UK nuclear plans suffer major blow with Toshiba wind down of NuGen

Decision to axe nuclear business deals a potentially fatal blow to plans for a new large-scale nuclear plant in Cumbria

Toshiba has today announced it is to pull out of plans for a new nuclear power plant in Cumbria and wind down its UK nuclear business NuGen, in a move that deals a major blow to the government's low carbon energy strategy.

Toshiba said it had taken the decision to close down NuGen, taking a Y18.8bn (£125m) hit in the process, after failing to find a buyer for the business over the last 18 months. During that time Toshiba has been hit by writedowns and the eventual bankruptcy of its US nuclear subsidiary, leaving it unable to justify the cost of running NuGen alone.

"After considering the additional costs entailed in continuing to operate NuGen, Toshiba recognises that the economically rational decision is to withdraw from the UK nuclear power plant construction project, and has resolved to take steps to wind up NuGen," it said in a statement.

The decision deals a potentially fatal blow to plans to build a new nuclear power plant in Cumbria, given that NuGen was the primary developer lined up for the proposed Moorside project. Toshiba was trying to sell NuGen - and the construction rights for Moorside - to South Korean firm Kepco, but talks fell through.

Toshiba said it was "now for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as the owner of the site and the government to determine its future".

The move also deals a further blow to government plans to build a fleet of new large-scale nuclear power plants to replace ageing facilities and provide baseload low-carbon generation.

Without new large scale new nuclear capacity, the UK is likely to need to roll out significantly more renewable energy capacity than is currently planned in order to meet its legally binding climate targets.

Moorside was expected to have provided enough power to meet around seven per cent of UK demand.

A report from the New Nuclear Watch Institute in September warned abandoning new nuclear would push up carbon emissions on the UK and increase the cost of electricity.

But despite the uncertainty for the UK's energy future some environmental campaigners welcomed the news, seeing it as an opportunity to make a fresh case for more support for wind and solar power.

"The end of the Moorside plan represents a failure of the government's nuclear gamble," said Greenpeace UK's executive director John Sauven. "Their flawed approach to making our economy low carbon has dashed the hopes of prospective workers and businesses in Cumbria that should have been centred around renewable technologies."

Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), agreed. "The demise of plans for a new power station at Moorside should be seen as an opportunity, rather than a risk," he said. "Shifting away from expensive, complicated technology towards cheaper and easier to build renewables gives the UK the opportunity to build an electricity system that will keep bills for homes and businesses down for years to come."

To date the only new nuclear plant to be approved and financed is the £20bn Hinkley Point C, which is scheduled to be operational in the mid-2020s and is supported by a government-backed price support contract. Talks are also underway between the government and developer Hitachi to push forward the the Wylfa Newydd nuclear project in Wales.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) insisted its broader strategy was not threatened by Toshiba's "entirely commercial" decision to exit the UK nuclear sector.

"We understand that Toshiba have faced a difficult decision in ending their involvement in new nuclear projects outside of Japan in light of their well-known financial challenges," the department said in a statement. "All proposed new nuclear projects in the UK are led by private sector developers and while the government has engaged regularly with the companies involved, this is entirely a commercial decision for Toshiba."

However, Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, urged the government to now explore how the plans for the Moorside site could be revived.

"Toshiba's announcement today to wind-up NuGen - the nuclear power plant construction project in Cumbria - is sad news for all those involved in the project and for the nuclear sector," he said. "The Moorside site in Cumbria remains a site designated by government for nuclear new build and has huge local support. It is therefore vital government facilitates the build of new nuclear on the site for the sake of the energy security of the UK and for the local economy in Cumbria. With all but one of the UK's nuclear power plant due to come offline before 2030, there's an urgent need for new nuclear to be built quickly, and the Moorside site has a key role to play in this."

Animated Infographic of the World's Ten Largest Economies

Animation: The World’s 10 Largest Economies by GDP (1960-Today)

Animation: The World’s 10 Largest Economies by GDP

Just weeks ago, we showed you a colorful visualization that breaks down the $80 trillion global economy.

