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July 26, 2017

Statoil warns of threats to green energy

Statoil has warned that geopolitical tensions could jeopardise the push to replace coal with low-carbon energy sources — and highlighted the UK’s vote to leave the EU as an example of the risks to international co-operation. The Norwegian group, Europe’s second-biggest producer of natural gas after Gazprom of Russia, said

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Construction Tech start-up grows fast with new app for small builders.

24onoff, a tech startup based in London, has launched its new web and smartphone app for the construction market, following successful trials with over 50 small builders, plumbers, electricians and property maintenance companies around the UK.  According to the consulting firm McKinsey, the construction industry is the least digitised industry

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

July 26, 2017

Statoil warns of threats to green energy

Statoil has warned that geopolitical tensions could jeopardise the push to replace coal with low-carbon energy sources — and highlighted the UK’s vote to leave the EU as an example of the risks to international co-operation. The Norwegian group, Europe’s second-biggest producer of natural gas after Gazprom of Russia, said the shift towards a more volatile multipolar world might lead countries to put greater focus on energy security than tackling climate change. Eirik Wærness, chief economist of Statoil, said a future characterised by more frequent political crises and growing protectionism would make it harder to achieve global co-operation on reducing carbon emissions. This was one of three scenarios laid out by Statoil in its annual long-term outlook on the global energy market, with the other two making more optimistic assumptions about the ability to cut greenhouse gases. The group did not make a judgment on which scenario was most likely but, in a briefing on Wednesday, Mr Wærness said the UK’s looming exit from the EU was the kind of event that would fit its most pessimistic vision. An era of increased geopolitical rivalry would lead to “growing disagreement about the rules of the game and a decreasing ability to manage crises in the political, economic and environmental arenas”, said the report. In this scenario, reducing carbon emissions would be a low priority and international agreements of the kind made at the UN climate change conference in Paris last year would be only partially implemented. A more isolationist US, an economically stagnant Europe and a weakening of international institutions such as the UN, Nato and the World Trade Organisation were other features of this synopsis, with rising powers such as China and India failing to fill the leadership vacuum. In this kind of geopolitical landscape, carbon emissions would rise 18 per cent between 2013 and 2040 and continue climbing at the end of the period, Statoil predicted, compared with a 45 per cent reduction in the most optimistic scenario for replacing fossil fuels with renewable power. Mr Wærness, lead author of the Statoil report, said the world faced a “fantastically difficult” challenge to meet increasing demand for energy from developing countries while cutting greenhouse gases. Related article Despite pressure to develop renewables, many energy majors see more money in traditional markets Energy demand would rise between 2013 and 2040 by an annual average of between 1.1 per cent, in a world dominated by geopolitical rivalry, and 0.2 per cent in the most optimistic scenario for increased energy efficiency and adoption of new technologies, such as electric cars. During the same period, the share of oil and gas in the global energy mix would fall from 51.2 per cent to 49.3 per cent under Statoil’s “rivalry” scenario, or 44.7 per cent in a world of energy “renewal”. Use of low-carbon sources such as solar and wind would increase from a 1.2 per cent share in 2013 to 5.2 per cent in 2040 in a world of “rivalry”, or 14.6 per cent in the event of “renewal”. The biggest swing factor was coal, which would see its share drop sharply from 29.7 per cent to 12.3 per cent in the “renewal” scenario but more modestly to 27.1 per cent in the event of “rivalry” as nations prioritised energy security and economic growth over environmental concerns. Forecasts for a third, more mixed scenario, described as “reform”, fell between the two extremes. Mr Wærness said the world was falling short of where it needed to be if it was to meet the UN’s ambition to limit the rise in average global temperatures to 2C compared with pre-industrial times by the end of the century. “We need to speed up the pace of change if we are to have any chance of meeting the climate goals,” he said. Rapid and widespread adoption of electric vehicles provided the best chance of progress, Mr Wærness added, but only if coal was replaced with gas and renewables in the generation of power. Source link

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Most Active Sector of the Mortgage Market for June Was the Remortgaging Sector

On Monday 24th July, figures were released showing that the most active sector of the mortgage market for June was the remortgaging sector. According to research that was carried out by Connells Survey & Valuation around a third of the property valuations that were carried out throughout the month of June were from owner occupiers or landlords who were carrying out remortgaging. From the research that has been carried out by Connells, this rate of remortgaging valuations has increased, and is 7% above the five year average for June. As a breakdown of these figures, standard remortgaging valuations cover 23% of the market activity, and 10% is covered by buy-to-let remortgaging loans. Combines, these categories represent more of the market than the first-time buyers, buy to let or standard moving house mortgages. This increase is thought to have been caused by the low interest rates that are on offer at the moment. With predictions that the Bank of England will be increasing the interest rates in August, it appears that people have been making the most of the base rate which has been at almost zero since the crash in 2009. Another reason that remortgaging levels could be high is the lack of choice on the housing market at the minute and the increase of housing prices. These two factors combined mean that homeowners are looking to remortgage and make repayments cheaper, while staying put for longer as well as freeing up funds that could ease financial situations or allow for home improvements so that moving is not necessary. For the buy-to-let market, there ha been a reduction in the level of tax relief that is received by landlords, meaning that they have had their profits cut. For landlords, remortgaging allows them to pay less over a longer period of time in order to free up funds and replace the ones that they have lost through the tax regulation changes. With the tax changes and the looming increase of base rate and interest rates, acting sooner rather than later with remortgaging is wise, and means that there has been a surge in the success of this area of the industry.

