China mulls new energy “super ministry”
China is considering a proposal to create an energy “super-ministry” as part of a sweeping cabinet reshuffle in 2013. The new ministry would replace the National Energy Administration (NEA), China’s main energy regulator. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, has been trying to draw up a long-term strategy for the sector that will address the security of overseas oil-and-gas supplies, rationalize pricing and taxation policies, boost new energy like nuclear and renewables and cut pollution and greenhouse gas.
Oil chief issues threat to Obama over Keystone XL pipeline decision
The head of the American Petroleum Institute said that the Obama administration will face serious political consequences if it rejects a Canada-to-Texas oil sands pipeline that has been opposed by environmental groups. Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, said TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline would definitely play a role in this year’s national elections. “This issue is very simple; it’s about jobs and national security”. Gerard told reporters after giving a speech on the state of United States energy.
Report warns 400,000 firms could be refused green loans
With the Bank of England predicting tight credit conditions are set to continue in 2012, a new report has warned many firms could struggle to access finance for energy efficiency investments despite the fact resulting cost savings could help cover repayments. Research published yesterday by the Carbon Trust and Siemens found that 38% of firms in England would find it difficult to access bank loans to fund investment in energy saving measures, such as low energy lighting or biomass heating, largely as a result of poor credit ratings.
Baking giant Warburtons looking to renewable energy
Warburtons has announced plans to potentially install renewables on its properties around the UK. The business reveals in its first Corporate Responsibility Review published yesterday that it currently sources no power at all from renewables. Although the report makes no reference to Feed-In Tariffs (FITs), which could have benefitted the business had it invested in solar earlier.
Strong winds give Ecotricity an energy boost
Ecotricity has revealed it produced 18% more energy last year, largely as a result of stronger winds. The independent utility yesterday revealed that it produced almost 123.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) from a fleet of 51 turbines in 2011, compared with 104.6 GWh from the same fleet in 2010. The company also installed two more turbines last year, taking its total output to 129.4 GWh.
Mining giant settles Congo row
The controversial Kazakhstan-based mining group ENRC has settled the legal battle with a rival over ownership of a copper mine in the Congo by handing over $1.25 billion. The deal could go some way towards cleaning up its reputation and ends a dispute which became emblematic of concerns about the behaviour of giant foreign-controlled companies who have floated their shares on the London market.
The Independent p51 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/scandalstruck-mining-giant-settles-congo-row-6285588.html
India plans science policy to help tackle poverty and development
India will press science and technology into serving a national policy of more inclusive, sustainable and rapid growth for its people. Addressing the 99th Indian Science Congress, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said the occasion demanded looking anew at the role of science in a country “grappling with the challenges of poverty and development”. India’s National Innovation Council plans to set up an India inclusive innovation fund that will catalyse entrepreneurship to target solutions for people at the bottom of the pyramid.