While such a view provides useful context on the relative size of national economies, it’s also a static snapshot that doesn’t show any movement over time. In other words, we can see the size of any given economy today, but not how it got there.

Today’s animation comes to us from Jaime Albella and it charts how GDP has changed over the last 57 years for the world’s 10 largest economies.

It provides us with a lens through time, that helps show the rapid ascent of certain countries and the stagnation of others – and while there are many noteworthy changes that occur in the animation, the two most noticeable ones have been described as “economic miracles”.


You may have heard of the “Japanese economic miracle”, a term that is used to describe the record-setting GDP growth in Japan between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War.

Well, the above animation shows this event better than pretty much anything else.

In 1960, Japan had an economy that was only 10% of the size of the United States. But in just a decade, Japan would see sustained real GDP growth – often in the double digits each year – that allowed the country to rocket past both the United Kingdom and France to become the world’s second-largest economy.

It would hold this title consecutively between 1972 and 2010, until it was supplanted by another Asian economic miracle.


The other rapid ascent in this animation that can be obviously seen is that of China.

Despite falling off the top 10 list completely by 1980, new economic reforms in the 1980s and 1990s helped pave the way to the massive economy in China we know today, including the lifting of hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty.

By 1993, China was once again one of the world’s largest economies, just squeezing onto the above list.

By 2010 – just 17 years later – the country had surpassed titans like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and even Japan to secure the second spot on the list, which it continues to hold today in nominal terms.

Inenco: business power prices to rise 50% over four years

Inenco says businesses may be paying 50% more in 2020 for power than they were in 2016.

The third party intermediary (TPI) has published a new cost forecast that illustrates how rising non-commodity costs and wholesale markets are driving up prices.

Over the last two years, non-commodity costs, which make up around half of business bills, have increased 25%, says the firm. Meanwhile wholesale prices have risen sharply this year with volatility also returning to the market.

The firm warns the impact of Brexit on Sterling could compound price rises while a rise in the Climate Change Levy in April also adds cost.

Changes to the Energy Intensive Industries threshold, which will reduce exposure to policy costs for more big businesses, could mean those levies are smeared across the rest of the market – adding another incremental increase to business bills.

Inenco’s cost forecast also looks further out to try and gauge how prices may rise in the longer term. It suggests bills may double by 2032.

While that presents an ongoing procurement challenge for those on tight budgets, the firm said the flip side is that rising costs could help build business cases for energy efficiency and demand-side management initiatives.

A strong EV benchmark can cut transport emissions and help modernise Europe’s electricity grid

Over a century ago, electric vehicles (EVs) were the best-selling cars on the market. Bringing them back on today’s roads will not only help to decarbonise transport, but the energy sector too, with wider benefits for society, argues Julia Hildermeier.

Julia Hildermeier is EU associate at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), where she does Research and policy analysis on e-mobility and decarbonising the power sector.

Over a century ago, electric vehicles (EVs) were the best-selling cars on the market. In 1900, 28% of cars on the road in the US were electric. If the competing combustion engine technology had not taken over, today’s policymakers would likely face a much smaller challenge in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution in the transport sector.

Cars alone account for 12% of the EU’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. And road transportation emissions, unlike any other sector in Europe, are still increasing.

What’s more, Europe’s clean energy transition is not progressing as quickly as it should, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published in October served as a grave reminder of the urgency of reducing carbon across sectors.

Bringing EVs back on today’s roads will not only help to decarbonise transport, but the energy sector, too, with wider benefits for society.

By charging even an increasing number of EVs when the costs for producing and delivering electricity are low, EVs can help to smooth the load curve, contain the overall grid costs, and make better use of existing assets, thereby bring down the costs for all electricity consumers, not just EV drivers. One way to drive this change is through a strong sales benchmark.

Decarbonising transport and energy must go hand in hand

The European institutions are currently debating the introduction of a zero- and low-emission vehicles sales incentive, as part of the future CO2 targets for automakers. This offers an important opportunity to clean up vehicle emissions EU-wide.

Member states favour a voluntary sales “benchmark” in 2025 and 2030 that would offer CO2 credits for carmakers whose sales exceed the target.

