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New energy secretary emphasises green growth on visit to BRE

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altEnergy secretary Ed Davey today visits BRE’s innovation park in Watford in his first official appointment since replacing Chris Huhne on Friday.

Mr Davey will join deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who will insist that low carbon markets are the next frontier in the battle for global pre-eminence.

Following a weekend in which MPs demanded cuts to wind power subsidies in a letter to the Prime Minister published in The Sunday Telegraph, the new energy secretary will state there will be ‘no change in direction’ following Mr Huhne’s resignation on Friday.


Two thirds of firms concerned energy infrastructure won’t improve

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altA majority of UK companies are not convinced that energy infrastructure will improve over the next five years, despite a pressing need for investment in new networks that are cleaner and greener, according to a CBI survey.

In a survey of business views about the state of Britain’s infrastructure, the UK’s leading business group found that around two-thirds (67 per cent) of companies believe the UK’s energy infrastructure is unlikely to get any better.

Confidence is also ebbing away over improvements to Britain’s water, transport and building infrastructure. The survey of 568 businesses, conducted jointly by the CBI and professional services firm KPMG, found businesses were concerned improvements were not happening quickly enough and a lack of Government action on policy was holding up investment.


Plan to build UK's first building entirely out of waste

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altThe UK's first building to be made onsite entirely out of waste is to be built in Brighton this autumn.

Designed by Brighton-based architect Duncan Baker-Brown, it will be built on the University of Brighton's campus in the city centre from waste and surplus material from local building sites and other local industries.


The walls will be made of waste timber products. Ply "cassettes" containing waste material will be slotted in between the timber structure. These cassettes will be removable so that new building technologies can be added easily.


Green Deal soft launch gets underway

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altThe Green Deal, the Government’s flagship energy efficiency programme, which is being launched to insulate millions of UK homes and businesses and drive green growth and jobs, officially gets underway today.
The scheme, which has been described as the biggest national improvement programme since the Second World War, is now open for business, but only partially and with many question marks still hanging over it.

The Green Deal aims to cut energy bills and carbon emissions from buildings by making energy efficiency easy and affordable for householders and businesses. The Government aims to insulate 14 million homes by 2020 through the Green Deal and says it should deliver energy efficiency and heating measures worth an estimated £1.3 billion. It also expects it to double the number of insulation jobs to 60,000 by 2015.


Confidence in Green Deal melts away as Government is warned of 16,000 job losses

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altIndustry confidence in the Green Deal is melting away with the stark warning that the insulation industry will contract by almost half unless the Government reforms its flagship energy efficiency scheme.
The warning from the £700 million insulation industry was made in an open letter to Energy Secretary Ed Davey. It claimed 16,000 jobs in the industry are under threat in the next year, based on the Government’s own figures.

Subsidy hiatus
The IIF is claiming the number of people employed in the insulation sector will fall by 45 per cent from 36,000 to 20,000 in 2013 because of a hiatus between the ending of the Government existing insulation subsidy scheme, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), and the full launch of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO). The latter will see consumer energy companies providing £1.3 billion a year in energy efficiency upgrades for low income and hard to insulate homes under the Green Deal. But the CERT is set to close at the end of 2012, while the Green Deal is not expected to reach full-scale for another 18 months.