Industry chief urges prime minister to boost solar energy generation while building new nuclear power station
3pm: Geological evaluations are to take place in Manchester as a plan to use bore holes to heat buildings in the city gathers pace.
GT Energy has started work on the next phase of its geothermal scheme, working with contractor Erdwerk on developing the Devonshire Street proposal.
The power company is investing £450,000 in this new phase of the project, having raised more than £1.7m from shareholders.
“From here, we expect to move from planning permission to a position where we will be ready to break ground on the site in spring 2015,” said GT Energy managing director Padraig Hanly.
2.30pm: A hike in construction work has helped power the UK economy to levels higher than the Olympic-boosted third quarter of 2012.
A preliminary estimate from the Office for National Statistics said GDP was 1.5% higher in the third quarter of 2013 than in the same period in 2012.
Construction saw the highest month-on-month rise in output, growing 2.5% from the second quarter of this year.
The overall economy grew 0.8 per cent in the same period.
12.30pm: The government has moved a step closer to finding a company to oversee £240M of infrastructure works on the East Coast Mainline.
The Department for Transport published a prospectus detailing criteria for becoming the next private sector partner for services on the line from London to Edinburgh.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We want to see a revitalised East Coast railway, one that both rekindles the spirit of competition for customers on this great route to Scotland and competes with the West Coast on speed, quality and customer service.
“We need a strong partner to ensure we successfully deliver the £240M programme of infrastructure investments on the route and the improvements in rolling stock that the multi-billion Intercity Express Programme will provide.”
9.30am: A solar power chief has written to David Cameron urging him to use solar power to plug the gap between coal and new nuclear energy generation.
Lightsource Renewable Energy operations director Mark Turner said in his open letter to the prime minister that more solar power was necessary for UK energy security.
Turner said the solar sector could create the same annual amount of energy as approved nuclear station Hinkley Point C in just two years’ time rather than 10.
He added: “Solar power will not be the entire solution but if we supported its deployment then within a couple of years we could have 10% of the UK’s energy mix completely free from the vagaries of the global fossil fuel markets.
“This would then combine with the 9% from Hinckley Point C when it eventually comes on stream.”