More ambitious is the European Parliament’s suggestion that, along with this bonus, a “malus” should apply that increases carmakers’ carbon reduction obligation if they fail to meet their sales goal. This would turn the voluntary benchmark into a de facto mandatory target and become the key driver for the rapid uptake of EVs.

Often absent from this discussion, however, are the far-reaching energy policy benefits that would stem from an EV sales benchmark, in particular a mandatory one. More EVs on the road by 2025 will reduce costs for consumers, modernise the power system, provide investment security across several sectors, and promote renewable energy.

Simply put, the more certainty this regulation can provide regarding the expected number of EVs in use in the next decade, the better stakeholders can plan to reap their benefits. Needless to say, these benefits are much greater if the regulation favours pure electric vehicles over plug-in hybrids, and applies across all European auto markets equally.

More certainty about the timing of increasing market shares of EVs would allow the electricity industry to consider the grid potential of EVs in energy resource planning. In turn, a reliable number of EVs also provides investment security for utilities and network operators, carmakers and suppliers, as well as charge point operators and other innovative market players.

This chain of effects supports the energy transition envisioned in the Clean Energy for all Europeans package. Europe now has the opportunity to accelerate the energy and the transport transitions—or to fall behind in both.

Active energy storage for EV charging

Among alternative fuel vehicles, electric cars are the best positioned to overcome refuelling infrastructure challenges, writes Ian McClenny. The difficulty lies in having sufficient vehicle charging availability to reduce consumer’s range anxiety.

Charged smartly, more EVs help modernise the grid and lower costs for all consumers

While we repeatedly hear attempts to spread scepticism about the grid’s ability to integrate EVs, evidence suggests that more EVs does not automatically mean costly, new infrastructure. Europe’s electricity industry found that even if all of today’s vehicles were electric, the investment needed for new capacity would be very modest.

EV integration can be managed through more efficient use of existing systems. Based on case studies from Germany and France, RAP research found that today’s electricity distribution networks are significantly underutilised. EVs, as flexible loads, could leverage this unused capacity. In other words, existing infrastructure can largely, if not entirely, accommodate the take-up of EVs, while benefiting all consumers by making better use of it.

A growing number of utilities support the integration of EVs and offer EV-friendly tariffs such as time-of-use pricing to meet owners’ needs and incentivise smart charging. In general, evidence suggests that consumers react to variable pricing with flexibility, such as charging their cars at off-peak hours.

For example, a Minnesota utility in the US—where the energy sector has developed many time-of-use pricing schemes to support EV-uptake—finds that 90 to 95% of customers switch significant amounts of their consumption to off-peak hours, when the off-peak price is five times lower than the on-peak price.

Some network companies, for example in Germany, offer free grid connections and smart technology, such as meters or wall boxes, to EV owners who help optimise charging by plugging in the car when not in use and automatically charging when electricity is cheapest.

Analyses from the US and EU countries such as the UK and France suggest that controlled charging significantly reduces EVs’ contribution to peak load, even assuming a high penetration of EVs.

While we don’t know whether the next best-selling electric vehicle will even be a private passenger car (in fact, it’s not likely to be), we do know how to ensure that it can be charged beneficially for the environment, the grid, and all consumers.

Energy Web Foundation: Blockchain essential for EV growth, community solar

Distributed energy solutions such as solar PV, batteries, and smart controls are getting cheaper by the day and will soon outperform traditional energy sources such as coal, gas, and nuclear power, says Hervé Touati. In any case, Blockchain-type solutions will be needed for the mass deployment of electric vehicles, he warns.

Electromobility is a competitive choice for Europe’s transport and energy sector

The world’s leading EV market, China, has placed a competitive bet on EVs, helping the country to cut air pollution amidst growing mobility demand while securing growth for its battery and electric industry. California, to which the US owes its global second place in terms of sales, has promoted transport electrification at the same time as electricity market reforms.

This big-picture approach demonstrates how the state was able to accommodate additional EVs as flexible loads onto the grid, creating a win-win situation for both transport and energy sector decarbonisation, each making the other less expensive and easier to achieve.

