Posts tagged Low-carbon economy

Europe approves £3bn funding for UK’s Green Investment Bank

EU regulators have approved the creation of the UK’s £3 billion Green Investment Bank which will pave the way for investments in the low carbon economy and create new jobs.

The European Commission found sufficient safeguards to avoid “crowding out of private investment” and ensure fair competition whilst the bank is offering funding to accelerate the development of the UK’s green economy.

The bank’s mission is to invest in innovative and environmentally friendly projects for which a market failure has been identified. It is set to help offshore wind, waste and non-domestic energy efficiency sectors.

The Commission said the Green Bank will be capitalised with £3 billion and will intervene by syndicating and underwriting junior, mezzanine and senior debt, by taking equity stakes or granting guarantees.

According to the Commission, the new initiative will allow green projects to materialise while minimising potential distortions of competition.

The bank is seen as a crucial element in funding the country’s transition to a low carbon economy and it began investing directly in projects earlier this year.

Green Investment Bank chairman Lord Smith said: “This is excellent news and a very important milestone as we transition to a low carbon economy and work to boost investment across the industry.

“We have already made significant progress in building our teams and the necessary infrastructure for the bank and we expect to be fully operational in the next few weeks.

“We clearly have challenges ahead but we have the people, the expertise and the capability to deliver on our priorities and create the foundation for a new climate of green investment.”

What is your reaction to the UK’s £3 billion Green Investment Bank that is set to boost the green economy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

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.

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.

Multi-million Student Accommodation Scheme to Create New Jobs

A £65 million deal for student accommodation at the University of Essex is going ahead, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.

Today’s announcement gets  the ball rolling for selected building and design contractor Bouygues UK to build over a thousand student-bed accommodation complex.

Construction work has already started on the site adjoining Boundary Road which forms part of the University’s major Knowledge Gateway development.

The three-year scheme includes the construction of 648 new student units and the transfer of 766 existing ones, for which the Bouygues Development will provide the university a capital receipt.

The new build part of the scheme – known as The Meadows – has been designed by Lewis & Hickey architects and comprises 12-bed town houses accommodating 228 students and a further 420 en-suite study bedrooms.

An eye-catching  pavilion that will house a student common room, known as  ’The Hub’, will be built along the clusters of the study bedrooms.

Director of University of Essex Campus Services, Peter Church, said: “Demand for good quality campus residences remains high and The Meadows will add to student choice, with the town houses ideal for groups who wish to share accommodation.”

Mr Church commented that the combination of Bouygues Development’s extensive building and project management experience will complement and enhance the sense of community for students and local residents

What is your reaction to the major student accommodation scheme at the University of Essex? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Sporting Chance of Jobs in Hull’s New Theatre of Solar Power

One of the UK’ top sports colleges is about to get a £19 million facelift which is expected to create hundreds of new trade jobs.

Morgan Sindall has been given the go ahead for projects in Hull aspart of the city’s £400 million Schools Future Programme. Part of this will renovate St Mary’s College and will construct a 70, 000 sq. ft. teaching block.

North East construction managing director, Gordon Ray, said: “Construction work of this size and calibre has a huge impact on the economy of the city.

“We always look to support the communities and we hope to bring in a number of jobs to the region including for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.”

The new campus building will also include a new professional-standard 300-seat theatre with a ‘fly’ tower, allowing stage scenery to be raised and lowered during performances, which is one of the first to be installed in a school in the UK.

Mr Ray said that the company will aim to work with 50 building subcontractors from the area and also recruit apprentices throughout the lifetime of the project.

Due to the large amount of glazing and south facing frontage in its design, the new building will use thermal modelling and solar controlled glazing to ensure a steady internal temperature.

The main building will house 12 humanities classrooms, six sixth form classrooms, 14 science laboratories, 7,500 sq. ft. design and art space, a food technology classroom and two ICT suites.

As a specialist sports college, St Mary’s  will build a new 11,800 sq. ft. three court sports block with three sports science classrooms, an all-weather pitch and multi-use games area.

