourselves at the vanguard of one of the most dynamic, most innovative, most important industries of our time; an industry whose breakthroughs and endeavours will shape our societies for years to come; an industry that will help us build a more stable, more sustainable, more prosperous world.”

What is your reaction to the Government’s £100 million fund that will accelerate investment in the renewable industry and create new jobs?  Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Jobs

A multimillion accommodation scheme at the University of Stirling has been granted to a large construction firm which will see will the creation of 788 contemporary bedrooms and bring new jobs during its three year redevelopment period.

The £11 million contract will enable Stirling to compete with universities and colleges around the world whist creating employment opportunities for people in the trades and directly benefiting the local economy.

Building construction work, which is due to start this year, will improve current student accommodation with newly-designed study bedrooms, spacious kitchens with dining space, and increased social spaces.

Director of Estates & Campus Services, Karen Plouviez, described the scheduled redevelopment as the largest capital project the University has undertaken since it was created in the late 1960s.

Ms Plouviez said “We are looking forward to working in partnership with GRAHAM Construction to deliver this transformational project and to sensitively enhancing what is already an exceptional landscape and architectural setting.”

Regional Director for Graham Construction said: “Graham has a policy of being a responsible neighbour to the communities we operate in and we will be seeking to build relationships with the local construction industry and its supply chain.”

What is your reaction on the multimillion accommodation scheme at the University of Stirling? Do you think the local construction industry could benefit by the willingness of Graham Construction to cooperate with its supply chain? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Renewable Energy Projects to Bring Billions of Investment into the UK

Changes to subsidies for renewable electricity in Britain could accelerate up to £25 billion of new investment and create thousands of new jobs according to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey.

Bandings for renewable technologies were set last week under the Government’s Renewables Obligation which will support and create new green jobs whilst at the same time minimise energy cost to consumers.

Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, welcomed the decision which will ensure rapid growth in the renewable energy and unlock further green investment.

Mr Davey said: “Renewable energy will create a multi-billion pound boom for the British economy, driving growth and supporting jobs across the country.

“Because value for money is vital, we will bring forward more renewable electricity while reducing the impact on consumer bills between 2013 and 2015, saving £6 off household energy bills next year and £5 the year after.”

The Banding Review (as set out by the DECC) includes:

  • Support for onshore wind from 2013-17 will be reduced by 10% to 0.9ROCs, as consulted on in autumn 2011. This level is guaranteed until at least 2014 but could change after then if there is a significant change in generation costs. A call for evidence on onshore wind industry costs will be launched this autumn and report in early 2013.
  • Rates of support for offshore wind will reduce as the cost of the technology comes down during the decade;
  • Support levels for certain marine energy technologies will more than double from 2ROCs to 5ROCs per MWh, subject to a 30MW limit per generating station;
  • There will be a new band to support existing coal plant converting to sustainable biomass fuels. This will increase the amount of renewable energy produced at less cost to consumers; and
  • There will be no immediate reduction in support for large-scale solar, but there will be a further consultation this year on reduced support levels given recent dramatic falls in costs.

£82 million refurbishment Scheme, Vale of Glamorgan, to Create New Trade Jobs

“Electricians, gas engineers and trade professionals to benefit from the housing scheme”

Thousands of homes in the Vale of Glamorgan will be renovated as the Council appoints four building contractors to deliver £82 million refurbishment scheme that will create new jobs for plumbers, electricians and trade professionals.

Work on the multi-million scheme will include renewal of kitchens, bathrooms, rewiring, heating systems, windows, doors and roof systems.

The four-and-a-half year programme, which is due to start in September 2012, will see all council homes in the Vale brought up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standar (WHQS).

The winning contractors, Lovell Partnerships, Ian Williams, Apollo Property Services and SMK Building & Maintenance, were appointed after an extensive procurement exercise, the Council said in a statement.

Leader of the Council, Neil Moore, welcomed the appointment of the four contractors, emphasising the wider economic benefits to the local economy, paving the way for more employment opportunities in the trades and the creation of new jobs.

Mr Moore said: “We have appointed experienced contractors to deliver this programme and I am confident that tenants will be pleased with the work that is carried out.

“Not only will all council properties be upgraded, but there will be wider benefits delivered by increasing local jobs and apprenticeships in the area and spending the local pound within the Vale. This is good news for the local economy.”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council said that some of the refurbishment work will be undertaken by its own building services department, mainly on sheltered housing accommodation across the Vale.

What is your reaction to the £82 million renovation scheme which will improve living standards and bring more employment opportunities for people in the trades? Let us know what you think by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

John Lewis kick-starts a £600 million development in Leeds that will create new jobs

Plans to build a new £600 million shopping centre in Leeds will create thousands of jobs in the building engineering industry as one of the of Britain’s biggest high street retailers, John Lewis, has secured a deal to build a 258,000 sq ft anchor store near the development of Eastgate Quarters in Leeds city centre.

