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Bp Shuts Alternative Energy Hq

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BP shuts alternative energy HQ

BP has shut down its alternative energy headquarters in London, accepted the resignation of its clean energy boss and imposed budget cuts in moves likely to be seen by environmental critics as further signs of the oil group moving "back to petroleum".

But Tony Hayward, the group's chief executive, said BP remained as committed as ever to exploring new energy sources and the non-oil division would benefit from the extra focus of being brought back in house.

BP Alternative Energy was given its own headquarters in County Hall opposite the Houses of Parliament two years ago and its managing director, Vivienne Cox, oversaw a small division of 80 staff concentrating on wind and solar power.

But the 49-year-old Cox – BP's most senior female executive, who previously ran renewables as part of a larger gas and power division now dismantled by Hayward – is standing down tomorrow.

This comes alongside huge cuts in the alternative energy budget – from $1.4bn (£850m) last year to between $500m and $1bn this year, although spending is still roughly in line with original plans to invest $8bn by 2015.

The move back to BP's corporate headquarters at St James's Square in London's West End made sense, particularly when the group was sitting on spare office space due to earlier cutbacks, said Hayward.

"We are going through a major restructuring and bringing the alternative energy business headquarters into the head office seems a good idea to me.

"It saves money and brings it closer to home ... you could almost see it as a reinforcement [of our commitment to the business]," he said.

Cox was stepping down to spend more time with her children, Hayward added. "I know you would love to make a story out of all this," he said, "but it's quite hard work."

The reason for the departure of Cox is variously said by industry insiders to be caused by frustration over the business being downgraded in importance or because she really does intend to stay at home more with her young children. Cox had already reduced her working week down to three days and had publicly admitted the difficulty of combining different roles.

She will be replaced by another woman, her former deputy Katrina Landis, but the moves will worry those campaigning for more women in business, especially as Linda Cook, Shell's most senior female executive, has recently left her job too.

BP has gradually given up on plans to enter the UK wind industry and concentrated all its turbine activities on the US, where it can win tax breaks and get cheaper and easier access to land.

In April the company closed a range of solar power manufacturing plants in Spain and the US with the loss of 620 jobs and Hayward has publicly questioned whether solar would ever become competitive with fossil fuels, something that goes against the current thinking inside the renewables sector.

Hayward has also moved BP into more controversial oil areas, such as Canada's tar sands, creating an impression that he has given up on the objectives of his predecessor, Lord Browne, to take the company "Beyond Petroleum".

Shell cut out their renewable energy budget completely in March of 2009.

It was a scam anyway, but we will still be paying for this nonsense through carbon allowances et al... just more taxes.

Edited by cashinmattress

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There is no point reading anything into this - take a look at the energy sector in a broader sense, the number of jobs available are down, the number of grads going in is down and the whole industry is battoning down the hatches.

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BP shuts alternative energy HQ

Shell cut out their renewable energy budget completely in March of 2009.

It was a scam anyway, but we will still be paying for this nonsense through carbon allowances et al... just more taxes.

Agree - as soon as we accept that the whole debate needs to be about energy density, rather than about climate change cr@p the better off we'll be.

If sea levels are going to rise why are we planning to build the next generation of nuclear stations alongside the sea and tidal rivers as per the first generation of them?

Wind power doesn't make sense even with massive tax breaks and subsidies. With Britain basically bankrupt can we afford to be handing out cash for wind ?

Fart in a jar - a new form of savings?

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Finally some sense

Yes regards much of it. Uncle said that it took more energy to manufacture a PV solar panel than it would ever produce in it's lifespan.

This was years ago mind you, don't know if that's changed.

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Agree - as soon as we accept that the whole debate needs to be about energy density, rather than about climate change cr@p the better off we'll be.

If sea levels are going to rise why are we planning to build the next generation of nuclear stations alongside the sea and tidal rivers as per the first generation of them?

Probably because they know sea levels aren't going to rise, temperatures are going to fall (further) thanks to the oncoming Grand Solar Minimum, and that the whole of global warming science was a fraud designed for political ends and one of the worst scientific scams we have had to endure.

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BP shuts alternative energy HQ

Shell cut out their renewable energy budget completely in March of 2009.

It was a scam anyway, but we will still be paying for this nonsense through carbon allowances et al... just more taxes.

we only needed alternative energy when in a boom. Now we're in a 'depression' the momentum will do far more for energy preservation than any boom time initiatives

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Yes regards much of it. Uncle said that it took more energy to manufacture a PV solar panel than it would ever produce in it's lifespan.

