UK targets surge in offshore wind power

Offshore wind currently provides about seven percent of British electricity. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2019
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UK targets surge in offshore wind power

  • Offshore wind currently provides about seven percent of British electricity
  • Britain has put nuclear power also at the heart of its low-carbon energy policy

LONDON: Britain wants offshore wind farms to provide one third of the country’s electricity by 2030, the government announced Thursday, at a time when its nuclear energy ambitions are stumbling.
Working with the private sector to take advantage of the island nation’s surrounding waters to power homes and businesses with increasing amounts of renewable energy, the government said the Offshore Wind Sector Deal will slash the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Offshore wind currently provides about seven percent of British electricity.
The new initiative “will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution ... bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector,” Claire Perry, Britain’s energy and clean growth minister, said in a statement.
“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK,” she added.
The government said that the deal “will mean for the first time in UK history there will be more electricity from renewables than fossil fuels, with 70 percent of British electricity predicted to be from low carbon sources by 2030.”
Additionally, it “will look to seize on the opportunities presented by the UK’s 7,000 miles of coastline, as the industry continues to be a coastal catalyst for many of the UK’s former fishing villages and ports,” the government statement said.
Thursday’s announcement came after Japanese giant Hitachi in January froze construction of a nuclear power station in Wales owing to financing difficulties, dealing a major blow to Britain’s low-carbon energy strategy.
Britain has put nuclear power also at the heart of its low-carbon energy policy, in contrast to Europe’s biggest economy Germany, which is phasing it out in the wake of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.


Former Nissan chairman Ghosn appears in Tokyo court

Updated 23 May 2019
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Former Nissan chairman Ghosn appears in Tokyo court

  • It is the first of a series of hearings to iron out logistics for Carlos Ghosn’s actual trial
  • Nissan’s former chairman has hired a strong legal team as he fights to clear his name

TOKYO: Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, appeared in a Japanese courtroom Thursday for a hearing ahead of his trial on accusations of financial misconduct.
It was the first of a series of hearings to iron out logistics for Ghosn’s actual trial. The trial date has not been set, and experts say it could be months away.
Ghosn, who led the Japanese automaker for two decades, was arrested in November and charged with underreporting his income and breach of trust. He was released on bail in March, rearrested in April on fresh accusations and then released again on bail on April 25.
Ghosn insists he is innocent and says he was targeted in a “conspiracy” by others at Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan, which is allied with Renault of France, has seen profits nose-dive amid the fallout from Ghosn’s arrest.
Ghosn has hired a strong legal team as he fights to clear his name. One of his top lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, was seen walking into the courtroom Thursday with Ghosn.
One of the conditions of Ghosn’s release on bail is that he is forbidden to contact his wife. Prosecutors say that’s to prevent evidence tampering.
Ghosn’s lawyers challenged that restriction, saying it is a violation of human rights, but the Supreme Court rejected their appeal Tuesday.
The lawyers can appeal again to have the restriction removed.
In a briefing Thursday, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision.
“For married people to be together is important, but I feel there was enough reason for the Supreme Court to support us in this restriction,” he said.
Kukimoto declined comment on the hearing, which was closed to reporters and the public.
Kukimoto also said the maximum penalty upon conviction of all 15 counts of the charges Ghosn is facing is 15 years in prison and a fine of ¥150 million ($1.4 million).