The first phase of the development, which is called Harewood, would also create two new shopping streets leading to the Victoria Quarter which will include 30 shops, six restaurants, and a multi-storey car park on the site of Leeds’ former police station.

Work on first phase of the development is expected to start in spring 2014 and it could be open by 2016, if plans submitted to the city council next year are approved.

A low-carbon energy centre for the scheme has been consented which will provide heating, cooling and electricity required by the development, with the opportunity to also support neighbouring homes and businesses.

As a result of the multi-million development, the retail led scheme could generate up to 4,000 jobs in the building engineering sector, providing more employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, welcomed the announcement describing it as excellent news for the city centre and the people from Leeds as a whole.

Mr Wakefield said: “All the parties have been working behind the scenes for some months now to facilitate an agreement which enables work to begin on this important development. So to know that we now have a clear timetable from Hammerson is really exciting.

He added: “Eastgate Quarters is a hugely significant development for the city which will enable our retail sector to compete with other British cities and attract international visitors and investors. It will bring thousands of new visitors to the city as well as creating a significant number of jobs for local people.”

What is your reaction to the £600 million development in Leeds that will pave the way for more jobs in the building engineering sector and people working in the trades? Share your thoughts with us by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mick Mills talks about renewable energy training with T4TS Part 2

Mick Mills is training to become an engineer with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mick to find out how his renewable energy course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mick via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

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Renewable Energy Jobs to Be Created

Global renewable energy developer, Element Power, has sign a deal with the National Grid UK to provide 3,000 megawatts of electricity to Ireland, creating 10, 000 jobs during project’s development and construction phase.

Electricity is expected to be transmitted through two subsea cables connecting wind power generated in the Midlands of Ireland to consumers in the UK.

The deal which is part of a series of projects exporting wind power could save UK consumers £7 billion over the project’s lifetime compared to sourcing the same energy from sea-based offshore wind farms.

Element Power said that the project would also result in the creation of an estimated 3,000 long-term operational and manufacturing jobs in the UK and Ireland.

Chief Executive Officer at Element Power Ireland, Tim Cowhig believes the project will bring substantial benefits to the economy and pave the way for more jobs in the building engineering industry.

Mr Cowhig said: “Greenwire is a particularly timely project which will enable the economy to harness our renewable energy resources to our economic advantage.

“Greenwire is the enabling project that will allow this to happen boosting our national trade and generating considerable employment and benefit to the Midlands region.”
The growing popularity of wind farms has seen an enormous boost for the renewable energy sector, creating more employment opportunities for engineers and trades professionals. It has been reported that the number of people working in this sector has grown significantly in the last two years.

Share your thoughts about this and other renewable energy developments by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Mick Mills talks about renewable energy training with T4TS

Mick Mills is training to become an engineer with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Mick to find out how his renewable energy course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Mick via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

[scribd id=100588986 key=key-2598v5zpt8bl0chvdcdm mode=list]

Private Housing Starts to Boost Employment and Create New Jobs

Increased demand from first-time buyers coupled with the government’s increased investment in the housing market are driving new private housebuilding projects to grow by 40 per cent in the second quarter of 2012, resulting in more employment opportunities for people in the trades.  

New data published by construction industry analyst Glenigan has revealed significant year-on-year growth in the underlying value of new private housing project starts in the first two quarters of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011.

Glenigan forecasts indicate that the underlying value of project starts will increase by 29% over 2012 providing further employment opportunities for builders and trade professionals, including electricians, plumbers and gas engineers.

Glenigan said the findings are giving a strong indication that confidence is returning to the private housebuilding market, paving the way for more jobs in the building construction industry.

Economics Director at Glenigan, Allan Wilén, said that despite weak economic conditions and a fragile banking sector, housing developers have seen an increased demand from first-time buyers and the government’s incentive schemes which have helped them to make a swift economic recovery.

Commenting on the sector’s future performance Mr Wilén said:“While the threat of an increase in interest rates and the end of the stamp duty holiday have stymied the market to a certain extent, we expect the sector to continue to grow through 2012 and 2013 as the wider economy begins to recover once more.”

The figures from Glenigan, compiled through comprehensive data collation and exhaustive research, reveal that London and the South East continue to dominate the market having accounted for almost a third of the value of all new private housing schemes starting on site in the first half of 2012.

Do you welcome the figures by an industry expert Glenigan indicating significant house-building activity in the second quarter of 2012? Let us know what the implications might be for you or your business by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Green Jobs are Vital for UK’s Energy Efficiency

The UK has been ranked as the most energy efficient country in the world according to a new study which calculates countries’ efforts to reduce energy use and shows the overall effect of green policies, contributing for the creation of thousands of new jobs in the renewable engineering industry.

The study was published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which ranked the UK first among the world’s 12 largest economies, closely followed by Germany, Italy, and Japan, for reducing pollution in industry, transport and buildings.

