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Latest Developments

TOKYO, Japan - This October 2008 file photo shows reactors (from R to L) No. 1 through No. 4 at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. A hydrogen explosion occurred at the No. 3 reactor and cooling functions failed at the No. 2 reactor on March 14, 2011, following an explosion at the No. 1 reactor on March 12. (Kyodo). Copyright PA Photos.

Chris Huhne - Nuclear safety is number one priority - 17 March 2011


Chris Huhne today set out further detail on the UK Chief Nuclear Inspector’s report into the implications of events at Japanese nuclear reactors on existing and new plants in the UK. This came as Ministers met with representatives from the nuclear industry in London.


The Energy Secretary has asked Dr Mike Weightman for an interim report by mid May 2011 and a final report within six months. Both reports will be made public.


Chris Huhne said:


"The tragic events in Japan are still unfolding. We should not rush to judgment. It is important that we have the full facts at our disposal. I have asked the Chief Nuclear Inspector for a full report so that the implications for the UK are clear.


Safety is and will continue to be the number one priority for existing nuclear sites and for any new power stations. I want to ensure that any lessons learned from Mike Weightman’s report are applied to the UK’s new build programme."



House energy certificate

Green Deal call for evidence launched - 16 March 2011


The Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes (EEPH) has issued a Call for Evidence, on behalf of DECC, to inform a review of the costs and benefits associated with a wide range of energy efficiency measures.

The Green Deal will help to transform the energy efficiency of British properties, offering consumers improvements to their homes and businesses at no upfront cost.


At the heart of the Government’s proposals is the “Green Deal plan”, an innovative financing mechanism which allows consumers to pay for measures through savings on their energy bills.


Managed by the EEPH, the Call for Evidence will gather information about measures, including what they cost to install and how they perform. It covers a range of measures, from insulation and heating technologies to lighting and Microgeneration – looking at costs and performance individually and when combined with other measures.


Stakeholders are asked to submit their evidence by 4 April 2011.



Chris Huhne Secretary of State for Energy and Clilmate Change

Chris Huhne calls for 30% EU Emissions cut - 14 March 2011


The Secretary of State has called for a 30% EU emissions cut by 2020. Writing to the Guardian, Chris Huhne and 6 other European environment ministers have asked for tougher climate targets to ensure that emissions are reduced by 80% by 2050. Ministers are meeting in Brussels today for the EU Environment Council.


In the letter, Chris Huhne and his fellow signatories write,


"Now is the right time to discuss the most cost-effective route to achieving our 2050 goals, maximising growth, jobs and prosperity throughout Europe. We are not starting from scratch; the EU has already cut emissions by 17% from 1990 levels by 2009.


"The Commission’s roadmap demonstrates both that the current 20% target is not a cost-effective route to the 2050 goal, and that we already have the tools and policies to cut emissions by 25% domestically. The European Energy Efficiency Plan in particular is welcome and shows the big impact reducing energy consumption can have. The case to move to a 30% target by 2020 is now stronger as a result.


"At a time when the price of oil is soaring, putting in place an ambitious plan for Europe’s low-carbon future has wider benefits than tackling climate change. It will increase the continent’s resilience against oil price spikes and reduce its dependence on imported energy. And it will help Europe compete with emerging economies in the fast-growing markets for green goods and services."


Solar water panel

World's first Renewable Heat Incentive launched to reduce emissions - 10 March 2011


    • £860m government scheme expected to increase green capital investment by £4.5 billion up to 2020, stimulating a new market in renewable heat;
    • Incentive to increase number of industrial, commercial and public sector installations by seven times to 2020
    • A full system of RHI payments will be available to households from October 2012
    • In the interim, more than a quarter of the first year’s budget to be guaranteed for up to 25,000 household installations through a “RHI Premium Payment” to encourage take-up;
    • 150,000 existing manufacturing, supply chain and installer jobs to be supported


The world’s first financial incentive of its kind to revolutionise the way heat is generated and used in buildings has been launched by Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.


The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will support emerging technologies and businesses in the UK, strengthening security of supply by reducing dependence on fossil fuel heating and emissions.


Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said:


“Renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future.


"This incentive is the first of its kind in the world. It’ll help the UK shift away from fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies.”



The Carbon Plan front cover

Carbon Plan launched today - 08 March 2011


A Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister backed cross-Government action plan on climate change has been launched today which sets strict actions and deadlines that Whitehall will have to meet to ensure that the Government lives up to its ‘Greenest Government’ ever aim.


The Carbon Plan:


  • Is being initially published in draft, ahead of a final version in the Autumn – to be updated annually. This will allow the final live version to take account of the fourth carbon budget to be determined later this year. We also want NGOs and others to scour the plan and tell us what’s missing and what we have got right.
  • Shows that the delivery of the Government’s low carbon agenda is the shared responsibility of the whole of Government with key actions for BIS, DfT and HMT.
  • Will help ensure that each Whitehall department deliver key climate actions for which they are responsible to a clear framework of deadlines. Progress against these deadlines will be published quarterly on the No.10 website.


In a foreword to the document, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change write:


"This Carbon Plan sets out a vision of a changed Britain, powered by cleaner energy used more efficiently in our homes and businesses, with more secure energy supplies and more stable energy prices, and benefiting from the jobs and growth that a low carbon economy will bring.


Becoming a low carbon economy will be one of the greatest changes our country has ever known. But it is a change for the better, for our economy, our society, and for the planet. This Carbon Plan shows how, together, we can make it happen."



How would you meet our energy demands and reduce carbon emissions by 2050? - 03 March 2011


  • Build 50 new nuclear power stations?
  • Build 20,000 onshore wind turbines?
  • Reduce average home temperatures by 1.5 degrees celsius through smarter heating?
  • Convert all cars to electric power?
  • Put external wall insulation on every home?


A new online simulation gives you the chance to take the big decisions about the nation’s energy future.


Launched in London, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said:


“There’s no silver bullet solution to the UK’s energy future. This project is all about getting to grips with the hard choices and  trade-offs which need to be made, choices which will affect our homes, communities and the way we travel. We can’t afford to leave it till tomorrow -  so get involved today.”




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