Christmas catch-up

3rd January 2017

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  • Generation


Amy MacDonald

Environment and energy professionals awarded new year's honours, record solar installations in Scotland and a slump in bee and butterfly numbers we round up the key stories from the festive break.

Professionals working in a range of environment-related roles were recognised in the New Year honours list. Sarah Church, director at the environment department (Defra) was awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath for services to British food and farming, while Edmund Hosker, who was director of international energy, EU and resilience at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) until the end of 2016, was awarded a CBE for services to energy policy.

Andrew Garrad, co-founder of energy consultancy Garrad Hassan (now DNV GL), was given a CBE for services to renewable energy. Garrad announced his retirement at the end of 2016. Caroline Ross, a lawyer at Decc, was awarded an OBE for services to international climate change negotiations.

Jacqueline Banks, manager of asset performance at the Environment Agency, and Philip Young, team leader at the agency, were recognised for their services to communities and flood risk management with MBEs.

Click here for the full list of honours.

Meanwhile, Scotland reached a milestone in solar power, with installed capacity reaching more than 200MW across 50,000 locations. The figures, collated by WWF Scotland and trade body the Solar Trade Association (STA) from data published by regulator Ofgem, revealed that Scotland’s installed solar PV capacity at the end of 2016 stood at 209MW, a rise of 17% compared with 2015.

More than 49,000 homes and 1,000 business premises in Scotland have installed solar PV arrays, the data showed. However, WWF Scotland and the STA warned that the figures revealed UK government policy decisions were having a detrimental impact on solar capacity north of the border, with 2016 recording the slowest increase since 2011. They called on the Scottish government to set a target in its forthcoming energy strategy for half the country’s energy to be renewable by 2030.

Data from the National Trust revealed a slump in UK bee and butterfly numbers after a tenth year of unsettled weather. A mild winter, cold spring and wet May and June led to extremely high grass growth in 2016, leading to a difficult year for warmth-loving insects, including common meadowland butterflies, the trust said.

The conservation charity is working with its tenants and partners to reverse the decline in UK wildlife.


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