British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, welcomed the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard by the ACEEE, emphasising the importance of low-carbon and renewable initiatives in the UK for future economic growth and sustainable development.

Mr Davey said: “The UK and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the United States when it comes to energy efficiency. This is significant because countries that use energy more efficiently require fewer resources to achieve the same goals, thus reducing costs, preserving valuable natural resources, and creating jobs.”

The 12 largest economies, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union represent over 78 per cent of Global Gross Domestic Product;  63 per cent of global energy consumption; 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.

Author of the report and ACEEE Senior Researcher, Sara Hayes, said that investment in cost- effective energy efficiency can help many countries to strengthen their economic competitiveness and create new jobs in the renewable industry.

Ms Hayes said: “While energy efficiency has played a major role in the economies of developed nations for decades, cost-effective energy efficiency remains a massively underutilized energy resource. Fortunately, there is a lot countries can do to strengthen their economic competitiveness through improvements in energy efficiency.”

What is your reaction to the new report by the ACEEE that rates the UK as the world’s most energy efficient country? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Scotland Makes a £2 Billion Investment to Improve Energy Efficiency

 

The Scottish Government is going to invest more than £2 billion in a new energy efficiency scheme that will insulate thousands of new homes across Scotland and create new jobs for people in the trades. 

The new investment will be delivered over the next ten years in a national programme that will transform aging houses, reduce heating costs and improve energy efficiency in Scottish homes.

Commenting on the £2 billion programme, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alex Neil explained it is essential to put such measures in place in order to improve the energy efficiency of homes across Scotland. He also emphasised the importance of the project for the creation of new jobs and future economic recovery.

Mr Neil said: “These strategies provide a great opportunity for Scottish businesses and can provide a real boost to our economy. Working with the energy companies, we plan to ensure investment of over £2 billion pounds is provided over the next ten years to ensure our housing stock is energy efficient.

“New technologies, which would bring down carbon emissions as well as household fuel bills, are key to energy efficient homes and a vital element in economic recovery.

“The drive to transform new-build through innovative design and construction approaches creates economic and export opportunities for Scottish companies, along with an opportunity to make greater use of Scottish timber in innovative products.”

What is your reaction to the £2 billion investment that will boost the building construction sector? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

Rio+20 UN Conference Sets Ambitious Goals for Sustainable Development

Member States participating at the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio + 20, have reached an agreement to advance negotiations towards sustainable development.

“We now have a text which will be adopted at the Conference,” Rio+20’s Secretary-General, Sha Zukang, said in a statement. “We think the text contains a lot of action, and if this action is implemented, and if follow-up measures are taken, it will indeed make a tremendous difference in generating positive global change.”

United Nations’ Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, defended the summit agreement but said that it was ‘merely a piece of paper’ unless world leaders showed political commitment and implemented specific measures towards achieving sustainability.

The Secretary General said: “Why do we have a summit meeting? The leaders are the ones who can make a political decision. Depending on the political priorities they chose, the consequences will be huge,” Mr Ban said in a direct appeal to 190 governments from across the globe to work harder on putting the ideas into practice. “If these actions are not implemented, then this will merely be a piece of paper,” he added.

In addition to the outcome text, there have been over 400 voluntary commitments for sustainable development by Member States in the run up to the high-level meeting of Rio+20, which officially started on Wednesday.

The agreed outcome document spells out action points such as the need to establish sustainable development goals and mobilize financing for sustainable development, as well as the promotion of sustainable consumption and production, among others.

It also stresses the need to include non-governmental organizations, and indigenous groups in the sustainable development agenda, and calls on the private sector to engage in sustainable corporate business practices.

What is your reaction to the agreement set by world leaders to advance the implementation of sustainable development worldwide? Share your opinion by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.  

LED Street Lighting Could Generate 85% of Energy Savings

LED (Light Emitting Diode) street lighting can generate to up to 85% energy savings, a new report by electronics giant Philips and the Climate Group found. 

The results of a major two-and-half year study looking to improve energy efficiency in some of the world’s largest cities, including New York, London and Sydney, have indicated significant potential for the green economy by replacing traditional light bulbs with highly efficient LED technology.

Lighting is estimated to be responsible for nearly a fifth of global electricity use and around 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The report shows that LED lighting technologies could double lighting efficiency and have a climate impact equivalent to eliminating half the emissions of all electricity and heat production in the European Union.

Mark Kenber, CEO of the Climate Group said: “This report clearly highlights that LEDs are ready to be scaled-up in towns and cities across the globe. LED technology is energy efficient, scalable and positively impacts on the public; it is the Clean Revolution in action. We are now calling on Governments to remove policy obstacles and enable a rapid transition to low carbon lighting.”

It has been estimated the LEDs could save 670 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. The report showed that citizens of pilot cities preferred LED lighting because of social and environmental benefits.

A recent reportby the International Labour Organization concluded that the green economy could create up to 60 million jobs; the Climate Group, Philips and partners who participated in the report are urging the government to improve LEDs in cities and make a green investment that will create millions of high-value jobs across the world.

