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UK Energy News May 2015

According to Friends of the Earth, reported by Business Green, the government's plans for shale gas extraction in the UK would only secure a fraction of the country's energy requirements.

Of course its no surprise that Friends of the Earth, an environmental NGO, should say this, but others have said it previously. Moreover, the US shale gas industry is already declining, just a few years after it supposedly started to take off. We certainly can't compare the potential of shale gas in the UK with America's experience, given that the US is a much larger country, but it says something when their much larger shale resources are already on the wane. It doesn't hold out much hope for the fracking industry in a much smaller country like ours.

SNP Leader demands veto over UK energy decisions

Nicola Sturgeon has set out a list of specific demands on energy from Westminster, following a meeting with the Scottish Energy Advisory Board. These include an assurance that subsidies for Scotland's onshore windfarms will not be changed without the agreement of SNP ministers in Edinburgh. She also demanded that Westminster commit itself to major offshore wind projects because of the costs Scotland has incurred due to construction in deeper waters. The SNP also wants transmission charges for generators in Scotland to be cut further than the level currently set by Westminster.

"Scotland is an energy powerhouse but we have very limited powers on energy policy" Sturgeon said. "That is why today I am calling on the UK to take a much more collegiate approach to policy-making on energy and ensure proper consultation with the Scottish Government on major areas of energy policy. We have achieved a great deal in the renewable field, however there is still much to do and Scotland's natural potential makes it a cost-efficient place to develop renewable resources. We see a benefit to both Scotland and the rest of the UK in enabling this economically efficient development of renewable potential to continue."

Source: Herald Scotland

National Grid investigates the benefits of EU membership for energy matters

National Grid Ltd has announced it is investigating the benefits of EU membership in order to support its argument that Britain should remain a member. NGL is currently investing heavily in new power lines to countries such as Belgium and is convinced that continued membership of the EU is vital for Britain's economy.

"We cannot afford to lose the access to (European) energy supplies and interconnection, whatever the framework is eventually," Chief Executive Steve Holliday told Reuters. "Being part of the European energy market is unquestionably essential for the UK.

Source: Reuters 

National Trust says UK cities should generate their own energy

British cities should follow the example of Freiburg in Germany and generate their own energy rather than relying on the countryside, according to the Trust's rural enterprise director, Patrick Begg. Mr Begg also said that the National Grid should be overhauled so that it can meet demand at different times of the day. Smart grid technology could help to achieve this so that the grid could react to supply and demand.

Freiburg is one of the most eco-friendly cities in Europe. Its citizens live in sustainable housing and minimise their use of the car. The city uses hydro-power that is either generated locally or imported and large areas of the city have been pedestrianised with cyclists using miles of cycle lanes.

Source: The Telegraph


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