This was years ago mind you, don't know if that's changed.

I recently installed PV solar panels on a new house I'm building in Australia. The manufacturers claim the energy cost of manufacture (including raw materials), distribution and installation was 800kWh/m2. I get about 0.5kWh/m2 per day out of mine (assuming an average of 6 hours/day sunshine) so the installation is energy profitable after about 5-6 years.

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I recently installed PV solar panels on a new house I'm building in Australia. The manufacturers claim the energy cost of manufacture (including raw materials), distribution and installation was 800kWh/m2. I get about 0.5kWh/m2 per day out of mine (assuming an average of 6 hours/day sunshine) so the installation is energy profitable after about 5-6 years.

The panels seem like a very sensible investment not sure about the house bit though!

There are always many on here with agendas that decry any form of renewable energy but in some parts of the world it is making sound economic sense today.

In time the technology will also improve and it will make good sense in the UK as well. Unless of course we are all happy to import as much energy as possible from feudal monarchies in the Middle East or sham democracies like Russia.

Seems the nay sayers don't understand risk very well.

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I recently installed PV solar panels on a new house I'm building in Australia. The manufacturers claim the energy cost of manufacture (including raw materials), distribution and installation was 800kWh/m2. I get about 0.5kWh/m2 per day out of mine (assuming an average of 6 hours/day sunshine) so the installation is energy profitable after about 5-6 years.

And financial profitability is irrelevant.

Welcome to green energy. :blink:

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I recently installed PV solar panels on a new house I'm building in Australia. The manufacturers claim the energy cost of manufacture (including raw materials), distribution and installation was 800kWh/m2. I get about 0.5kWh/m2 per day out of mine (assuming an average of 6 hours/day sunshine) so the installation is energy profitable after about 5-6 years.

One thing I don't understand about people who slam renewable energy. They say that 10 or 20 years is 'too long' for payback, but yet when you fit a normal system, it NEVER PAYS BACK! Your 5 to 6 years above is amazing considering my boiler cost about £1500 and will NEVER PAY ITSELF BACK, EVER!

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One thing I don't understand about people who slam renewable energy. They say that 10 or 20 years is 'too long' for payback, but yet when you fit a normal system, it NEVER PAYS BACK! Your 5 to 6 years above is amazing considering my boiler cost about £1500 and will NEVER PAY ITSELF BACK, EVER!

There's a reason why the initial poster ignored financial viability. :lol::lol:

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Solar has a massive future.

Very soon the governments feed in tariff scheme will be rolled out, you install solar in your home and say use 50% of your generation the other 50% you will be able to export to the grid. PV companies will even be offering schemes whereby you pay for your panels through the savings made, effectively financing the installation on the house holders behalf the house holder using the reduced energy bills to pay the money back.

I am that confidant I have put some of my own money into a PV company.

Renewables is the new bubble, all aboard the train is leaving the station.

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Solar has a massive future.

Very soon the governments feed in tariff scheme will be rolled out, you install solar in your home and say use 50% of your generation the other 50% you will be able to export to the grid. PV companies will even be offering schemes whereby you pay for your panels through the savings made, effectively financing the installation on the house holders behalf the house holder using the reduced energy bills to pay the money back.

I am that confidant I have put some of my own money into a PV company.

Renewables is the new bubble, all aboard the train is leaving the station.

Hey, I've just bought some shares in company X, you should too, it has a massive future. :lol::lol:

If solar had a massive future it wouldn't need government subsidy or market manipulations (that make electricity more expensive for everyone).

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Hey, I've just bought some shares in company X, you should too, it has a massive future. :lol::lol:

If solar had a massive future it wouldn't need government subsidy or market manipulations (that make electricity more expensive for everyone).

You must explain to me why solar does not have a future in your opinion?

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I recently installed PV solar panels on a new house I'm building in Australia. The manufacturers claim the energy cost of manufacture (including raw materials), distribution and installation was 800kWh/m2. I get about 0.5kWh/m2 per day out of mine (assuming an average of 6 hours/day sunshine) so the installation is energy profitable after about 5-6 years.

Jack, thank you for that information.

Solar water heating too. I've got this 1" pipe, clear plastic about 30m long. Runs from a submersible pump in my rainwater harvesting pots to . . . . anywhere within 30m. I use it for sprinklers and as a hose. Anyway, leave it out in the sun here for 10mins and WOW, much hot water, too hot to touch.