What is your reaction to the £19 million building scheme in Hull’s Mary College that will provide employment opportunities for trade professionals? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

Building Man City’s New Training Academy to Create Trade Jobs

Building work on Manchester City’s new £100 million training academy has been given the green light by the government, paving the way for new jobs in the building construction industry.

After clearing objections by previous landlords who refused to sell their plots to the football club, now the Secretary of State has granted a compulsory purchase order, allowing building work to start.

The scheme, which involves building a 7, 000 seat-stadium and 15 small pitches will create new jobs and help the local economy.

Eddie Smith, Chief Executive of urban regeneration company New East Manchester, told the BBC that this development will benefit the people in Manchester and create new jobs

Mr Smith said “Manchester City Football Club’s plans in east Manchester are a hugely important ingredient of the ongoing regeneration of the area, which will see not only world-class leisure and educational facilities for the community, but also jobs for local people.

“We worked with the club to help relocate existing business and sustain existing jobs and are pleased that the Secretary of State has reached a decision in the public interest which will enable this ambitious scheme to move forwards.”

BAM Construction has won the main contract after holding off competition with other firms.

Plans at the site on land next to the Etihad stadium include:

  • A home for up to 400 young players who will train and study alongside senior players, with a clear development pathway to the first team
  • One half size and 11 full size youth development pitches
  • One half size and 4 full size first team pitches
  • On site sleeping accommodation and classroom facility for 40 young players to allow them to train and study in a safe and secure environment
  • A carefully planned first team building with changing rooms, gym, refectory and injury and rehab centre
  • A 7,000 capacity stadium for youth matches
  • Staff offices and a dedicated media centre
  • A bridge linking the site to the Etihad Stadium and the rest of the Etihad Campus

What is your reaction to the green light given to the Manchester City’ training academy? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

Good News for the Trades: Hull’s Library Renovation Scheme to Create New Jobs

“The new redevelopment is to bring employment opportunities for trade professionals”

A multimillion redevelopment scheme at the University of Hull’s historic library has been given the green light with the appointment of its main contractor that will refurbish the 16,000 square-metre building and provide new employment opportunities for people in the trades. 

Today’s appointment of BAM Construction will provide the eight-storey library with new facades, mechanical and engineering services.

Building work is set to start this month, with the main scheme getting underway in November 2012. The project will continue for 3 years and is expected to be completed by 2014.

The project is expected to meet the world’s leading environmental and rating system for buildings, BREEAM.

BAM said in a statement today that it will hold suppliers days to attract local labour and provide employment opportunities for trade professionals, including plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

BAM’s Construction Director, Kelvin Pollard, said that the company is delighted to bring such impressive library to the forefront of modern design and technology which will encourage economic growth and create new jobs.

Mr Pollard said: “This major project will benefit the local economy and will ensure the library remains operational throughout. When complete, students will benefit from lighter, airier spaces that are more conducive to study and better equipped for modern learning.”

What is your reaction to the multimillion redevelopment scheme at University of Hull’s historic library which will benefit the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebookand Twitterpage.

 

University Regeneration Scheme to Create New Jobs in the Trades

The University of Bath has announced plans to spend £100 million on improving its campus over the next three years that will enhance student experience and create new jobs in the building trades.

The University’s major refurbishment programme announced today will provide 708 en-suite bedrooms in 75 flats across two buildings and deliver increased space for teaching and research improved facilities, creating employment opportunities for people in the building engineering sector.

A new multimillion Art Centre will be built by the autumn of 2014 including general teaching building facilities with a main 350-seat lecture theatre which is due to open in October 2013

Building plans have been submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council which is expected to reach a decision and give the green light to the improvement scheme by October 2012.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: “Despite continuing economic uncertainty and the changing tuition fee landscape, the University of Bath is facing the future with great confidence.

“Our aim is to further enhance the university’s ability to deliver an outstanding student experience; creating additional facilities for research, and an inspiring working environment, as well as providing cultural and economic benefits for the wider Bath region.”