What’s your reaction to the significant savings that could be made from LED street lighting? Would you consider replacing traditional light bulbs at your home with LED lighting to cut energy cost? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

The Offshore Wind Industry to Reduce Energy Cost

A new report has revealed the UK will reduce the cost of electricity generated by offshore wind by 30 % in the next seven years. 

The report, published by the industry-led Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, showed evidence that the offshore wind industry can make significant cost reduction in its delivery of 18 GW electricity from wind farms, which is around 20% of UK’s total electricity demand.

The report found the industry could drop delivery cost from £140/MWh today to £100/MWh by 2020, achieving substantial savings of £3 billion per year.
Energy Minister, Charles Hendry, welcomed the announcement by saying: “I am encouraged that this report shows that substantial cost savings can be achieved if action is taken and I welcome this valuable work. I look forward to working closely with industry to take this forward further and deliver these ambitious targets.”

Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force made 28 specific recommendations for the renewable sector to diverse and secure more affordable energy for consumers. The report also encourages industry officials to work more closely with the government for optimising collaboration

Mr Hendry emphasised on the importance of offshore wind farms and their role in securing low carbon energy mix in the future, but he also said that energy costs must come down too.

Andrew Jamieson, Chair of the Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force, said: “To ensure that the UK’s world-leading offshore wind sector expands rapidly over this decade and fulfils its massive potential within the UK’s energy mix, it is vital that costs are reduced. In doing this not only will we reduce risk and drive investment into the sector, we will further protect consumers from increasing energy costs, reduce the industry’s requirement for financial support and deliver jobs and energy security for decades to come.”

What is your reaction to the report which suggests the offshore wind industry will reduce cost by over 30 per cent in the next seven years? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

“No Fees” Incentive for Green Deal Installers

Assessors, installers and providers of Green Deal services will face no fees for registration or oversight during the scheme’s first two years, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced. 

The DECC is going to fund all costs associated with the registration and oversight service in order to help those participating in the scheme, with the intention of moving to a fee-based approach from year three onwards, when the Green Deal has become established.

Speaking at Wolseley, UK’s Plumb Centre Green Deal open day in Leamington Spa, Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker welcomed the announcement of “no registration fees” which will encourage participation in the scheme and give businesses the confidence they need.

Mr Barker said: “No registration fees for the first two years will remove burdensome admin costs at a time when many can least afford them, helping encourage organisations to get on-board and offering more freedom of choice for consumers.”

The announcement follows the appointment of a multi-service provider Gemserv to run the new Green Deal oversight body which will be responsible for the registration of assessors, installers and providers, the DECC confirmed today.

Commenting on the recent appointment the Energy Minister said: “We need to make sure all the Green Deal assessors, installers and providers get our stamp of approval to ensure the highest level of consumer protection for householders and businesses under this scheme. I am delighted that Gemserv has risen to the challenge and is going to take on this very important role.”

Do you welcome the announcement of “no fees” for installers and Green Deal providers? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page.

 

Green Deal to Improve Energy Efficiency and Create New Jobs

 

As part of the Green Deal, the Government has set out a new legislation which will help the energy industry enhance customer protection and improve energy efficiency in the UK, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed this week. 

The rising cost of gas and electricity as well as millions of energy inefficient homes across the UK have urged the Government to bring the second phase of the Green Deal into operation, boosting the low carbon economy and supporting up to 60, 000 jobs in the insulation industry.

An additional investment of £1.3 billion a year to develop heating measures across the UK is expected to be announced by Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, later this week.

Commenting on the new legislation Mr Davey said: “I am determined to make sure that, in addition to creating huge opportunities for Green Deal providers and businesses along with thousands of new jobs, this new market in energy efficiency will deliver the very best deal for consumers.”

He explained that the new legislation will allow the energy industry to implement the Green Deal and improve energy efficiency, making sure that the most vulnerable homes are benefiting from the scheme.

The Energy and Climate Change Secretary said: “We have listened very carefully to what industry, consumer groups, and other organisations have told us. Broad support for a managed, tested and careful introduction of the Green Deal fits exactly with our objective to provide an excellent customer experience from day one and a market where a range of new players can readily participate.”

What is your reaction to the new legislation of the Green Dean that will improve energy efficiency and boost employment across the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page. 

Energy Partnership between Norway and the UK to Create New Jobs

Prime Minister David Cameron and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg agreed last week a major partnership between the UK and Norway that will boost energy activities between the two countries and bring investment of millions of pounds that will create thousands of new jobs, the Department of Energy and Climate Change revealed.

The partnership between Norway and the UK is designed to secure sustainable long-term energy supplies, improve a wide range of energy activities between the two countries and encourage economic growth.

 
Prime Minister Cameron, who attended a breakfast meeting with ten leading energy companies from Norway and the UK, highlighted the importance of this partnership for closer collaboration between the two countries that will improve energy security and help economic growth.

