5,000 Solar firms go bust in Germany in 2011

adminBusiness Electricity, International

Germany’s once booming solar power industry is declining at an alarming rate, with 20,000 jobs being lost in 2011 alone. Germany once had the biggest solar industry in the world, providing around 150,000 jobs by 2010, but that bubble seems to be starting to burst, as demand for solar technology drops, government subsidies are cut and competition from cheaper Asian … Read More

China, India & the US still at loggerheads after a week at 2011 Durban Climate Conference

adminEnergy Efficiency, International, Utilities Market Regulation

Representatives from 194 countries around the world have been at COP17 in climate talks for the past week trying to get Kyoto II signed, but the US, China & India are barely even talking. With global carbon emissions higher than ever before, the UNFCCC is pushing hard for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, but the two fastest growing economies … Read More

Rising gas prices push up energy bills

adminBusiness Electricity, Business Gas, International, Utilities Market Regulation, Wholesale Utilities Markets

Wholesale natural gas prices are 40 per cent higher than they were this time last year. Despite criticism that green taxes and subsidies are pushing up energy prices, Ofgem remain certain that it is rising wholesale electricity prices that are to blame. An Ofgem report stated that wholesale gas is now 40% costlier than it was at this time last … Read More

‘Keep switching’, says Huhne at Energy summit

adminBusiness Electricity, Business Gas, International, Wholesale Utilities Markets

The UK has “relatively good electricity and gas prices”, the Energy Secretary said at the Energy Summit held on 17 October 2011. Mr Huhne said on Radio 4’s Today programme, that energy companies were “not the Salvation Army”. He added “We expect them to earn respectable returns for their shareholders but they need to be operating in a fair and … Read More

Weightman to release report on nuclear power

adminBusiness Electricity, International, Wholesale Utilities Markets

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne is expected to use the report on the Fukushima disaster by Mike Weightman to push the UK’s new nuclear power program. The report on what can be learned from the Fukushima disaster is expected to kick-start the UK’s nuclear programme, despite criticism from Greenpeace and other environmental groups that it has been rushed through. Anti-nuclear protesters … Read More

Germany pushing for European super-grid

adminBusiness Electricity, International, Wholesale Utilities Markets

Law stating that Germany must outlaw nuclear power generation by 2022 is encouraging more talk of an EU-wide electricity system. After the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany decided to shut down its 17 nuclear power stations by 2022, closing the 7 oldest ones immediately. This has turned Germany from a net exporter of electricity, to a net importer of electricity … Read More

‘European super grid’ could cost £28 billion

adminBusiness Electricity, Energy Efficiency, International, Utilities Market Regulation, Wholesale Utilities Markets

A new ‘super grid’ for electricity that connects Britain to mainland Europe is being tabled as the solution to balancing international supply and demand. The new system would use cables laid under the sea, making it easier to connect offshore wind farms to the grid, eliminating the need for pylons that run from the countryside to the coast. It would … Read More

Jobs created by Obama’s green-tech program

adminBusiness Electricity, International, Utilities Market Regulation

The USA’s $38.6 billion “green-tech” program has so far only created a fraction of the green jobs that were promised. Various media outlets around the world are reporting on what’s becoming known as the Solyndra Scandal. Solyndra was a company that made solar panels, and was funded by Obama’s green-tech subsidy program. “The future is here” said Mr. Obama, when … Read More