Only problem is, I've no demand for hot water. I currently looking to fit a liquid nitrogen shower in the bathroom. Damn it was hot today. Too hot!

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One thing I don't understand about people who slam renewable energy. They say that 10 or 20 years is 'too long' for payback, but yet when you fit a normal system, it NEVER PAYS BACK! Your 5 to 6 years above is amazing considering my boiler cost about £1500 and will NEVER PAY ITSELF BACK, EVER!

That 5-6 years for the energy cost. I estimate I will recover the financial cost of adding the PV solar array to the new build cost in 10-12 years. That's in Queensland though. In the UK I am fairly certain that, with existing technology, you'd never get a (domestic) PV array to recover its capital cost in the lifespan of the equipment. In Britain, your money is almost certainly better spent on more efficient non-renewable systems and better insulation.

Edited by jackalope

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Solar has a massive future.

Very soon the governments feed in tariff scheme will be rolled out, you install solar in your home and say use 50% of your generation the other 50% you will be able to export to the grid. PV companies will even be offering schemes whereby you pay for your panels through the savings made, effectively financing the installation on the house holders behalf the house holder using the reduced energy bills to pay the money back.

I am that confidant I have put some of my own money into a PV company.

Renewables is the new bubble, all aboard the train is leaving the station.

Is that what they're doing in the south of France at the moment, I'm sure somebody mentioned they get paid back more than they pay in the first place, and that was the reason people were putting them in.

If a south facing roof like mine, with no shade could generate 25% of my electricity needs and I got cashback when I wasn't using so much it would be a worthwhile expenditure. Who is to say what electricity prices will be in the future...or the £12k instalation ...might be worth a years supply of beans soon anyway

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I recently installed PV solar panels on a new house I'm building in Australia. The manufacturers claim the energy cost of manufacture (including raw materials), distribution and installation was 800kWh/m2. I get about 0.5kWh/m2 per day out of mine (assuming an average of 6 hours/day sunshine) so the installation is energy profitable after about 5-6 years.

Does that also include all the energy expended mining for the embodied precious metals and substrates?

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The panels seem like a very sensible investment not sure about the house bit though!

There are always many on here with agendas that decry any form of renewable energy but in some parts of the world it is making sound economic sense today.

In time the technology will also improve and it will make good sense in the UK as well. Unless of course we are all happy to import as much energy as possible from feudal monarchies in the Middle East or sham democracies like Russia.

Seems the nay sayers don't understand risk very well.

Does it?

How much do jackalope's panels cost per m² including installation and inverters etc, you can buy 0.5kWh for 5p from the grid. So 1m² returns less than £20 per year assuming his averages are correct, and he's in Australia FFS!

Edited by sillybear2

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Yes regards much of it. Uncle said that it took more energy to manufacture a PV solar panel than it would ever produce in it's lifespan.

This was years ago mind you, don't know if that's changed.

EROEI for PV typically 15-20 which is actually better that the average for oil discovered today (circa 14) . Problem is that it is stretched out over 30-40 years. One thing PV does have going for it is its long life.

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EROEI for PV typically 15-20 which is actually better that the average for oil discovered today (circa 14) . Problem is that it is stretched out over 30-40 years. One thing PV does have going for it is its long life.

You truly are a font of knowledge in these important matters. Wasted so you are in your current job.

Thanks Kurt.

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One thing I don't understand about people who slam renewable energy. They say that 10 or 20 years is 'too long' for payback, but yet when you fit a normal system, it NEVER PAYS BACK! Your 5 to 6 years above is amazing considering my boiler cost about £1500 and will NEVER PAY ITSELF BACK, EVER!

100% agree

My solar water heating (DIY installation) returns about 9.5% PA gross based on current gas prices. With depreciation the net return is about 6.7%. If gas prices rise then the return improves. The solar is also competing against one of the most efficient gas boilers on the market.

My DIY Wood stove installation returns about 9% PA. Is a decorative feature and adds value. It also provides added security because as well as heat the house I can cook and heat copious amounts of water on it.

Whats the current return on cash right now? ;)

As for insulation, condensing boilers, cfls - they are a no brainer.

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You truly are a font of knowledge in these important matters. Wasted so you are in your current job.

Thanks Kurt.

On the contrary - my new job is great - loving every minute of it.

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