Mr Cameron said: “The jobs and investments announced today highlight how vital the strong relationship between Norway and the United Kingdom is for our energy security and economic growth. We look forward to strengthening our partnership further, driving investment into a diverse, sustainable energy mix that delivers affordable long term supplies for consumers.”

 
Charles Hendry, UK Minister of State for Energy, said: “For many decades Norway has been one of our most trusted and valuable partners, working with us to develop North Sea resources that underpin our energy security. Mr Hendry added: “The investments and jobs announced today by British and Norwegian companies are a clear signal of the benefits of this partnership.”

Some of the commercial announcements include:
  • “Norwegian global oil services firm Aker Solutions will create 1,300 new highly skilled jobs by 2015 at its engineering hub in Chiswick. This comes on top of 1,000 new jobs it has already created in the UK over the past two years.
  • Statoil intends to invest a further £12 billion over the lifetime of the UK’s Mariner-Bressay North Sea oil fields in addition to the £6 billion they have already announced. This will lead to the creation of up to 300 new jobs in the UK in the next few years, including at a new operations base in Aberdeen, in addition to 700 UK jobs from this investment that have already been announced.
  • A new Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between Statoil and Centrica to continue cooperation on gas supply and exploration. This builds on the £13 billion, ten year gas supply deal agreed between the two companies last November and follows the recent completion of a £1billion asset deal between the two companies that will increase Centrica’s oil and gas reserves by 29 percent.
  • The Forewind Consortium, which includes Norwegian companies Statoil and Statkraft, has confirmed its intention to develop the 9GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project off the East coast of Yorkshire, which could require up to £30 billion of investment. This project could provide more than 10% of the UK’s electricity needs. In addition to this project Statoil and Statkraft are investing around £1billion in developing the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, which is already generating power and will be completed later this year. It will provide power to more than 200,000 UK homes when fully operational. The project employs 500 workers in the field and provides significant secondary employment.
  • Good progress is being made in two projects to build one of the world’s longest subsea electricity interconnectors between the UK and Norway, which will enable the UK and Norway to share renewable energy resources, with each project worth over £1 billion: NSN (National Grid and Statnett) and NorthConnect (SSE, Vattenfall, Agder Energei, E-CO and Lyse).
  • A deal between Shell and Gassco to strengthen UK energy security by providing British customers with more gas from Norway. By making better use of spare capacity in the UK gas transport system, Norwegian gas owners and transporters, including Shell, will be able to transport more gas from Norwegian fields via the Tampen Link to the FLAGS pipeline into St Fergus.”
What is your reaction on the established Norway-UK partnership for sustainable growth that will create thousands of new jobs in the energy industry? Share your thoughts by raising your voice here or on our Facebook page

Train4TradeSkills News: The UK Geothermal Could Generate as Much Electricity as 9 Nuclear Power Stations

A new independent report published by Sinclair Knight Merz claims deep geothermal resources could produce 20% of UK’s electricity and the heat for millions of homes.  

Although, deep geothermal power is new technology in the UK, the sector has been growing internationally. In Germany, the deep geothermal industry employs 6,000 people and has attracted €4 billion of investment.

The new report shows that the recourse is widely spread around the UK and has the potential to provide 9.5GW of renewable electricity which is an equivalent to nearly nine nuclear power stations, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said.

It has been forecast that in the UK, former mining regions like Cornwall, Yorkshire and the North East of England, including Northern Ireland and Scotland, could support valuable commercial projects*.

Ryan Law, Chair of the REA Deep Geothermal Group, emphasised the importance of geothermal investment for the UK industry and outlined significant benefits and commercial rewards for the geothermal sector.

Mr Law said: “We don’t want to be left out of a global industry which is estimated to be worth £30 billion by 2020. We could be at the forefront of this industry given the strength of British engineering skills. If the UK wants to seize a share of this booming global market we must prove our competence at home. Clearly investment at home could also go a long way to meeting our future energy needs cleanly and safely.”

What is your reaction on the widely spread geothermal energy resources across the UK? What the government could do better to accelerate those projects?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or raising your voice on our Facebook page

*The resource set out in the report has been summarised as:

Cornwall and the South West

HEAT: 13,000 MWth – 6.5 million homes annual heat demand

POWER: 4,000 MWe (equivalent to 3.3 nuclear power plants)

 

The North East

HEAT: 9,000 MWth – 4.5 million homes annual heat demand

POWER: 4,000 MWe (equivalent to 3.3 nuclear power plants)

 

The Lake District

HEAT: 8,000 MWth 4 million homes

POWER: 2,300 MWe (equivalent to 1.9 nuclear power plants)

 

Wessex Basin

HEAT: 33,000 MWth 16.5 million homes

 

Cheshire Basin

HEAT: 14,000 MWth 7 million homes

 

East of England

HEAT: 12,000 MWth 6 million homes

 

Worcester Basin

HEAT:  6,700 MWth 3.35 million homes

 

Larne Basin

HEAT: 1,000 MWth 500,000 homes

Green Economic Growth to Boost Employment

A recent government report has shown that the UK’s green economy grew with £5.4 billion in 2011, employing almost 1 million people in the low carbon industry.

