Breaking: UK government u-turns on solar, wind VAT rise
The UK government appears to have U-turned on plans to raise VAT on solar and wind installations (and tampons). The plans faced a rebellion and possible defeat in the commons in what would have been a further embarrassment for the UK’s embattled chancellor.
‘The UK has successfully pushed to ensure that the Commission’s VAT Action Plan, due to be published on 23 March, sets out provisions to give powers over VAT rates back to national parliaments’.
‘The installation of all energy saving materials including solar panels, wind turbines and water turbines will also continue to benefit from the current, reduced rates of VAT.’
There are not ‘Top Stories’ this morning, so here are some middle ranking ones:
Nuclear: Further delays to French, UK plants on the table
EDF’s Flamenville reactor faces years of delays as watchdog warns on steel used to make reactor vessel. The delays could have a significant impact on plans to build a similar reactor in the UK where funding guarentees from the UK government had been tied to success in building a reactor to that design somewhere else on the planet.
Coal: Banks pull financing
The NYT has an in-depth look at the collapse in banking support for what was once the world’s dominant fuel.
“There are always going to be periods of boom and bust,” said Chiza Vitta, a metals and mining analyst with the credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s. “But what is happening in coal is a downward shift that is permanent.”
Meanwhile the Economic Times reports that In India solar projects may out-compete coal for investors cash as they offer better returns.
Oil: Price falls again as supply rises
The oil price rose for, i dunno, about a week and hey presto so did the number of rigs trying to extract oil in the US as debt-laden fracking firms rush to cash in on the still very low price of oil. The result. The oil price has fallen again. Supply/demand fellas.