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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Friday 7 November 2008

BP has dropped all plans to build wind farms and other renewable schemes in Britain and is instead concentrating the bulk of its $8bn (£5bn) renewable spending programme on the US, where government incentives for clean energy projects can provide a convenient tax shelter for oil and gas revenues. . .

The decision is a major blow to the prime minister, Gordon Brown, who has promised to sweep away all impediments to ensure Britain is at the forefront of the green energy revolution - The Guardian

Vestas, the world's biggest wind turbine maker, is slowing down staff recruitment in the light of economic uncertainity but expects to increase sales by more than 25% next year. The Danish firm said its third quarter earnings rose from 130m euros to 160m euros, slightly below City forecasts, and it was on track for sales of 5.7bn euros for 2008 and 7.2bn euros for 2009 - The Guardian

The era of cheap oil is over, the International Energy agency warned yesterday as it predicted crude values would soon rebound to above $100 a barrel and double again by 2030 as fields in the North Sea and elsewhere in the world declined faster than expected. More than $26tn of new investments would be needed over the next 20 years to ensure the world had enough energy, according to the IEA, which was founded during the oil crisis of 1973-74 and acts as energy policy adviser to 28 member countries including Britain - The Guardian

London's mayor, Boris Johnson, has shelved £3.5bn of transport schemes in the capital, including the Thames Gateway bridge, and announced a multibillion pound cost-cutting drive. Johnson said yesterday the move ended the "deception" of his predecessor, ken Livingstone, who had ordered officials to draw up plans for the Thames Gateway project amid strong opposition from environmental campaigners - The Guardian

The government will confront internal critics of its Heathrow expansion policy next week when it holds a parliamentary debate on building a third runway at Britain's largest airport. Tuesday's debate on "adding capacity at Heathrow" is seen by opponents as a government ultimatum to rebels - The Guardian

Fortnightly collections, a bin tax threat and other measures have led to more than a third of waste now being recycled. However, a collapse in prices for aluminium, paper and plastics caused by the global economic downturn and reduction in demand from China means that many councils are failing to sell the recycled materials - The Daily Telegraph

One in three teachers believes that creationism should have the same status in lessons as evolution, a survey found. Almost a third of schools already teach creationism, with even science teachers thinking it has a place in classrooms, according to the poll by Teachers TV, a satellite television channel - The Daily Telegraph

Ministers have bowed to pressure from MPs and agreed to a debate next Tuesday on plans to expand Heathrow airport with the addition of a third runway and a sixth terminal. Rebel Labour MPs have joined Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders to express opposition to government support for the project – The Financial Times

London’s mayor yesterday slashed several long-planned infrastructure schemes from the city’s transport plans, portraying the move as honest recognition that they would never be built. Boris Johnson said the money saved would be diverted to the remaining investment programme of Transport for London, his transport organisation, which he said would transform the city – The Financial Times

An incompetent builder whose botched work cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to put right faces a possible jail sentence after being convicted of obtaining money by deception - The Times

A £350M winter sports resort is to be created on the site of a former cement works in Great Blakenham, Suffolk. Residents and environmental groups objected to the SnOasis development, but ministers were satisfied with the project - The Times

Safety barriers are to be stripped from hundreds of busy streets after a trial found that using railing to separate pedestrians and vehicles made roads more dangerous. People will be encouraged to cross the road wherever they like rather than being hearded towards crossings - The Times

An arm of the Irish Government that operates peat-fired power stations is planning a €4bn investment drive to build power plants in Britain. ESBI, the international arm of the Irish Republic's Electricity Supply Board (ESB), which is 95% owned by the Government, has earmarked the cash for construction of a string of gas-fired power stations and wind farms. The group wants to build up to 3,000 MW of gas-fired and renewable generation plants in the UK by 2020 - The Times


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