The new report, released by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, shows record growth for UK’s green goods and services, generating £122 billion in 2011, an increase of 4.7 per cent against figures from 2009/10.

Employment levels across the Low Carbon, Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) increased with 2.8 per cent, indicating that 939, 627 people are currently employed in green industry sector. Rise in the number of people working in the low carbon industry is “the first really positive sign of employment growth in the sector since the recession in 2008” the report says.

The government expects the companies involved in the LCEGS sector to continue to expand, bringing more employment opportunities for the renewable and low-carbon industry.

What do you think of the UK’s green economic growth? Do you think that green industry sector will continue to expand as forecast by the Government?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page: 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Edward Pickin talks about electrical training with T4TS Part 2

Edward Pickin is training to become an electrician with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Edward to find out how his electrical course is going.

You can listen to the full interview with Edward via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills   

[scribd id=94668215 key=key-2jd7neash1fmj232cbzh mode=list]

Masterplan for 5000 New Homes Will Boost the Building Construction Industry

The London Borough of Enfield has launched a consultation on the Masterplan for Meridian Water that could see 5,000 new homes build and create 3,000 new jobs.

The new development, which has the potential to become one of the largest eco-developments in Britain, has been designed to create new opportunities for canal and riverside homes in North London.

The £1.3 billion development will pave the way for building construction work, creating new jobs for trade professionals in the building construction industry.

Enfield Council has launched a public consultation on the 82 hectares site in Edmonton, currently occupied by a former industrial building, Construction News Reported today.

The council is looking for public input about the project and the consultation will run until the beginning of August 2012, seeking the opinions of investors, stakeholders, residents and local businesses. The Council said it was planning to work closely with potential developers in order to share the future vision of the area.

The current proposals aim to set ambitious targets for sustainability, including plans for a comprehensive district heating network. Meridian Water will also deliver improvements to public transport including improved rail services on the line connecting the area to Liverpool Street and Stratford.

The Local Authority member for Business and Regeneration, Councillor Del Goddard said:  “Meridian Water is the most significant contribution to the transformation of Edmonton and it will play a significant role in driving the expansion of north London for decades to come.”

Under the masterplan written by the London Development Agency (LDA) the projects will be a significant boost for the local economy and diverse sectors of employment.

The LDA Design’s director of urban design Colin James said: “This masterplan is the first step towards bringing forward Enfield council’s vision for creating new high quality, energy efficient housing and breathing new life into employment areas. ”

What is your view of the Meridian Water Masterplan that could build 5,000 new homes and create 3,000 new jobs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or on our Facebook page: 

The Growth of Green Industry is Vital for UK’s Economic Recovery

“Green Investment should play a key role in the UK’s economic recovery” states a new report by the Environment Audit Committee published today.

The new report, “A Green Economy” reinforces calls by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) for the Government to put renewable energy at the heart of its economic recovery and employment strategy.

The Report on employment and skills in the UK renewable energy published last month showed that there were over 100,000 people employed in renewable sector across Britain, generating a turnover of £12.5 billion last year alone.

However, the REA is warning that there is a danger for Britain not to fulfil its full potential because of serious skills shortages and uncertainties in the policy framework.

The organisation which represents renewable energy producers in the UK, says that 400,000 people will be needed in the sector by 2020 to meet binding EU targets, suggesting that the renewable industry will need a skilful workforce to deal with continually increasing demand.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, said that the government needs to understand the potential benefits of renewable energy investment.

Ms Hartnell said: “Several countries, from America to Japan to Germany, have realised that taking the long-term view and investing in renewables is a significant step on the route out of economic malaise. The UK renewables industry wants to work with the Coalition Government to realise the huge contribution our sector can make to jobs, growth and prosperity.”

Do you agree that renewable energy investment is a key factor that will pave the way for more jobs and an economic recovery? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or adding your voice on our Facebook Page

Apple to Power Data Centres with Renewable Energy

 

Apple has announced plans to power its main data centre in North Carolina entirely with renewable energy by the end of 2012, Reuters has reported.

The announcement comes after long-lasting environmental concerns by Greenpeace about Apple’s rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms in the US.  Greenpeace activists drew significant attention last week on Apple’s use of coal at the data centre that powers its iCloud.

The maker of the iPhone and the iPad confirmed on Thursday that it was buying equipment from SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy to build two solar array installations near its core data centre in North Carolina. The sites will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system.

“Apple’s announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal.” said Greenpeace International Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook.

The solar farm is expected to supply 84 million kWh of energy annually and it will cover 250 acres of land around Apple’s main data centre.