If Europe seeks to defend its leadership as a renewable economy and reap the benefits enumerated above, establishing strong policy incentives to make EVs once again the best-selling vehicle choice is low-hanging fruit. Just as important, it would help policymakers put road transport on the more sustainable track it deviated from over 100 years ago—and help achieve the EU’s low-carbon future.

China dwarfs Europe on EV investments, figures show

European carmakers have invested seven times more in electric vehicle production lines in China than at home, according to industry figures collected by Transport & Environment (T&E), a green campaign group.

HyDeploy project to add hydrogen to a UK gas network

HyDeploy will see hydrogen added to a UK gas network following approval from the Health and Safety Executive

HyDeployHyDeploy will take place at Keele University

In the first trial of its kind in the UK, the HyDeploy project will inject hydrogen into an existing natural gas network.

Backed by Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, the £7m project is being led by Cadent in partnership with Northern Gas Networks, Keele University, the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), ITM Power, and Progressive Energy. It is supported by KIWA Gastec and engineering consultancy Otto Simon.

In 2019 HyDeploy will blend up to 20 per cent of hydrogen (by volume) with the normal gas supply in part of Keele University’s gas network.

Simon Fairman, director of Safety and Network Strategy, Cadent, said: “Hydrogen has the potential to address one of the most difficult sources of carbon emissions – heat. This trial could pave the way for a wider roll out of hydrogen blending, enabling us to begin cutting carbon emissions from heat as early as the mid-2020s, without customers needing to change their gas appliances or behaviour.

“HyDeploy could also prove to be the launchpad for a wider hydrogen economy, fuelling industry and transport and bringing with it new jobs.

The trial will take place on part of Keele University’s private gas network that serves 17 faculty buildings and 100 domestic properties.

The hydrogen will be produced by an electrolyser supplied by ITM Power that will be powered by renewable energy sources. Construction is due to start at the end of this year.

C2I 2018: Balanced Energy Network (BEN) decarbonises heating

The HSE granted HyDeploy an exemption to the current limit of 0.1 per cent hydrogen in the UK gas network after the project showed that the hydrogen blend would be ‘as safe as natural gas’.

Gas safety checks were carried out in the homes and buildings in the trial area, and lab tests were carried out on gas appliances as well as extensive research on the effect of hydrogen on the different materials found in the gas network.

Keele University owns and operates its own private gas network and is working with businesses, academics and graduates to create Europe’s first ‘at scale’ multi-energy-vector smart energy network demonstrator where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, developed and tested.


Hooton Bio-Power Gasification Project Deal Secured

Press release: 2 November 2018
Deal secured for gasification of 240,000 tonnes of waste per year at Hooton Bio Power Ltd.

