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.

Households will be granted up to £7,600 each from a £120M pot of money available from June to install double glazing, new boilers and insulation. The grants are being made available as the government attempts to encourage energy efficiency after the slow take up of its Green Deal loan scheme which has been shunned by homeowners in part because interest on the loans is perceived as too high. 

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