Energy roundup

Energy secretary Ed Davey has pledged government support under the new energy market reforms contracts for difference scheme for eight major renewable energy projects generating up to 4.5GW of power The deal will guarantee the price of energy from five proposed offshore wind farms and the conversion of three coal-powered plants to run on biomass which he said would attract £12bn in private investment while adding 2% to average household energy bills.

Marine energy research projects near the Orkney islands may need public funding to get a grid connection after a government report warned of a “looming underwriting funding gap” for a proposed 180MW cable to Orkney.  Orkney is one of three planned Scottish island transmission connections that are caught in a deadlock. The others are a 450MW cable to the Western Isles and a 600MW link to the Shetland Isles.

Shale gas could deliver a potential £33bn benefit to the UK economy and over 64,000 jobs according to the Getting Ready for UK Shale Gas report published by trade body United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) and part funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Specialised equipment, waste management, steel manufacture and rig manufacture are the sectors that will benefit most. Read the report

Top 10 countries in terms of well planned energy strategy according the Global Energy Architecture Performance Index Report 2014 are: Norway, New Zealand, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Colombia, Spain, Costa Rica and Latvia.

Fracking is part of the solution to global warming according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but alongside a massive expansion in green energy. The panel says it is possible to limit the average rise on global temperatures to 2C by 2100. But to do that the world has to treble its use of low carbon power such as wind farms, nuclear plants and solar power and places shale gas in the list of options for low carbon fuel sources.

Plans to turn the Government estate as well as factories, supermarkets and car parks into “solar hubs” have been outlined in a new solar strategy by energy minister Greg Barker.

FIFA is showing its thanks to Brazil’s construction industry by handing out nearly 50,000 World Cup tickets to workers involved in building or refurbishing the 12 stadiums. The tickets cover all the first-round games with the exception of the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on 12 June in São Paulo.

Scotland generated a record amount of electricity from green energy sources last year, according to new figures. Renewable power projects produced a total of just over 17,000GWh of electricity in 2013, a rise of 16.4% on the previous year. That means about 46.5% of Scotland's energy needs came from sources such as wind or hydro power.