Norway Plans Deep Sea Cables to Germany, England

by Trevor Smith

Norway is in the process of finalizing plans to build massive submarine power cables to link its power grid to England’s and Germany’s grids. The move is being praised as a win for clean energy, as the cable will allow for exporting excess hydroelectric energy from Norway to England and Germany. The cable to Germany is set to be completed by 2018, while the cable to England will be finished by 2020 (Reuters 2015). Continue reading

Changing Mindsets on CCS Technologies

by Caroline Chmiel

As “decarbonisation” as a world-wide initiative continues to spread, scientists and governments have an increased interest in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies. CCS technology involves capturing CO2 emissions at the industrial combustion sources, compressing it for transportation and transporting it (via pipelines) to an appropriate geological site into which it is injected for long-term storage. Focus groups in London reveal the psychology behind differing opinions on energy. Nuclear power strongly shapes the critical argument in these studies. The general consensus of these findings argues there is little public anxiety concerning this technology, but in private, opinions are overall negative. To start, research shows awareness of CCS amongst non-specialist groups is small. Once briefly introduced to the concept, perceptions immediately took a negative attitude revolving around the risks being higher than benefits. In addition, this paper defines the concept of a ‘moral hazard’ in regards to CCS as risks associated with technology or continued reliance on fossil fuels when investment needs to completely shift to renewable technologies. The UK national planning policy says that “CO2 emissions are not reasons to prohibit the consenting of projects which use these technologies” therefore endorsing the potential for technology beyond the demonstration stage. Returning to public opinion, when CCS is perceived in this manner of bridging technology that will not reduce investments in renewable technology, acceptance is at its highest. When people believe the government doesn’t have an interest in the outcome and public involvement is valued on the topic of climate change and CCS, people are also more open. Continue reading