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Showing posts from January, 2012

Ecologist article on the Green Deal

Written by Hannah Kyrke-Smith in The Ecologist
The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) have the potential to reduce emissions from the UK’s ageing housing stock, create warmer homes and new jobs, says Hannah Kyrke-Smith. But will there be enough uptake? The Green Deal and the ECO are the government’s flagship carbon reduction policies, aimed at reducing carbon emissions from homes and small businesses. We are now one step closer to their launch this autumn, with the government’s consultation on the policies now closed.

Greg Barker, the minister for climate change, said in the Guardian earlier this month that the Green Deal will be ‘the biggest home energy improvement programme of modern times’, but we’ve been around the country and found that on the ground there is still a big risk of low uptake unless the needs of local economies and the …

Some of my articles for Solar Pages from last year

Germany considering solar subsidies cut

From Bloomberg

Germany may see a rush of solar panel installations in the coming weeks after lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition failed to agree on an overhaul of the country’s clean-energy subsidy system. A proposal backed by Economy Minister Philipp Roesler to limit total installations and introduce a quick one-time subsidy cut of about 35 percent found support in both parties but didn’t achieve unanimous backing, said Klaus Breil, a lawmaker with the Free Democratic Party junior coalition partner. “The meeting ended without result,” Breil said by phone after the meeting last night. “This delay means we’re headed toward installations of 4 gigawatts through April as subsidies are currently way too generous.” The comments underscore tensions inside Merkel’s government over support for renewable energy, which provides a fifth of Germany’s electricity. Roesler’s propos…

What do we know about HS2 so far?

I've been struck by the amount of controversy which has been generated by HS2, the High Speed Rail link from London to the West Midlands, so, not knowing that much about it, I've decided to write a few passages about it on this blog in order to try and gather my thoughts and learn more about the main issues involved.Rather than a straight A-B, the line stretches from London to Manchester with a branch extending from the main route to Leeds via the East Midlands. Apparently, there won't be any immediate calling points between London and the West Midlands apart from a spur to Birmingham, which immediately raises questions in my mind about what precisely is the business case for this project, as it seems to me that completely misses a lot of local business located between the two destinations. In principle the project is supported by the three main political parties. The government's case is that it will provide additional capacity on the rail network to the Midlands and t…

Opportunities and challenges for green business in 2012

This story copied from the Greenwise website.

GreenWise Poll: What are the opportunities and challenges for green business in 2012?9th January 2012 As business optimism in the general economy falls, GreenWise asks business leaders, NGOs and academics what are the opportunities and challenges for green business in 2012? On business sustainability
Jon Bentley, Smarter Energy lead, IBM Global Business Services

2012 will continue to offer opportunity for green businesses, but it is clear that success will rely on their ability to translate sustainable outcomes into cost savings. A year ago, I was optimistic for 2011 because major corporations were beginning to bring sustainability into the mainstream business agenda. I believe this continues to be the trend, but as sustainability becomes business-as-usual, the imperative for it to align with and reinfo…