June 9th, 2008
In the south eastern parts of London, hundreds of households and thousands of people were left without electricity after a fire broke out at an electricity sub-station. The fire was in Sydenham park and the London Fire Brigade was notified at about twenty one minutes past seven in the morning on Sunday.
The energy utility, EDF Energy cited safety reasons for isolating electricity supply about one and a half hours after the fire fighters were called in. As a result of the supply isolation, thousands of households were without electricity.
A spokesperson for the energy utility assured the affected consumers in the area that they were working closely with the London Fire Brigade and then sent out the company’s apologies for the inconveniences that the power cut had caused.
The spokesperson added that as soon as the London Fire Brigade had allowed access to the scene of the fire the company would be conducting an assessment of the damage and after that electricity supplies would be resumed as soon as possible.
The spokesperson attributed the loss of loss of transmission on BBC1 and BBC2 at about nine in the morning to the blaze. A spokesperson for BBC gave a confirmation of the loss of transmission in London. The broadcasting interruption last about twenty minutes. The BBC spokesperson explained that the substation blaze cut off supply of electricity to the Crystal Palace TV mast in south-east London and thus the broadcasting interruption.
For most of the affected electricity consumers, electricity supply was resumed by EDF Energy at quarter to noon.
June 9th, 2008
A couple of households in East Huntspill close to Burnham-On-Sea have been experiencing severe and recurring electricity blackouts.
The power distribution company responsible for the area, Western Power Distribution made a confirmation that indeed there had been an electrical fault which left approximately twenty three households in the village without electricity. The fault was identified to have occurred at around twenty minutes past ten in the evening.
Tacy Carr, a spokesperson for the power distribution company disclosed that they were summoned to rectify a sub-station fault which had occurred along Church Road leaving twenty three households without electricity. Power supply to the affected homes was resumed some few minutes after midnight.
However the underground fault occurred again where now a fuse blew at quarter past five in the morning, just a few hours after reconnection. The new problem left approximately fifteen households without electricity. Initially ten of these homes were provided with an alternative supply while the remaining five had their electricity supply resumed later in the day.
Western Power Distribution profusely apologised for the inconvenience it had caused its customers.
Elsewhere, after an underground fault on the electricity network in the area, residential areas and business enterprises in Tadley experienced power outages. Close to one thousand and two hundred properties suffered the power cuts which have been recurring.
An employee of Southern Electric, Sharon Miller McKenzie, disclosed that engineers had been dispatched to the area where the problem had occurred and their mission was to conduct a long lasting repair to the fault to avoid a recurrence.
June 8th, 2008
The electricity market in Northern Ireland is set to be liberalised and this could be good news for electricity users since it would encourage competitive practises and lead to a reduction in prices. This became clear after the firm which owns Kilroot power plant ended up losing a legal challenge brought before it where it was trying to retain a contract for electricity supply. The firm, AES had the intention of having the lucrative contract it won in 1992 to run until the year 2024.
The industry’s regulatory body chief executive, Iain Osborne admitted that he did not how much savings consumers of electricity would be able to make after the liberalisation of the market move. But he predicted that this would all depend on what the prevailing fuel prices will be at the time.
He added that the Kilroot power plant was the only coal-powered electricity generating plant and if the prices of coal remained low it would result in a good deal for consumers. Though that has not been the case in the previous years, this could change.
The utilities regulator was happy with the decision the court had taken to safeguard the interests of members of the public. He assured electricity consumers that the authorities would always ensure that members of the public were not exploited.
From the Consumer Council, Sinead Dynan expressed hope that the move certainly would be good news for electricity consumers especially in the current times when energy prices kept on rising and rising.
Till these news it had been widely expected that electricity prices were to rise by up to thirty three per cent in Northern Ireland.
June 8th, 2008
In a village in Suffolk electricity outages have caused chaos and frustration to the point that one high school which is prepared its students for O level and A level exams is struggling to ensure that learning is not discontinued.
In Stowupland which is close to Stowmarket the power crisis has affected over one thousand and six hundred electricity consumers including the residential area and the high school where learning has been greatly inconvenienced.
To cope with the situation, at Stowupland High School the school administration has had to send some lower grade students back home to make room for the older students to occupy the classrooms which have the most natural light.
The examinations that are currently being taken include the sciences in the O levels as well as Cantonese and German. The A level exams being taken include maths, geography, ethics and philosophy.
