The government have announced measures to make fracking in England easier, amid revelations that investment in green energy dropped by 56 per cent last year. The plans, announced today by Greg Clarke, mean that shale gas companies will be able to drill test sites without applying for planning permission. The Business Secretary said the measures were necessary because councils are “disappointingly slow” when considering shale gas applications. The measures will also see fracking sites classified as nationally significant infrastructure, meaning that planning approval will be decided at a national, not local, level. There will also be £1.6 million of funding to speed up fracking applications over the next three years. But environmentalists have condemned the plans. Caroline Lucus, co-leader of the Green Party, said the move was a “green light for climate breakdown.” “Britain’s fracking experiment was on life support and now the government is trying its best to shock it back into life” she added. According to polling, just 18 per cent of Brits support fracking – while 85 per cent of people support the use of renewable energy. Greenpeace said that the government was ignoring both communities and local councils, and said the new measures make “exploratory drilling as easy as building a garden wall or conservatory”. Labour politicians also criticised the plans, with the Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long Bailey, saying that “fracking should be banned, not promoted.” The government’s announcements are at odds with Holyrood; the Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an indefinite ban on fracking last October. Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/fracking-easier-england-investment-green-energy-falls/
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The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has issued a damning verdict of the government’s approach to clean energy investment in recent years, calling on it to publish an urgent plan to plug looming policy gaps. And the committee has also issued its withering verdict on the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, a body of work which it said ultimately falls short of its aim and must be rectified with urgent policy decisions. However the department has sought to defend its record on the issue, stressing it would respond to the report “in due course”.
Solar Power Portal 17th May 2018 read more »