Collaboration between Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), CoGen, Peel Environmental, N+P Group, Kobelco Eco Solutions, local authorities and strong financing partners secures impressive waste gasification plant in North West England.
The Hooton Bio Power facility will be the fifth Energy from Waste (EfW) project delivered by leading renewable energy developer CoGen and will be the first non-subsidised merchant gasification facility. It is the first time the UK market will realise a gasification plant of this size, based on fluidised bed technology provided by Japanese Kobelco Eco Solution.
The facility will be developed on the Peel Environmental site, Hooton Park, the second Peel site on which CoGen will deliver a gasification plant. The first in the ongoing partnership was the recently commissioned 21.5MW Ince Bio Power plant at Protos in Cheshire.
Power facility specialist, Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC), will deliver the high efficiency waste gasification plant, located south of the Wirral, North West England. The project is backed by solid UK investors and is in line with the UK target of delivering efficient and environmentally friendly energy, while reducing landfill by 10% by 2020. BWSC has an extensive list of UK-based projects, having built nine biomass-fuelled power facilities in the UK, most of which it also operates.
The Hooton facility will gasify some 240,000 tonnes of waste per year, generating more than 200 GWh of electricity annually – enough to power about 50,000 homes. The facility is expected to be operational in the second half of 2021.
Around 350 jobs will be associated with the construction stage at its peak, and the ongoing operation of the facility will generate up to 30 permanent positions.
About the project
This CoGen developed project will see BWSC awarded a full turnkey build contract (full EPC and build contract) as well as a contract to operate and maintain the facility for 15 years post completion. BWSC will deliver the Hooton facility utilising the Kobelco Fluidised bed technology. CoGen is overseeing the construction and operation of the facility as Project Manager on behalf of the project company. In addition, CoGen has a contract to fully manage the facility during the operational period. Hooton Bio Power will be fuelled by locally-sourced waste, using 240,000 tonnes each year supplied via a 15-year feedstock supply agreement (with an option for a further 10 years) with fuel supplier N+P Group.
Nikolaj Holmer Nissen, newly appointed CEO at BWSC, says:
“Determined and constructive cooperation has brought this important waste gasification project over the finishing line. The plant will add to the extensive experience BWSC has obtained in the UK market - experience that will help pave the way for successful project implementation. The Hooton Bio Power Ltd is a good example of BWSC constantly striving to develop new and more energy efficient solutions for the benefit of our customers and the environment.”
Ian Brooking, CEO, COGEN, says:
The completion of the Hooton Bio Power deal represents a significant milestone for the UK Energy from Waste sector. The project underpins CoGen’s longer-term plans of developing regional scale merchant gasification facilities across the UK. We look forward to following the approach we took with Hooton as we begin to roll out more projects in our pipeline.
Karel Jennissen, CEO, N+P Group B.V, says:
We are very delighted that this project has reached completion; this deal is a very important milestone in N+P’s UK growth strategy. The Hooton Fuel Supply agreement shows that N+P is able to deliver its promises and guarantee a specification, to ensure our end-customers get the most value for their money. We look forward with great enthusiasm to the project implementation and roll out of other projects within this partnership.
Myles Kitcher, Managing Director Peel Environmental, added:
“This Hooton Park facility will deliver the equivalent energy to power 50,000 homes and is strategically placed to form part of the wider Energy Innovation District securing low carbon and lower costs energy in turn promoting indigenous growth, encouraging inward investment and stimulating innovation. We are delighted to see this project involving some of the sector’s leading companies come to fruition demonstrating the collective drive, which is helping to shape the future of energy in both the Northwest and the UK as a whole.”

‘Standing still’ is not an option, farmers warned

100% green energy to power electric vehicles in new package

DRIVERS are being encouraged to buy electric cars with a new package which guarantees they will be powered by 100 per cent green electricity.

Scottish Power, which announced last month it was selling the last of its gas-fired power stations to generate all its electricity from wind power, has linked up with car dealers Arnold Clark to offer motorists a special renewable energy tariff along with the UK’s smallest home fast-charging point when they buy an electric vehicle.

Only two per cent of British adults currently own an electric car. But a survey commissioned to coincide with the launch of the new tariff found one in five said they would consider buying an electric car within the next three years.

Scottish Power said the fast charging point could power up a Nissan Leaf with a 40kWh battery in seven hours compared with 15 hours if a standard plug socket was used.

And the package will include an app which will allow vehicle charging to be remotely scheduled via a smart phone so owners can take advantage of cheaper off-peak rates.

ScottishPower CEO Keith Anderson said: “We have moved on from fossil fuels to concentrate on clean renewables and now we are announcing the UK’s first end to end electric vehicle package that is 100 per cent green. After removing carbon from how we generate electricity we believe the decarbonisation of the UK’s transport system has to be 

“This means industry and government working together to build the infrastructure so we can charge electric vehicles as well as building clean and cheap renewables to bring down the cost of motoring.

“The UK needs to decarbonise transport faster and we have to make the switch to electric vehicles simpler.”

Drivers buying or leasing an electric vehicle from Arnold Clark will now be able to book a home charging point installation and sign up to the 100 per cent renewable electricity tariff as part of one package.

The poll found a third of those who do not currently own an electric vehicle would be more likely to consider one if there was a guarantee the power would come from 100 per cent renewable sources.

Mr Anderson said: “We’re accelerating the switch to electric vehicles by giving customers everything they need to make the change hassle-free.

