The coalition government in the UK has implemented the largest, sweeping reforms to the energy sector in over twenty years. The good news is that the acknowledgment and prescient concern over the future is on the agenda, the bad news is that many are disappointed that renewable energy is taking a backseat to nuclear. As was reported in the Guardian newspaper recently, Charles Hendry, the minister of state for energy, said: “The market did a good job keeping down [energy] prices to the lowest in Europe, but it did not bring forward enough new investment. If we are going to keep the lights on in an affordable way, this is not a luxury – it’s absolutely essential.” True, but what do they propose? A fairly reasonable fixed price for carbon (higher than what is ostensibly market price) and an “emissions performance standard” stopping coal-fueled facilities from carrying on without proper carbon capture, it seems. The beef for environmentalists is the lack of investment on renewables. But, it appears a decent enough plan to provide higher prices to industry – in order to spur future investments in renewables and ensure no future shortages (this was perhaps the main impetus). The question, as is often the case with everything – where’s the money coming from? That’s a tough one to answer considering the nation’s current economic struggles.
Imagine all of the greenhouse gases that are destroying the atmosphere being captured and stored underground, before they reach the skies. It’s plausible and beginning to happen – moving from the research level to potentially revolutionizing a multitude of industries, according to a recent UK report. If governments can get behind the new technological advancements taking place with CCS (and that, of course, means large financial allocations), climate change may be slowed, or potentially quelled. Read the rest of this entry →
An amazing photograph appeared recently in The Guardian newspaper – the shot consisted of the MD of John Lewis, addressing hundreds of his ‘partners’ at a new branch opening in London. What makes the shot interesting is the fact that his partners are employees that share in the ownership of the company, and they number almost 80,000. There isn’t a stock market listing and there aren’t private equity backers, and the payout for last year to everyone was in line with the overall profits – and those keep getting better every year.