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Streetspace Announced That They Had Outgrown Their Location in Wootton

Streetspace, a leading manufacturing company dealing in canopies and street furniture have announced that they will be moving to Lympne Industrial Park in Hythe. The business announced that they had outgrown their location in Wootton which is near Dover and have decided to move to larger accommodation to allow their company the opportunity to continue to grow. The move to Lympne Industrial park in Hythe will offer the canopy and street furniture manufacturer double the quality of the factory dspace that is currently available to them in Wootton.The move will also allow the company four times as much office and amenity space. This larger space will allow Streetspace the room to expand and to continue to grow. This move, however productive, is only temporary. Streetspace is relocating to Hyth for the interim while their new facility which is being constructed at Honeywood Parkway in Whitfield continues through the planning, design and construction stages of works. The Honeywood site that is being built for the business measures 25,000 sq.ft. Streetspace have been operating out of their Wooton location for the past 20 years and with the business growing as successfully as it is, more space is required to flourish going forward. The company felt that it was time to move on and into a larger space that will allow the company to cope better with their increased number of orders while still being able to deliver the expected high standard of customer service. The larger space will also allow Streetspace the opportunity to carry out further product development to ensure that they are offering the the best products to their end users possible. The new site will offer more space for the company’s expanding team which will make the facility a more comfortable place to work as well as increasing the available space and providing room for more staff members if needed going forward.

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Eshton Released a Proposal That Would Add 600,000 sq. ft. on to the Construction Scheme

Eshton has released a proposal that would add 600,000 sq. ft. on to the construction scheme that is taking place at Burnley Bridge. The commercial property developer and investor has released news of the extension to the current 80 acre scheme that includes Burnley Bridge and Titanium Park. The scheme at the moment is located at Junction 9 of the M65 and will offer more opportunities for businesses to gain their own tailor made accommodation, similar to the scheme that is currently under construction. The investor and property developing company has said that the newly proposed site will be constructed on a 32 acre site on the south side of the M65 carriageway, adjacent to the A679 Accrington Road, will be called Burnley Bridge South. It is thought that the construction project will offer the same level and variety of warehousing and industrial accommodation on the business park. The units will be tailored to meet the requirements of the tenants. The plans for the new construction work is for six different units that will total 600,000 sq.ft. and the possibility of a bespoke building footprint that measures over 500,000 sq. ft. that could be accommodated on the site. This development is proving to be really successful for Eshton and an additional site valued at £45 million is a further commitment from the company to investment in industry growth. Eshton has showcased their intention to invest in to Burnley throughout the construction work on Burnley Bridge and Titanium Park. The newly announced development could bring as many as 1,300 new jobs to the area. Burnley Bridge is an industrial site which is ideally located, with good access to the national road network. The Burnley Bridge Business Park is considered to be the largest industrial park development to be carried out on the M65 corridor for more than 10 years.

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Construction Tech start-up grows fast with new app for small builders.

24onoff, a tech startup based in London, has launched its new web and smartphone app for the construction market, following successful trials with over 50 small builders, plumbers, electricians and property maintenance companies around the UK.  According to the consulting firm McKinsey, the construction industry is the least digitised industry in Europe. One of the largest reasons for the industry’s lack of digitalisation is that it still relies mainly on paper to plan and manage its projects. That´s the problem 24onoff aims to solve: the use of paper makes it difficult to plan and capture the situation in a busy workday. Everyday billable hours gets lost in small paper-based construction companies. Incorrect invoices are sent making the business lose money while also creating disputes between clients and contractors. – “24onoff removes the paper trail with a easy-to-use, “field friendly” web and smartphone app for construction workers of all ages”, says Sondre Blaasmo, CEO of the growing start-up. The software enables workers in the field to track man-hours, share progress on projects, upload blueprints and record deviations. While people in the office get an easy overview, helping with both invoicing, project management and quality & safety. Cut the administration time in half  The software is now used daily by over 5000 construction workers in Northern Europe, mainly in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. – “We realised we needed to make a unique and customised software for all the small builders in the UK. We’ve now created a product that have helped companies reduce the time spent on paperwork and administration by an average of 50 %”, says Ole Jørgen Næss, Head of Product Development. Sondre and Ole explain that the majority of the companies involved in the testing phase have now purchased the software. – “Our employees have been very good at using the app on their phones, so I get a clear picture of their hours during the week. Having this better overview, means I can get invoices out quicker”, says John Mayo, director of Mayo Electrical and one of 24onoff´s customers. Free for small teams To kick-off the launch of the new app, the company now offer to allow teams up to 3 employees use the software totally for free forever. With no hidden fees. – “We offer free use of the entire software to small companies because we believe it’s important to help craftsmanship around the UK. The construction industry is such an embedded part of society. If the builders are doing well, it makes business sense for us to do this, as we grow together”, says Sondre. 24onoff is a software company offering time-tracking, project management and quality & safety. You can find out more about 24onoff and sign up for your free trial here.

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