Archive for Department of Energy and Climate Change
www.bbc.co.uk 17th April 2012
A government appointed panel has stated that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is more commonly known, should resume in the UK. The technique, used to extract gas trapped in underground rock, was put on hold following two earthquakes felt in the area of Blackpool due to fracking operations by a company called Cuadrilla. The panel was put together by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and their report on the process now goes out for a six-week consultation period before the DECC makes any final decisions. Although similar to a report put together by Cuadrilla that admits the company was responsible for the Blackpool earthquakes, the DECC appointed panel’s report claims other earthquakes could well happen, something Cuadrilla denies. However, these earthquakes are not likely to be larger than 3 on the Richter Scale (the previous two were 2.3 and 1.5 in April and May last year respectively). A decision to re-allow fracking in the country has angered environmentalists and conservationists who believe the coalition government (David Cameron’s self-described ‘greenest government ever’) should be doing more to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels. Fracking uses a combination of water and industrial chemicals that are sprayed at high-power into underground rock formations to loosen gas reserves trapped within them. In the US, there have been reports of contamination of the local water supply as a result, which in worst case scenarios causes tap water to become flammable.
www.independent.co.uk 9th April 2012
Quoted from source:
‘Sixty-nine oil and chemical spills in the North Sea have been reported in three months. Eighteen companies were named in a table published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The most recent incident was a gas leak at Total’s Elgin platform on 25 March. Professor Andrew Watterson, the head of the occupational and environmental health research group at the University of Stirling, accused companies of playing down “the potentially catastrophic consequences” of gas and oil leaks. “These are very worrying figures that cannot be slicked over by government agencies and industry,” he said. He blamed “corporate failures” for polluting the sea, and pointed out that the number of reported chemical leaks had more than doubled since 2005. Oil & Gas UK, which represents offshore companies, said the leaks were “relatively small” and many of the chemicals “benign”. BP and Shell were among the firms listed, with BP reporting the highest number of incidents at 23. Other companies included EnQuest, British Gas and Nexen.’
www.bbc.co.uk 16th August 2011
Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has revealed to the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that they have discovered a second leak beneath their Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea, some 113 miles off Aberdeen. The first leak was found last weekalthough the company refused to say how much oil had been spilt. However, with the new discovery it is understood that around 1,300 barrels, or 216 tonnes, of “light crude oil with a low wax content” has been released into the marine environment creating a visible sheen on the sea’s surface about 0.5km wide. A DECC spokesman stated, “although small in comparison to the Macondo, Gulf of Mexico, incident, in the context of the UK Continental Shelf the spill is substantial. But it is not anticipated that oil will reach the shore and indeed it is expected that it will be dispersed naturally.” The leak, according to Shell’s technical director of exploration and production (Europe) Glen Cayley, is in a difficult area to access with a large amount of “marine growth”. ”It’s taken our diving crews some time to establish exactly and precisely where that leak is coming from,” he said. The Gannet oil field, owned by American oil giant Exxon and operated by Shell, has produced around 13,500 barrels a day this year.
news.sky.com 13th August 2011
The Anglo-Dutch oil-giant Shell has confirmed it has found an oil leak in a pipeline running to its Gannet Alpha platform 112 miles off the coast of Aberdeen. The company has refused to say how much oil has ben leaked from the damaged pipeline but a spokesman said: ”We have stemmed the leak significantly and we are taking further measures to isolate it. The subsea well has been shut in, and the flow line is being de-pressurised.” A cleanup ship has been sent to the site as well as a spotter plane to look out for oil on the sea’s surface. The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change have announced they are aware of the situation and are working with Shell to tackle the problem. Shell told the government agency that only a ‘finite’ amount of oil can be released from the pipeline. The oil field in the North Sea is actually owned by Esso, a subsidiary of American oil giant Exxon, but is operated by Shell. The Scottish Green Party has warned that Shell needs to keep the government, and the public, informed on the situation, something BP failed to do with the Deepwater Horizon disaster of April last year.
www.telegraph.co.uk 20th October 2010
Department of Energy and Climate Change:
What will be saved: The Green Investment Bank with over £1 billion investment; £1 billion to develop Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology; £200 million for the development of ‘low-carbon’ technologies including £60 million to upgrade Northeastern UK ports so that giant wind-turbines can be built in the country.
What will go: the ‘Feed in Tariff’ will remain at current levels and then cut by £40 million; the Renewable Heat Incentive (payments for people generating heat by green sources like wood or waste); the Warm Front Scheme (that provides grants for the less well off to install insulation).
What it means: a total funding reduction of 5%.
The Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs:
What will be saved: subsidies to help farmers maintain wildlife.
What will go: 3-8,000 jobs out of 30,000; quangos cut from 92 to 39 (drastic cuts to remaining bodies could result in Natural England selling off as many as 224 nature reserves); funding for flood defense cut by £460 million over 4 years; farmers expected to pay for disease prevention themselves; 6 incinerators.
What it means: overall cuts of £700 million, the largest cuts to a governmental department outside the treasury.
www.guardian.co.uk 21st September 2010
In an attempt to make yet further cuts, the treasury has suggested that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) merge with the treasury offices. The move came after the DECC was asked to mirror the 40% cuts happening in other departments throughout government. Officials within the DECC protested that to take such a large portion of their £3.2 billion budget meant that the department would be unable to stand on its own as a viable entity. However, the Climate and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has rejected the relocation suggestion due to fears that his team would ‘go native’. Mr. Huhne has had enough of a hard time securing funding from the Treasury to push forward the DECC’s projects such as the establishment of green investment bank and four large demonstrations of Carbon Capture and Storage that aims to promote a new generation cleaner coal power stations.The DECC was created under the last government in 2008 in an attempt to iron out two areas of policy that acted in competition with each other: the business and environmental departments.
The DECC has already had to drop subsides for homeowners using renewable energies and any further UK action in reducing the illegal timber trade.