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Declan's Blog

I joined New Civil Engineer in March 2010 and cover energy and technical stories – from small bridges to tall buildings, nuclear to tidal turbines and anything in between.

Carbon capture faces a murky future as EU cuts funding

Posted by Declan LynchThu, 6 Sep 2012

A massive drop in European funding could mean as few as a quarter of the 12 carbon capture and storage (CCS) schemes expecting to be awarded money will actually receive any, according to recent developments.

Renewable subsidy proposals must be clarified

Posted by Declan LynchThu, 9 Aug 2012

The government’s Energy Bill is meant to encourage the transition to a low carbon economy but in its current state there are growing fears that much needed investment will stall before the bill is passed next April.

Meditations over the Mersey

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 25 Apr 2012

With competitive dialogue now underway on the Mersey Gateway, shortlisted bidders are embarking on a robust re-examination of the bridge design, which could see aspirations for an iconic cable-stayed structure abandoned in favour of a cheaper, more austere alternative.

Squally political conditions hamper wind farm growth

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 7 Mar 2012

Wind turbines continue to get a pummelling in the press, with onshore wind farms invariably bearing the brunt. But indecision and quarrelling among factions of the UK government is increasingly fuelling the arguments of the naysayers.

Localism stymies waste incineration projects

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 1 Feb 2012

Last week’s decision by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to revisit the issue of whether waste incinerators pose a health threat looks set to stoke waste industry fears that such development will stagnate for years to come.

Is shale leading the UK into a second dash for gas?

Posted by Declan LynchThu, 24 Nov 2011

A report confirming that shale gas drilling caused two earthquakes off the Lancashire coast in May and June could be expected to cast serious doubt over its future, but many experts appear committed to supporting its contribution to the energy mix.

Foggy thinking on renewables is no way to drive policy

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 2 Nov 2011

Energy secretary Chris Huhne had some harsh words for renewable objectors last week, but his department’s project-stalling indecision has left Huhne vulnerable to equally harsh criticism.

Learning from Fukushima

Posted by Declan LynchThu, 20 Oct 2011

While the Weightman review into the nuclear power industry following the Fukushima disaster signals good news for the industry, the job to digest and act on the recommendations is a challenge.

Infrastructure cash injection faces obstacles

Posted by Declan LynchThu, 6 Oct 2011

Party conference season has once again seen many announcements intended to please the electorate, among them government plans to release £500M for infrastructure projects.

Can Scotland keep a lid on construction costs?

Posted by Declan LynchThu, 15 Sep 2011

Indecision about the route of the Edinburgh trams might be hilarious if wasn’t so tragic, particularly for local residents who will be paying for the overruns (News last week).

Energy policy is finally translating into work

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 27 Jul 2011

The construction industry is salivating at the prospect of energy investment after government policy took two major steps forward this month.

Shale gas fuels debate over renewable energy

Posted by Declan LynchFri, 17 Jun 2011

There is much debate about how levels of subsidy should influence new power generation but could the recent developments in extracting shale gas be the biggest factor in shaping the UK’s new energy capacity.

Low carbon: doubts about government commitment

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 1 Jun 2011

Over the past couple of weeks efforts to cut carbon emissions and Green Investment Bank (GIB) have been thrust firmly into the limelight. But there is still great uncertainty about how to turn proposals and promises into a functioning low carbon economy.

Why the City of London enjoys its own economic climate

Posted by Declan LynchTue, 17 May 2011

Last month’s practical completion of the Heron Tower in the City of London marked the latest milestone of the ever changing skyline in the capital.

Are companies assessing engineering risk correctly?

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 20 Apr 2011

Events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant are an extreme example of a low probability, high consequence event.

It's all about perception for nuclear safety

Posted by Declan LynchTue, 5 Apr 2011

Former government chief scientist Sir David King last week became the latest in a long line of of technical experts to state that nuclear power is the safest form of energy.

Will the Japanese nuclear disaster force a UK energy rethink?

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 23 Mar 2011

With the UK government still placing an 80km danger zone around Japan’s Fukushima plant, NCE looks at the options for meeting the UK’s future energy needs.

Earthquakes give engineers a chance to reevaluate

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 9 Mar 2011

Major earthquakes in Italy, Haiti and New Zealand in the past two years have shown the devastating effect they can have on infrastructure and communities.

Local politics undermines waste to energy

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 23 Feb 2011

Veolia Environmental’s recent success in gaining planning approval for its energy from waste scheme in Wolverhampton is good news for those in favour of this waste disposal technique.

European Supergrid – a good but impractical idea?

Posted by Declan LynchWed, 9 Feb 2011

Prime minister David Cameron last week pledged backing to link up green energy projects in Irish, North and Baltic Seas via a supergrid. But the question remains – how soon could it become a reality?