“The plan we are releasing today includes two solar farms and together they will be twice as big as we previously announced, thanks to the purchase of some land very near to the data centre in Maiden, which will help us meet this goal.” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters.

Mr Oppenheimer outlined company’s ambition to continue its environmental approach along with its expansion in services and provide sustainable development for its products.

“Our next facility will be in Prineville, Oregon. This is still in the planning stages and we have already identified plenty of renewable sources nearby,” Oppenheimer said.

What is your reaction to the decision by Apple to power its main data centres with 100% renewable energy? Do you think that other high-tech companies will follow its environmental approach? Share your thought with us by leaving a comment below: 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Leigh Reeve talks about plumbing training with T4TS Part 2

Leigh Reeve is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Leigh to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to second part of Leigh’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills    
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Renewable Industry Praises Delay to Solar Tariff Cuts

 

The UK’s renewable industry has welcomed the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which would have badly hit the solar PV sector.

Solar does not only protect homeowners from rising energy bills, but it also delivers a great return on investment. The cost of solar power has been coming down faster than any other energy generation technology, the Renewable Energy Association confirmed.

Commenting on the decision to help the renewable industry, Energy Minister Greg Barker said the Government is “listening carefully to industry” and that this delay gives industry the opportunity to reignite the solar market and grow further.

“It is very encouraging for the future that Government is listening to industry concerns, but we need certainty as soon as possible on the details of when and what the next tariff adjustments will be.”- Chief Executive of the Solar Trade Association (STA), Paul Barwell, said.

Juliet Davenport, Founder and CEO of Good Energy which is the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier commented that solar is a great opportunity for the generation of renewable energy and a powerful way of giving households greater control over their energy bills.

Ms Davenport said: “Already we’re seeing how solar makes a natural partner for more intermittent forms of renewable generation, like wind. That’s going to become more and more important in years to come, and it’s time to invest today for the energy market of tomorrow.”

What’s your reaction to the announcement by Energy Secretary Ed Davey not to go ahead with scheduled reduction in solar tariffs which will help the renewable industry? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Train4TradeSkills Radio: Leigh Reeve talks about plumbing training with T4TS

Leigh Reeve is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Train4TradeSkills Radio interviewed Leigh to find out how his plumbing course is going.

You can listen to Leigh’s Interview from Train4TradeSkills Radio via AudioBoo at: www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills    

[scribd id=94011352 key=key-11izthe2l6jrc4257evm mode=list]

Hague Urges Ministers to Boost Green Growth

William Hague has told ministers that the government should do more to help green industries in order to boost economic growth in Britain, the Guardian Newspaper reported today.

The Guardian has seen a private letter to the Prime Minister in which the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, called upon his cabinet colleagues to place a “stronger political emphasis” and show global leadership on the low carbon economy that will deliver green growth and create new jobs.

The letter argues that government ministers should keep a greater focus on environmental issues, boost the renewable industry which will boost economic growth and deliver modern infrastructure.

Mr Hague said: “I believe we should reframe our response to climate change as an imperative for growth rather than merely being a way of being green or meeting environmental commitments.

“The low carbon economy is at the leading edge of a structural shift now taking place globally, we need to stay abreast of this, given our need for an export-led recovery and for inward investment in modern infrastructure and advanced manufacturing.” added the Foreign Secretary.

He said: “We will not secure a binding agreement in 2015 unless the idea of low carbon growth becomes dominant across the major economies before then,” but the foreign secretary adds that “We can leverage this. But our diplomacy will only succeed if it is rooted in our own domestic narrative.”

According to the Guardian, the letter does not specifically criticise the coalition’s green agenda, and actively praises policies such as the Green Investment Bank and imminent electricity market reforms.

What is your reaction to the letter by Foreign Secretary, William Hague to help green industries boost Britain’s economy? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Solar Industry Associations to Clarify Good Reruns for Householders

 

The four major associations representing UK’s solar industry have joined together to support consumers and set the record straight about the current status of domestic solar power and the Feed-in Tariff, the Renewable Energy Association revealed today.

British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), the Micropower Council (MPC), the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Solar Trade Association (STA) are concerned that public opinion about renewable energy has been distorted by headlines such as “drastic cuts,” “illegal consultation,” or “huge job losses”, which do not reflect the actual reality on the ground as they obscure the truth about the renewable sector.

Industry representatives outlined the drastically falling cost in solar PV, ,making it a desirable investment to those who want to avoid increasingly rising energy bills and help tackling climate change.

Mainstream analysts expect solar power to be cheaper than buying electricity off the grid before the end of the decade. Costs in PV have fallen more rapidly in the past 12 months than any other energy technology, allowing consumers to save money in the future.

The association forecasts that solar industry has a bright future in the UK; it is exciting and becoming more popular. Industry experts think that tariffs will reduce over time in line with these significant cost reductions which will contribute for the creation of new jobs in the renewable sector.

Chairman of the British Photovoltaic Association commented that solar PV can offer clean, affordable and secure energy that people of the UK need.