“People are telling us they want electric vehicles faster than expected, and that means the decarbonisation of our transport system and improved air quality can be delivered faster too.”

The home charging point is priced at £899, but Scottish Power said grants were available which could reduce the cost to as little as £99.

Scottish Power said the annual cost of electricity to charge a Nissan Leaf for 6,000 miles of motoring would be an estimated £194 compared with £627 a year for petrol for a similar sized hatchback, a Vauxhall Astra 1.4i turbo or a yearly fuel bill for a diesel Vauxhall Astra 1.6CDTi doing the same mileage. A motorist with a Tesla Model S could expect to pay £467 a year for electricity to cover 12,000 miles, while someone with a BMW 540i x-Drive would face a petrol bill of £1,506 and diesel for a BMW 530d x-Drive would cost £1,161.

The city council agreed last month to press ahead with a £3.3 million investment in over 200 new electric vehicle charging points at strategic hubs across the Capital.

World's first home with launch pad for a FLYING car will be built in UK

The first landing pad for a flying car is being constructed in a new-build £10 million home near Nottingham.

The pad is being built at the home in the village of Edwalton by property developer, Guy Phoenix in partnership with VRCO, a Derby-based company working on a flying car design.

The electric powered NeoXcraft two-seat vehicle will be able to zip to London in half an hour and VRCO expects to have a prototype in the air next year.

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house 

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house 

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house

The pad is six metres in diameter and has a renewable energy source to recharge the aircraft which will be included in the asking price for the home, called Hermitage,  when it is put up for sale after being completed early next year.

Mr Phoenix said: 'My interest in the craft is of course is to bring bigger cities including the capital within commuting distance of Edwalton. Currently a commute to London, as I often do myself, can take anything from two-and-a-half to five hours depending on traffic. This vehicle would enable the user to travel short and medium distances  - in the very beginning until range can be extended - in a fraction of the time it takes to travel by road.

'I appreciate helicopters currently fill this void, however, this craft will undoubtedly improve on what they can offer. Not only are they a nuisance in the noise pollution, there are numerous restrictions as to take off and landing. It has been suggested to me that the NeoXcraft will sound more like a leaf blower than a helicopter and therefore disruption to local residents will be kept to a minimum.

'With a number of the most expensive homes ever sold in the area being mine, my intentions are to offer a craft with Hermitage in early spring next year. The house itself has been built to a level rarely seen in construction in both design, finish and technology applied.

'Fairmont, its immediate neighbour, is now on the market but with four offers already refused this house will not be sold for less than the asking price. The investment into Fairmont eclipses the asking price and whoever ultimately acquires the property will be buying one of the most amazing homes on the market. So together the Guy Phoenix brand delivering luxury homes and the VRCO brand soon to deliver the future in transport I am sure will work well together.'

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving


When the vehicle is safely on the ground, the pilot can transform it from flight to road mode with the push of a button, according to Mike Smith, chairman and co-founder of the project.

The propeller housings, which feature wheel structures on the outside, will then tilt downwards, allowing the vehicle to drive.

The car is computer controlled, and the pilot 'will follow a series of voice commands to drive it in the air and on the road', Mr Smith said.

The flying car is a short-range driving vehicle but a medium-range flying vehicle, he said.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

The futuristic 'NeoXCraft' is expected to sell for £1.5 million and will use four high-powered fans to reach speeds of up to 210mph (320kph).

 Mr Phoenix is in talks with planners and the Civil Aviation Authority about how the craft will land and take-off.

He added: 'Helicopters currently can land 28 times a year without planning, we hope this to be extended once noise pollution calculated. As this is a worlds' first I have no prior application to refer to.'

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car

Orders are already being placed for the car which the company hopes to be selling by 2020.

The NeoXCraft, which will be controlled via a computer programme, is the joint vision of Nottingham-based aviation company VRCO and the University of Derby.

Upon release, only a few people will be qualified to pilot it in the air and along Britain's roads.

It's hoped future models will feature autonomous software that will allow them to fly passengers around the country with no driver.

