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Government solar plans risk leaving industry with just £7million support over 3 years

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As reported in The Times (paywall) newspaper today, new analysis from the Solar Trade Association has uncovered that the Government is planning on spending even less on solar over the next three years than many commentators originally thought.

In the Feed-in Tariff Review (FiT) consultation published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change three weeks ago, draconian cuts to the tariff for domestic solar of up to 87% are proposed, together with stringent maximum deployment caps.

The STA has conducted a detailed analysis of the Government proposals which shows they would result in a maximum of just £7million of support on new solar deployment under the Feed-in Tariff scheme from next year, over the next 3 years (2016-2018).

Spending will fall from a current run rate of less than £70million per year to £2million per year, or a 98% cut in the total budget.

The solar industry has had all other forms of support removed over the summer, and there is no clarity on future auction rounds for large-scale solar under the Contracts for Difference system.

This is out of a total low carbon energy budget called the ‘Levy Control Framework’ projected to be £7.6billion by 2020.

To put the £7million budget into context, that means that over the next three years 0.04% of the Levy Control Framework budget is being spent on new solar projects. As a comparison, £7million is less than Buckinghamshire County Council spends on potholes in a single year.

Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association, commented: “Allocating £7million of support for solar power – the world’s fastest growing clean energy solution – is absurd. This does not constitute a serious energy policy.”

“Solar can transform choice and competition in electricity markets, so the government’s short-term thinking on bills risks condemning hardworking families to a future of higher energy costs.”

“This 98% cut in support is extreme and will decimate the nation’s most popular source of energy, and puts at risk over 20,000 solar jobs. The UK will be left behind if we turn our back on a global solar revolution.”

“We have a plan to maintain a robust and growing solar industry and are keen to work with Government to find an effective solar policy that also delivers value for money. It is essential the Government rethinks its proposals – jobs and businesses are at risk.”

“Given how close solar is to being subsidy-free – which these cuts will delay – giving this vital technology one last push is clearly in the interest of consumers. Currently Government is set to trip its solar revolution up at the last hurdle, which makes no sense at all.”

Momentum is building behind efforts to urge the Government to rethink its plans for the Feed-in Tariff and solar energy. The Confederation of British Industry said last week that the “roll-back of renewables policies” was sending a worrying signal to businesses. The statutory Committee on Climate Change said that funding should not be withdrawn “too early”. Energy UK, the body that represents energy utilities, as well as other big business names such as DuPont have also called for the Government to “urgently reconsider” the proposals. The CEO of Shell recently said solar “will be the dominant backbone of our energy system”

Compare UK government policy to the Bank of England governor’s stark warning that climate change, caused by human activity, poses a huge risk to global stability. At a gathering of leading insurers at Lloyd’s of London, Mark Carney pointed out the rapid increase in weather-related catastrophes and the jump in both the physical and financial costs. He said the challenges currently posed by climate change “pale in significance compared with what might come”.

Environment

How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener

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green shipping industry

Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.

Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner

There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.

Reduce Emissions

A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.

As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.

Better Port Management

As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.

Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.

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Features

What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?

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shaker kitchen designs

A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.

When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.

1. Modern

New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.

modern kitchen designs

This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.

2. Classic

Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.

classic kitchen designs

With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.

3. Shaker

Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.

shaker kitchen designs

The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.

Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.

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