Renewables boosted the UK economy by £2.5 billion
Government figures have revealed billions of pounds and thousands of jobs have been created by renewable energy. The figures don’t address possible job losses from cuts to renewable power, such as with the Feed-In Tariff changes, but were published as an update on progress to source 15% of the UK power from renewables. Energy minister Chris Huhne said the latest research from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) shows that so far this financial year, companies have announced plans for almost £2.5 billion worth of investment in renewable energy projects in the UK, with the potential to create almost 12,000 jobs across the country.
Wave energy pioneer courts big engineers
Three of Britain’s biggest engineering groups are being sounded out in an effort to find a “UK solution” to the conundrum of how to finance one of the world’s most advanced suppliers in the fledgling wave energy sector. The company up for sale is Pelamis Wave Power of Edinburgh, which hopes to attract interest from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Weir after receiving £45 million in funding from venture capital groups since it was started in 1998.
Reform Energy to build ‘flagship’ Energy from Waste plant in Lancashire
Reform Energy has won planning permission from Lancashire County Council to build an Energy from Waste (EfW) plant in Fleetwood – the first of several energy recovery projects the company intends to invest in across the Northwest. Civil engineering work on the £40 million facility is due to start shortly, with construction of the plant scheduled to be underway by the end of next year. The Fleetwood plant will generate up to 10MW of electricity using around 80,000 tonnes of recovered commercial waste material.
Dutch pension fund dumps Walmart
Leaders of the Making Change at Walmart campaign hailed the news that one of the largest pension funds in the world has decided to divest from Walmart stores. Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioenfonds announced today that the retirement fund would no longer invest in the retail giant due to the company’s repeated violation of international labour standards. “This is an important day for Walmart associates who want to be treated with respect,” said Jennifer Stapleton, assistant director of Making Change at Walmart.
Ecuador appeals court rules against Chevron in oil case
An Ecuadorean appeals court has upheld a ruling that Chevron should pay damages totalling $18.2 billion (£11.5 billion) over Amazon oil pollution. Chevron said the judgement was “illegitimate” and “a fraud”. Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, was accused of dumping toxic materials in the Ecuadorean Amazon. The original ruling ordered Chevron to pay $8.6 billion in damages, which was more than doubled after the company failed to make a public apology.
Mandatory emissions reporting decision could be delayed further
Rules requiring companies to report on their greenhouse gas emissions look set to be delayed until later this year due to a bottleneck in the government’s legislative process. A consultation on four options including both mandatory and voluntary reporting closed in July. The government was expected to publish a further consultation on its preferred option by the end of 2011 in order to ensure it complies with a timeline set by the Climate Change Act. The Act says that by April 6 2012 the government must either introduce a legally-binding carbon reporting regime or explain to Parliament why it has not done so.