A Suffolk County Council spokesperson disclosed that they were trying every means possible to keep parents and guardians abreast with the developments. The spokesperson added that the underground cables were still waiting to be repaired and it would take some time before the power supply was resumed. In that regard the students taking exams on these days would use classrooms with the most natural light.
A spokesperson for EDF Energy Networks, Rajan Lakhani, disclosed that the company had sent apologies to the affected consumers. The spokesperson attributed the power interruption to a complication that arose on the local high voltage network. He added that one of the generators was also causing problems.
June 8th, 2008
The chief executive officer of E.ON UK has said that Britain will experience electricity outages more frequently and severely than what has previously been the case unless a lot of additional many new electricity generating stations are developed fast enough.
Paul Golby, the chief executive of E.ON UK said that at the minimum twenty five gigawatts of new electricity production capacity was require to take the place of the old power stations that will be phased out in the coming ten years. This new power generation capacity could come renewable energy sources as well as from nuclear, coal and gas power plants.
The chief executive of E.ON UK expressed fear that the power crisis was going to get worse and the power outages which were experienced by hundreds of thousands of electricity consumers was proof that the electricity generation facilities were ageing and needed a replacement.
The boss of the United Kingdom subsidiary of the German energy utility, E.ON called for the development of additional coal and gas fired plants in a bid to ensure power supply was maintained when production from the increasing number of wind energy plants goes down during the windless seasons.
Paul Golby however urged caution against over reliance on imported gas and backed the Prime Minister’s suggestion that nuclear energy’s electricity generation capacity should be increased to higher levels than the current ones. He disclosed that his firm was still interested in developing new nuclear power stations. He however could not comment on British Energy which has been in the news lately over who will eventually win the bidding war.
June 7th, 2008
Calls have been made for the shipbuilding sector in the North East to get ready to exploit the economic advantages that would come about as a result of the wind energy boom in the region.
The New and Renewable Energy Centre which is based in Blyth said the fact that the government had identified eleven offshore sites for possible location of wind farms should get the shipbuilding industry in the region ready for the economic opportunities that were waiting to be exploited.
This followed a predicting by the British Wind Energy Association that the wind farm explosion would result in thousands of new employment opportunities being created in the area.
In the United Kingdom approximately five thousand new wind energy turbines will be required. Over eight hundred of these wind turbines will be set up offshore. This is all part of a programme costing eighty billion sterling pounds that aims to increase the capacity of electricity generated from renewable energy sources.
A spokesperson for New and Renewable Energy Centre said the North East region was strategically located to reap the economic benefits that would come with the expansion of wind energy production capacity. The spokesperson pointed out that the shipbuilding sector in the North East was well placed to produce specialised installation sea vessels that would be used to set up the offshore wind turbines. In the past the North East firms have been engaged in the installation of wind energy turbines off the coast of Scotland.
June 7th, 2008
Leaders in wind energy in the United Kingdom have said that in the next five years the amount of energy that is generated from wind will surpass that generated from nuclear sources.
Figures given by the British Wind Energy Association show that the installed wind energy generating capacity in the United Kingdom will beat that of installed nuclear in a span of the coming half a decade.
Maria McCaffery, the chief executive officer of the British Wind Energy Association revealed that the wind energy sector was no longer a small player considering that the sector was already generating five hundred megawatts already and another eight gigawatts were planned for in the future.
Though players in the wind energy sector are optimistic about the future of the industry many are of the view that there are unnecessary delays when it came to getting planning and development approval and that all these needed to be speeded up to encourage greater investment in the industry. In the past bureaucracy and the high costs that go with wind energy development have caused a number of highly prospective projects to be prematurely called off.
The chairperson of the British Wind Energy Association, Adam Bruce and who is also the Scottish and Southern Energys head of sustainability pointed out that generation of energy from renewable sources such as wind would be instrumental in helping to hit the target set by the European Union on renewable energy whereby each member country was required to produce a certain amount of electricity from renewable energy sources.
