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Articles published in 2013

Foreign wind farm companies to face UK jobs test to win subsidies

Foreign companies building big offshore wind farms will have to explain how they plan to create more British jobs before applying for subsidies, ministers have decided.

The move is needed because of the “galling” fact that the UK has more offshore wind capacity than the rest of the world combined but only employs about 4,000 people locally to support it, said business secretary, Vince Cable.

This is not a “crudely protectionist” effort to stop companies from getting subsidies unless they promise to buy equipment from local businesses, he said, denying it had anything in common with countries such as France that have made overt efforts to spur local production in a range of industries.

“I wouldn’t want us to be equated with France because they’ve historically been very protectionist in their policies and that is not the UK way of doing things,” he said. “But we do share with them a wish to build up a manufacturing base supporting these industries and you have to do something. It’s not just going to happen automatically.

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Energy Companies Try Arctic Shipping Shortcut Between Europe and Asia

Japanese and South Korean energy companies have begun shipping oil products through the Arctic's melting ice—adding credibility to a route that could slash costs while avoiding risks associated with ferrying cargo through the Suez Canal.

The ships are taking the so-called Northern Sea Route, traders and shipbrokers in Singapore said, a shortcut between Asia and Europe along Russia's Arctic Ocean coast. This marks the first time oil-derived products have been moved in such large volume through what maritime explorers of centuries past dubbed the Northeast Passage.

© http://www.350resources.org.uk/2011/10/06/arctic-record-sea-ice-melting-opens-routes-for-supertankers/

There have also been shipments by this route of gas condensate—a form of hydrocarbon—and iron ore in the past couple of years, and last year Russian gas giant Gazprom, in a test run, sent a load of liquefied natural gas to Japan. Earlier this month, Chinese shipper Cosco sent a container vessel from China to Europe along the route, which it said would not only cut shipping costs and carbon emissions, but also bring it closer to Western markets and foster economic development in Chinese coastal areas.

By bypassing the Suez Canal, the Arctic passage avoids a region where recent political unrest, including currently in Egypt, has intensified concern about relying so heavily on single route through such persistently volatile territory. A much longer route around the African continent is also available, but adds tens of thousands of dollars in shipping costs.

These latest shipments on the Northern Sea Route consist of oil products headed east to Japan from Norway and high-quality diesel headed west to Europe from South Korea. The latter is scheduled to set off this week in a 90,000-ton tanker called the Propontis, ship-tracking data showed, while one of the shipments to Japan has already arrived.

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DONG Energy announces Lincs offshore wind farm officially opened

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg opened the Lincs offshore wind farm  on Thursday in front of a group of local stakeholders, project representatives and media at the Operations and Maintenance facility in Grimsby.

The last of the wind farm’s 75 Siemens 3.6MW wind turbines was connected to the National Grid on Wednesday 24th July, bringing the 270MW project up to full strength for the first time. Lincs is now capable of producing enough clean renewable energy for over 200,000 homes – equivalent to around two thirds of the homes in Lincolnshire.

Speaking at Centrica Energy’s operations and maintenance base in Grimsby, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m absolutely delighted to open the Lincs wind farm – a major contribution to ensuring the UK can continue to build on our competitive edge in renewable energy, as well as the UK economy and with the potential to power thousands of homes with clean energy and boost the local economy by bringing jobs to the region.“

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