UK targets surge in offshore wind power

Offshore wind currently provides about seven percent of British electricity. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2019

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.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 46 min 12 sec ago

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”