The craft, which has parachutes installed in case of an emergency and carries no solid fuel,  is undergoing multiple safety tests over the coming months.

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car 

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car 

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

The University of Derby's Institute of Innovation has been involved with the project.

When on the ground the pilot is able go into flight with the push of a button.

The propeller housings, which feature wheel structures on the outside, will then tilt downwards, allowing the vehicle to drive.

The car is computer controlled and the pilot will follow a series of voice commands to drive it in the air and on the road.

Scottish Government seeking advice on net-zero carbon target

Scottish Government seeking advice on net-zero carbon target

Scotland's climate change minister Roseanna Cunningham has confirmed that the Scottish Government will set a net-zero emissions goal if the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) can set out a "pathway" for the nation to achieve carbon neutrality.

Scotland's draft climate change strategy has a headline target of achieving a 100% reduction in carbon emissions

Scotland's draft climate change strategy has a headline target of achieving a 100% reduction in carbon emissions "as soon as possible"

Speaking during a debate at Holyrood late last week, Cunningham confirmed that the Scottish Government has joined the UK Government in seeking advice from the CCC on how best to bolster its climate targets and achieve net-zero status by 2050.

The move comes off the back of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) landmark report, which warns that the global temperature increase will hit 1.5C by 2030, and 3-4C by the end of the century.

Drawing on more than 4,000 pieces of scientific research, the IPCC’s report claims that limiting warming to 1.5C would require global carbon pollution to be cut by 45% by 2030 – compared with a 20% cut under the 2C pathway – and come down to zero by 2050, compared with 2075 for 2C. This would require carbon prices that are three to four times higher than for a 2C target.

“If [the CCC] advises that even more ambitious Scottish targets are now credible, we will adopt them,” Cunningham said at Holyrood on Thursday (1 November).

“What has held us back until now is that the UK CCC has been unable to outline that credible pathway. In the absence of that, we felt that it would be unwise to draft the bill in any other way than we have at the moment, but we want to get there.

“The Scottish government wants to achieve net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases as soon as possible. It is our intention to get there, and we will set a target date for that as soon as that can be done credibly and responsibly.”

Cunningham’s comments come after the publication of Scotland’s draft climate change strategy in June, which has a headline target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 90% by 2050 and achieving a 100% reduction "as soon as possible". The strategy outlines plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds by 2030 as a milestone on the way to the ambitious 2050 goal.

Steps toward decarbonisation

The debate which Cunningham was speaking at had been held to mark the publication of the first annual monitoring report for Scotland’s climate change framework, which found that the nation met its annual and domestic carbon targets in 2016.

Following the release of Government statistics confirming that Scotland had achieved a 49% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against a 1990 baseline earlier this year, the report reveals that the nation recorded a 10.3% year-on-year reduction in carbon emissions between 2015 and 2016.

It additionally notes that the six large-scale renewable generation projects to have been approved in Scotland in 2016 are set to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint by 0.246 MtCO2 annually by 2022.

These findings are the latest low-carbon success stories for Scotland, which has committed to delivering 50% of all energy from renewables across heat, transport and electricity, and has signed a joint agreement to tackle climate change with the US State of California.

The nation has also deployed the world’s first floating wind farm, delivering electricity to the Scottish grid and the country’s largest solar farm has also received the green light, alongside the announcement of plans to phase out new polluting petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.

To drive further progress, industry body Scottish Renewables this week launched a campaign calling for tougher policy to help decarbonise the 14,000 Scottish homes that still use coal as their primary heat source - as well as the 186,000 domestic properties that rely on oil or bottled gas.

The organisation estimates that homes using coal emit, on average, more than four times as much carbon as those using electric heat pumps, biomass boilers or solar thermal panels.

“Coal-powered electricity generation has already become a thing of the past in Scotland and it's time household coal heating was consigned to the dustbin of history too,” Scottish Renewables’ senior policy manager Fabrice Leveque said.

“Schemes like the Renewable Heat Incentive are available to help people switch to more sustainable alternatives and the benefits of doing so are clear: cleaner air, a healthier environment and less of the harmful emissions which cause climate change.”