SSE announces price rise

SSE has become the latest Big Six energy firm to increase its prices for domestic consumers.

The company said it was raising its standard electricity tariff by 14.9% from 28 April but is holding gas prices at their current rate.

The impact for a typical dual fuel customer will amount to a 6.9% - or £73 - increase in their annual bill.

SSE said the price change reflects the increasing cost of supplying electricity, and specifically higher costs associated with delivering vital government programmes designed to upgrade Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure and help the country move towards a low carbon future.

> Read SSE's announcement

Renewables trade body chief stepping down

Niall Stuart, the Chief Executive at trade body Scottish Renewables, has announced that he will stand down from his role in August.

Stuart is leaving to start his own consultancy focused on strategic communications, policy development and regulatory affairs.

Scottish Renewables said it would begin the process to recruit a replacement for Stuart – who has held the post since 2009 – over the “next few weeks”.

> See Scottish Renewables' statement

Plans for $4bn battery factory unveiled

A $4 billion (£3.3bn) battery manufacturing plant could begin production in Sweden in 2024 under plans unveiled by two former Tesla executives.

Chief Executive Peter Carlsson and Chief Operating Officer Paolo Cerruti plan to begin construction of their Northvolt plant next year.

The scale of the project would rival Tesla’s “Gigafactory” in Nevada and aims to produce 32GW of battery storage capacity each year.

> Find out more about Northvolt

Solar power growth doubled in 2016

The amount of Global solar capacity added during 2016 was double the figure for the previous year, according to trade body SolarPower Europe.

Global capacity hit a record high of 76.2GW, driven by China and the United States, but European demand decreased by over 21% to 6.7 GW.

James Watson, Chief Executive at Solar Power Europe, said: “Solar is one of the lowest-cost power generation sources today, and this is true for Europe.

“The European Union is not harvesting the sun as much it could and should – it’s time to change that.”

> See SolarPower's statement

Floating offshore wind farm approved

Paul Whitehouse, the Scottish Government’s Business, Innovation & Energy Minister, has granted planning permission for an eight-turbine floating wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen.

The 50MW Kincardine Offshore Windfarm is expected to create 110 jobs during construction and maintenance.

Whitehouse said: “If the technology can be demonstrated at scale, it has huge potential to help Scotland meet its energy needs and to develop a supply chain that can service opportunities elsewhere in Europe and in markets such as South East Asia and North America.”

> See the Scottish Government's statement