What is your reaction on the £100 million regeneration scheme at the University of Bath? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

 

Good News for the Trades: Millions of Funding to Create New Jobs

“Hundreds of plumbers, electricians and gas engineers to benefit from the investment”

Millions of funding to get low carbon heating into peoples’ homes, including into hundreds of social houses across the nation, is still up for grabs according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Local authorities, housing associations and registered providers of social housing are being urged to benefit from the millions of pounds available from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP).

The scheme will replace more renewable heating systems, including biomass boilers, solar hot water panels and heat pumps, creating new employment opportunities for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers.

The RHPP has reopened thanks to the high value for money of projects already allocated funding under the scheme which will make tenants’ homes warmer, cosier and far more energy efficient.

Today, the DECC announced that up to £2.5 million of additional funding will be allocated under this element of the scheme.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “We have already awarded nearly £5 million to 72 projects under this year’s scheme, helping householders stay warm this winter and move away from expensive old heating systems to new clean renewable ones.

“But the high value for money of the bids we have received to date means that there is still money up for grabs and I would urge social landlords across the nation to apply and take advantage of all this scheme has to offer.”

The closing date for applications is 9 October 2012 and successful bidders will be announced shortly afterwards. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply from here.

What is your reaction to the reopening the of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme which will bring financial investment to the trades and create new jobs in the industry? 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.

Perth is given a £650, 000 Grand ahead of the Queen’s Visit

As reported by the BBC and the Press Association today, Scotland’s newest city has been awarded £650, 000 to restore and repair its historic buildings.

The grant has been given after Perth was granted a city status, which will be officially recognised during a visit by the Queen in July this year.

The funding granted to Perth will be spread over a period of three years. It will aim to safeguard and enhance city’s historic environment whilst contributing to the creation of new jobs and sustainable economic growth, Historic Scotland said.

Making the announcement, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “The grant from Historic Scotland will help secure Perth’s outstanding built heritage, enhancing the city and preserving a sense of place.

“Improving the historic properties will also encourage tourism, promote the use of traditional building skills, and make the city of Perth a better place to live, work and invest in.

“Using sustainable materials to adapt existing buildings will also help support the historic environment’s transition to a low carbon economy.”

What’s your reaction to the future renovation which will take place in Perth? Can you name other similar cities which need such investment?  Share your thoughts 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:  

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. 

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: 

Funding for Innovative Solutions in the Low Carbon Industry

A £35 million investment to develop low carbon technology and create innovative ideas to improve energy efficiency has been announced today by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary.

Prior to hosting the International Conference on Clean Energy in London this week Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Edward Davey, said that innovation in developing green technology should be a key drive in tackling climate change as well as improving energy efficiency.

Mr Davey said:  “Part of the way that we’re going to tackle climate change and get clean energy is through innovation, particularly with small and medium entrepreneurs.

“We’re allocating a fund of £35 million which will help innovators and entrepreneurs develop and demonstrate low carbon technologies.”

He commented: “The first wave is going to be in energy efficiency in buildings, things like advanced lighting, heat pumps, ventilation technologies and so on. This is a practical way that we can make sure we get to the low carbon economy.”

Small and medium businesses will be able to benefit from the financial support of £35 million over the next three years by demonstrating their ideas and improving energy efficiency in the UK. Firms can apply for up to £1 million funding from the government which is expected to help them secure additional investment from the private sector.

In addition to the announced funding opportunities for the renewable sector, a new dedicated low carbon funding navigator will go live tomorrow. The website will help users and a wide range of businesses to search for the latest funding opportunities in the low-carbon industry. It will help industry professionals to find the right partners and build collaborative ventures.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change expects that by creating the new service and placing valuable information at users’ fingertips it will help smaller businesses to reduce wasted time and missed opportunities.

What do you think about the £35 million energy fund that will provide innovative support for small and medium businesses? How could you or your business benefit from this investment? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below:  

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