Britain’s government on Wednesday moved to rein in the spiraling costs of renewable power subsidies which it said threatened to push up household bills. The proposals come just a month after the government said it would scrap new subsidies for onshore wind farms from April next year. –Susanne Twidale, Reuters, 22 July 2015
My priorities are clear. We need to keep bills as low as possible for hardworking families and businesses while reducing our emissions in the most cost-effective way. Our support has driven down the cost of renewable energy significantly. As costs continue to fall it becomes easier for parts of the renewables industry to survive without subsidies. –Amber Rudd, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary, BBC 22 July 2015
Solar panel projects and wood chip electricity generators have been targeted in the government’s latest moves to rein in support for renewable energy. This is the latest in a series of measures ministers have announced since the May election to cut the cost of subsidising renewable energy generators. In line with plans announced in the Conservatives’ election manifesto, Ms Rudd first scrapped subsidies for onshore wind farms a year earlier than planned. The chancellor, George Osborne, then ditched a climate change tax exemption in the Summer Budget. –Pilita Clark, Financial Times, 22 July 2015
The UK Treasury is asking all government departments, including the Department of Energy and Climate Change, to model cost reduction scenarios of 25% and 40% in real terms by 2019–20. DECC, as well as other departments, will be asked to examine assets and look at how they can be managed more effectively, including privatisation and contracting out assets that don’t need to be part of the public sector. —renews, 21 July 2015
The number of planning applications for renewable energy projects in the UK last month slumped to the lowest level in five years. According to official figures released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, there were only 21 new submissions last month, a 78% drop on the 95 applications lodged a year before in June 2014. As the pipeline for green energy projects dries up at an alarming rate, campaigners are accusing the Government of slamming a wrecking ball into a key industry sector of the future that is fast losing its attractiveness on the global investment stage. Ministers are currently looking at steering green subsidies for renewable energy towards the research and development of other low carbon technologies, including shale gas. —Click Green News, 21 July 2015
It has been noticed before that the minimum extent of Arctic ice extent hasn’t been changing very much in the past few years leading some to speculate about a so-called ice pause. In fact, a close look at the Arctic ice extent shows that since 1998 it has been pausing more than it has been declining. The so-called pause or hiatus in global surface temperature was first discussed after about eight years of unchanging data. The “pause” in minimal Arctic ice extent is now 17 years. Already some scientists are suggesting that it is a statistical figment, to be expected, and soon to disappear. The same thing was said about the global surface temperature hiatus. Is nature trying to tell us something? –David Whitehouse, Global Warming Policy Forum, 21 July 2015
The latest analysis of 88 million measurements from the European Space Agency’s Cryosat satellite show the northern ice-cap INCREASED by a staggering 41 per cent in 2013 and, despite a modest shortage last year, is bigger than at any time for decades. Of course, the climatologists will come up with explanations – as they did for the fact that global temperatures have barely changed since the year 2000. But the more they juggle their theories to fit the inconvenient truths, the more the public will question whether these prophesies of global doom are based on genuine science, or guesswork. –Editorial, Daily Mail, 22 July 2015
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