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The Morning Briefing: Fuel poverty and power shortages

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about fuel poverty.
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Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributor on

"The Morning Briefing" is SmartPlanet's daily roundup of must-reads from the web. This morning we're reading about fuel poverty.

1.) Fuel poverty seen for 3 million households by 2016? According to a government-commissioned report, up to 3 million UK households will be in fuel poverty by 2016. A professor at the London School of Economics calculated that these households, once they have finished playing for energy bills, will be left below the official poverty line.

2.) Fuel poverty deaths three times higher than government estimates. Deaths attributed to fuel poverty, as calculated by governments, may be higher than believed. New academic research has suggested that the actual number of people dying because they cannot afford heating within the Winter months may be three times higher than official estimates.

3.) Palestinians and their crippled power station. The Palestinian energy authority in Gaza said this week it has paid Egypt $2 million towards fuel for its crippled power station, but not yet received anything in return. Gaza is currently experiencing a major electricity crisis because of a shortage of fuel for its sole power plant, which is limiting power supply to the general public. Sometimes, power is only supplied for 6 hours a day.

4.) Fuel supplies dwindle: Ships battle with Japanese utilities. In order to save natural resources, oil refiners in Japan are investing in more efficient facilities. Due to this, shipping lines are feeling the effects -- and are now competing with Japanese power producers for fuel that no-one wants to make: the by-product 'bunker'.

5.) Fuel prices drive demand for efficient vehicles. The price of oil is heading towards a record high, and rising expenditure has hit Western consumer income hard. More emphasis has now been placed on fuel economy, where consumers are now demanding fuel-efficient vehicles.

Bonus: Forget oil, fuel up with algae

Image credit: Tim Lewis

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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