You can find further information about the solar PV and read the full comments by the four major associations from here

UK-GBC Urges the Government to Stimulate Green Growth

The UK’s Green Business Building Council (UK-GBC) has urged the government to show renewed leadership on green issues which will create more jobs and encourage economic growth.  

Appropriate government intervention in energy schemes, more incentives for the development of green infrastructure and strong support for businesses across Britain should be the key priorities for the government to get Britain’s economy back on track, according to the Chief Executive of UK-GBC, Paul King.

The CEO thinks that despite the current economic difficulties in the construction industry, the government could do more to help economic recovery by making sustainable investment into the green economy.

He said: “The construction sector is suffering at the moment but it could play a key role in getting the UK’s economy back on track – with energy efficiency and green infrastructure central to economic recovery. Unfortunately, deregulation is not a miracle cure – in fact we probably need greater intervention from Government – for example bringing in incentives like reduced Stamp Duty to encourage households to take up the Green Deal, and helping the commercial sector cut energy use.”

Responding to the Queen’s Speech to Parliament, Mr King said: “We really need to see the Energy Bill announced today provide a vehicle for the long-awaited roll-out of Display Energy Certificates, which would help UK businesses save money.”

Do you think the government could do more to help the growth of Britain’s economy? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:   


The Queen Announces Support for the Renewable Industry

As part of her speech to Parliament yesterday, Her Majesty the Queen introduced Electricity Market Reform to encourage more investment in low carbon generation and clean energy.

The Queen said: “My Government will propose reform of the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity and ensure prices are fair”.

The Electricity Market Reform will put more restrictions on the emissions of new coal plants and create a new independent regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation, which will be funded by the industry, the BBC reported.

The Renewable Energy Association welcomed proposals for new energy bill. It said said that the industry will need to know its details as soon as possible in order to adjust and protect developers in the renewable sector.

Chief Executive of the REA, Gaynor Hartnell, said: “The new arrangements aim to deliver a stable price for renewable electricity generators, irrespective of what happens to electricity prices. If all works as intended, it should make project development less risky and means that the public pays no more than it needs to for green power.”

What is your reaction to the Queen’s speech? How do you think the proposed reform will help you or your business? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: 

Green Energy Will Support Economic Growth in Britain

Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne wrote in the Guardian newspaper yesterday that Britain has to stimulate future economic growth by investing in the renewable energy sector.

Economic recovery from double dip recession will work only if the government pursue ‘green growth’ because energy saving is a win-win situation for both businesses and households, the Former Cabinet Minister stated.

Mr Huhne is confident that green growth is sustainable because it has the potential for creating new jobs, cutting energy bills and increasing spending incomes of households. He also encouraged more vigorous debate on the wider agenda for natural resources and energy efficiency.

Mr Huhne said “Much of our economic debate implies we must choose between going green or going for growth. That view may be the opposite of the truth. There is now hard evidence that the real choice is between green growth or no growth at all.”

Although the Former Liberal Democrat Minister didn’t criticise the government and declined to name those who are portraying green policies as a barrier to growth.  Some senior Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have previously complained that Tory MPs have been obstructing green policies relating to energy efficiency.

What is your reaction to the article by former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne? Do you share his opinion that investing more in energy projects will boost the UK economy? Let us know by leaving a comment below:  

Prime Minister Cameron supports the Renewable Energy Sector

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed a £350 million investment for energy projects which will create hundreds of new jobs across the UK, the official website of Number 10 Downing Street announced today.

The Prime Minister, who attended Clean Energy Ministerial Conference in London, told ministers from the world’s most polluting countries that he passionately believed in the rapid growth of renewable energy.

Mr Cameron emphasised the contribution that Britain has already made in the renewable energy sector, Britain has invested a total value of £4.7 billion and supported 15,000 jobs in the UK’s renewable industry

He said: “Renewables are now the fastest growing energy source on the planet. And I am proud that Britain has played a leading role at the forefront of this green energy revolution.

“Britain has gone from virtually no capacity for renewables, to seeing them provide almost 10 per cent of our total electricity needs last year. And we’ve added more capacity for renewables in the last two years than at any time in the last decade.”

The Prime Minister said: “Our commitment and investment in renewable energy has helped to make renewable energy possible. Now we have a different challenge. We need to make it financially sustainable.”

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) welcomed the acknowledgment by the Prime Minister today that the renewables are the fastest growing energy sector in the world, but said that the government should understand better the benefits of renewable energy investment, including the creation of more jobs.

The Chairman at REA, Martin Wright, said:  “There is a tendency to focus on the costs of renewables as opposed to the benefits. Renewables give us energy independence, they are totally sustainable, there is no waste, and in the long term they will provide low cost energy and, above all, price stability.”

What is your reaction to the address by David Cameron to the renewable energy sector? Do you feel more optimistic about the future of renewables in the UK? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

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