June 7th, 2008
The share price of Ramco Energy which is based in Scotland went up after Ramco Energy made the announcement that it had formed a subsidiary which would be solely responsible for the generation of energy from wind sources. As soon as the announcement was made about where the company’s diversification strategy was headed the share price in the oil and gas company went up by over eight per cent. The oil and gas firm which is based in the Scottish area of Aberdeen, broke the news that it had decided to set up a new subsidiary which would be involved in the exploration of opportunities in the production of wind energy mostly from offshore sites all over the European continent and the world as well. The new Ramco Energy subsidiary charged with specialising in offshore wind farm development is to be called SeaEnergy Renewables. Also in the announcement was the ownership structure of the new subsidiary. While Ramco Energy would have an eighty eight per cent stake in the new wind energy subsidiary, the founding management team of Ramco Energy would own a twelve per cent stake. The oil and gas firm disclosed that SeaEnergy had already been involved in the development of the Beatrice wind farm in the North Sea part of the UK on behalf of Scottish and Southern Energy and Talisman Energy of Canada. Ramco Energy also revealed that the market for offshore and deepwater wind farms was expanding and the wind energy sector was generally expanding at the rate of between ten and fifteen per cent. Most of the expansion could be attributed to the renewable energy targets that each member country of the European Union was to meet.
June 6th, 2008
The Member of Parliament for Shropshire has cautioned that the lives of young pilots based in his constituency could be put at risk if the proposed wind farm for the area is granted approval.
Owen Paterson, the Member of Parliament for Shropshire, has sent a letter to Des Browne, the defence secretary asking him to join the opposition to the planned wind energy project at Norton-in-Hales close to Market Drayton.
In the correspondence to the defense secretary, Mr. Owen Paterson said that the lives of young pilots based at Royal Airforce Shawbury could be put in danger by the wind energy project. He observed that the area was already challenging to the young pilots when it came to navigating in the air.
The Member of Parliament for Shropshire has also sent a fourteen-page letter to North Shropshire District Council’s chief executive, Nicola Yates, as a formal objection to the proposal to develop the wind energy project which will comprise of 7 turbines.
Mr. Owen Paterson has listed a number of reasons why he believes the wind farm should not be granted consent as well as the effects he thinks the planned wind energy project will have on the young trainee pilots at the Royal Airforce at Shawbury.
The Member of Parliament for Shropshire is quoted as acknowledging that it was quite unlike him to write a letter of that nature to North Shropshire District Council and attributed it to the reason that he felt strongly that planning authorities such as the North Shropshire District Council were being subjected to unacceptable pressure by the Government so that it could force through renewable energy policy.
June 6th, 2008
The Ministry of Defence and several energy firms have come to an agreement in which they will jointly meet the costs of upgrading expensive radar equipment. This helped break an impasse that would have derailed various key offshore wind farms leading to the highly ambitious renewable energy goal of the government hitting a brick wall.
The agreement came after officials from the energy sector got angry with the objections they were getting from the Ministry of Defence and decided to take their case to the Prime Minister. The signatories of the agreement will be the Defence secretary, Des Browne, the Business Secretary, John Hutton, and the chairperson the British Wind Energy Association, Adam Bruce.
The Ministry of Defence had refused to give approval to at the minimum four key offshore wind energy project some of which had taken years of planning and preparation on the grounds of national security. The Ministry of Defence has argued that offshore wind turbines in the direct line of sight of radar stations interferes with their accuracy and effectiveness.
Having earlier been told that there would be no objections, the energy firms hit the roof when it emerged that there were objections from the Ministry of Defence. The energy firms observed that the objection from the Ministry of Defence was going to lead to a waste of millions of sterling pounds which had been invested and would discourage new investment in the renewable energy sector. The government has recently shown a keen interest in developing the renewable energy industry.
June 6th, 2008
Energy suppliers in the United Kingdom are expected to increase the prices of electricity and natural gas for the coming twenty four months leading to a rise in inflation. This is what has been indicated by futures trading.
As per Spectron Group Ltd, a broker based in London, Natural gas for delivery this winter was priced at fifty four per cent higher than what it was at the beginning of the year. Futures contracts for the winter that begins next year are on an even higher level. Energywatch, a consumer group predicts that energy bills at the home level which rose by fifteen per cent in the first three months of the year will increase to catch up.
The increasing energy prices will pile pressure on the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King as he tries to keep the inflation level down at three per cent. The inflation rate is expected to go beyond what the government has targeted.
The biggest energy supplier in Britain, Centrica Plc, revealed in may that theur half year results will show a decline in profits mainly due to the increased costs of fuel.
The prices of gas for households in the United Kingdom have increased by more than double since 2003. Now the average gas bill for an average household in the United Kingdom is six hundred and forty six sterling pounds per annum. Electricity bills on the other hand have increased by about sixty nine per cent. According to Energywatch the average home in the United Kingdom forks out one thousand and fifty eight sterling pounds on their electricity bill annually.