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Civil engineering in the news - Monday 24 November

The credit crunch is delaying a wide range of local authority projects backed by private finance. It is also hampering many councils’ ability to improve efficiency, according to a survey of 200 local authorities by 4Ps, the body that helps them deliver public-private partnerships...

...More than a third of local authorities believe current financial instability will have a large impact on projects ranging from urban regeneration, housing and leisure facilities to waste management projects whose timely completion is critical if councils are not to face fines for excessive landfill - Financial Times

Two out of three jobs created since 1998 have been in parts of the economy dominated by public services, casting a fresh light on Labour's economic stewardship, an FT investigation shows. The dominance of the public sector has been so pronounced that in some areas the number employed in the private sector fell between 1998 and 2006 in spite of the strength of the economy over that period - Financial Times

Britain is at "real risk" of power shortages as a result of attempts to shirt to more environmentally friendly methods of electricity production, a report has said. The study, carried out by Capgemini, a global energy consultancy firm, also claims that electricity generation has fallen to its lowest level in 10 years – The Daily Telegraph

More than 195,000 wind turbines will spring up outside homes across Britain over the next 12 years after the Government pledged to pay people for generating their own electricity, according to energy advisers. A "feed-in tariff" will be introduced to ensure that any household generating power through renewable sources such as wind, solar or biomass would be paid for the energy they produce as part of measures to tackle climate change – The Daily Telegraph

One of Dubai’s most senior financiers and property bosses has admitted that the emirate is vulnerable to the global financial downturn. As world business leaders meet for the four-day annual Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Week, Mohammed al Abbar a member of the Dubai Executive Council and chairman of Emaar Properties, said: "Dubai is not immune to the problems caused by the global financial crisis, but the region is better placed than most to deal with the issues arising." – The Daily Telegraph

In the desert of southern Spain, 20 miles outside Seville, more than 1,000 mirrors are being carefully positioned. Each is about half the size of a tennis court, so the adjustments will take time. But when they are complete in a few weeks, it will mark a major moment in the quest for renewable energy. The mirrors are part of the world’s biggest solar tower plant, a technology that reflects sunlight to superheat water at a central tower, Once this £67M plant is inaugurated in January, it will generate 20MW of electricity, enough to power 11,000 Spanish homes. – The Guardian

The sale of land regarded as prime sites for the next generation of nuclear power stations will be launched this week by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The three sites are adjacent to existing or closed atomic power stations. The NDA, which manages the operation and clean-up of 19 government-owned nuclear sites, will be selling farmland at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, Bradwell in Essex, and Wylfa on Anglesey - Financial Times

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