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Economy

Brexit Presents Energy Opportunities For Britain

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The creation of new departments and sectors are said to represent new openings for Britain.

The fabrication of a new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the absorption of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) into it, represents an ‘industrial, economic and technological opportunity’ for Britain, said James Heappey, MP for Wells and member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, today.

“There are understandable concerns about the abolition of DECC and its merger into a new department, and I hope that energy won’t be an afterthought in BEIS,” he said.

 “But in reality I think that there is a recognition across Government now that we have a massive opportunity with the low-carbon transition.

Renewable energy is a huge opportunity for the Government

“Energy storage and demand-side response are key to really unlocking their potential. We should stop seeing these as ‘green’ technologies, but simply as an industrial, economic and technological opportunity for UK Plc.”

 James Heappey was speaking at an event in Westminster on the implications of Brexit for energy policy in the UK. Speaking at the same event, Professor Jim Watson, Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), said that ‘time will tell’ whether energy and climate change policy becomes more firmly integrated with wider industrial strategy.

 “The merger of the Department of Energy and Climate Change with the Department of Business has divided opinion. Some people see opportunities to integrate energy and climate policy more firmly with wider industrial strategy, while others are concerned over an apparent downgrading of climate change as a policy priority,” he said.

 “Time will tell which view is correct, but three points are worth noting. Firstly, the merger does not mean that the clock is being turned back to the days when Government neither viewed energy as a priority, nor when energy and climate issues were split across different departments.

“Secondly, the low-carbon transition in the UK, as mandated by the Climate Change Act, is now well under way. Progress is being made, though there is an increasing gap between climate targets and policy action. And thirdly, the new ministerial team at BEIS have long-term knowledge and experience of why this transition is important.

“A significant uncertainty, however, is the nature of the UK’s future relationship with the European Union and other countries. But the UK has historically been a leader in both tackling climate change and in liberalising energy markets. As negotiations with the EU get underway, it will be important to maintain a strong focus on reducing emissions whilst identifying opportunities for UK-based firms to benefit from the energy transition”

 Hugo Chandler, Director at New Resource Partners who formerly led work on grid integration of renewables at the International Energy Agency, said that the UK, along with other nations, was committed to developing a flexible, smart power grid.

 “Before the referendum, the UK had made some good first moves towards the kind of flexible grid that can manage the 12GW of offshore wind in the pipeline. Whether in the EU or out, this direction of travel remains sound. Transition to a flexible grid is the logical thing to do, and with present technology it’s the only route to addressing the energy trilemma of clean, affordable, secure energy supply,” he said.

 “Britain isn’t alone in this transition: most other major developed economies are pursuing smart power infrastructure such as interconnection, demand response, storage and flexible power plants. And it remains in our neighbours’ interests to collaborate in gas and power.

 “Major players from the big utilities to Energy UK and the National Infrastructure Commission are all pointing in the same direction. The right thing to do for the new business department is to continue on its course, and indeed to entrench it firmly in our overall industrial strategy.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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