New figures published today by the UK Space Agency reveal that the UK could compete in a high value market to launch an estimated 2,000 satellites by 2030 On his first visit to the site of a new spaceport at Sutherland, Business Secretary Greg Clark said that the spaceport could be worth 400 jobs to local Scottish economy In July £31.5m of funding was announced to support the Sutherland spaceport. This is a key part of the Industrial Strategy to ensure the UK thrives in the commercial space age. Commercial vertical and horizontal launch demand is worth a potential £3.8 billion to the UK economy over the next decade and will support further growth of Britain’s space sector. He commented that thanks to the UK’s location, planned regulatory framework, private sector strategy and space ecosystem, Britain has a competitive advantage to compete for a substantial share of a market for launching an estimated 2,000 small satellites by 2030.During the visit the Secretary of State viewed plans for the spaceport site and held discussions with local people and businesses to hear their thoughts.Figures released to coincide with his visit suggest that existing ‘rideshare’ small satellite launches (small satellites piggybacking on larger missions) are capable of meeting less than 35% of the total demand. This reveals a significant gap in commercial small satellite launch provision for which future UK spaceports are well placed to compete.Business Secretary Greg Clark said:“From our market leadership in small satellite construction to our world leading universities Scotland and the UK comes from a position of strength in the global space sector which will be turbo boosted by the first new spaceport and our Industrial Strategy.“However, I want to make sure that this giant leap for the UK will also deliver on the ground, that’s why I’m here today to discuss benefits in local jobs, uplifting tourism and businesses, helping to bring prosperity to all.”Low cost access to space is important for the UK’s thriving space sector which builds more small satellites than any other country, with Glasgow building more than any other city in Europe.The Sutherland spaceport will be developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The HIE Board approved investment of up to £9.8m in the £17.2m facility. The agency earlier confirmed that the Sutherland spaceport was capable of supporting some 400 jobs. These would be a mix of new jobs as a result of activities at the spaceport, inward investment, and supply chain opportunities.Roy Kirk of HIE is project director for the Sutherland Spaceport development said:“Establishing the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland is a fantastic opportunity for the Highlands and Islands, and for Scotland.“The international space sector is set to grow very significantly in the coming years. We want to ensure our businesses are ready to benefit from the opportunities this will create.“Establishing this launch site will create local opportunities, with around 40 high quality, skilled jobs in a fairly remote and rural part of Sutherland. Crucially, we believe it will also stimulate further related investment and business activity more widely across the Highlands and Islands and other parts of Scotland.“We’ll be working to develop supply chain opportunities locally and across our region. We will also use the spaceport’s presence to attract and encourage further business activity and investment here in the longer term.”Chris Larmour, Chief Executive of Orbex said:“I don’t think anyone should underestimate the importance of what is being done here in Scotland. With Sutherland we will have continental Europe’s first spaceport. Britain already has a very strong satellite manufacturing capability and soon, with Orbex, there will be British rockets taking those satellites into orbit. This end-to-end capability is unique in Europe and will create a virtuous circle, leading to more investment, more business and more jobs.”“As a great example of that, we are currently assessing locations in Scotland to house our rocket factory and Spaceflight Mission Control facility, which will become Orbex’s global headquarters. We hope to announce the location of our new facility within the next sixty days. From there, we will start the hiring process for 25 new jobs immediately, rising to around 130 jobs over time. We have progressed rapidly over the past three years. We are already testing the engine of our Prime rocket, we have secured £30 million in funding and we have signed up our first customer for twenty satellite launches. Very quickly, we expect the local economy and the wider British economy to start feeling the positive impact of this progress.”Patrick Wood, Lockheed Martin’s UK Country Executive for Space, said:“We are moving quickly with our teammates to establish detailed plans and infrastructure for this new launch capability. Lockheed Martin is already expanding our presence in Sutherland, and we’re searching for the first members of our team now. We are committed to fast and meaningful progress to deliver regular, reliable and responsible access to space for the UK, with the first launch slated for the early 2020s.”Scotland is the best place in the UK to reach in-demand satellite orbits with vertically launched rockets. UK Space Agency has also previously announced a £2m scheme to support horizontal launch.The UK Space Agency is driving the growth of the space sector as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy with major initiatives including the National Space Test Facility at Harwell, and the UK continues to be a leading member of the European Space Agency, which is independent of the EU.
After the Cold War ended 30 years ago, Europe closed the door on an era of division and entered a new era of peace and integration, one with a future centered around intellectual labor, information, and globalization. But the resulting disruption in job markets, economic inequities, and disputes over migrant labor across Europe have made it apparent that to move forward and not regress, the political, governmental, and economic structures of the past will need “remodeling, even democracy,” said renowned activist Lech Walesa on Monday evening at the Harvard Kennedy School.During a talk on the evolution of post-Communist Europe, the former electrician who led the historic labor uprising in Soviet-controlled Poland in the 1980s worried about how that “remodeling” will get done without substantial U.S. participation. He recalled the period after World War II when the U.S. “used to be the leader for the world,” the “Good Empire” to Communism’s “Evil Empire.” From the Marshall Plan on, when Europe had problems or needed help solving issues, “people could really count on the United States to come to the rescue,” he said in Polish, speaking through an English language interpreter.But the growing absence of the U.S. as a global force in recent years has left a void of ideas and leadership that populist figures in various nations have sought to fill with appeals to nostalgia and xenophobia, he said.Clad in a gray T-shirt reading “Konstytucja” (Constitution) with the letters U and I highlighted, a shirt he has taken to wearing since 2018 to protest Poland’s move to curb judicial independence, a chatty and animated Walesa urged Harvard students — most of whom had not been born when Poland and East Germany shook loose from Soviet control in 1989 — to take up the fight against anti-democratic leadership and help identify solutions that resolve the ills that populism purports to address.,Earlier in the day, Walesa joined Grzegorz Ekiert, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government and director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), students and faculty from Poland, and those interested in Eastern Europe for a freewheeling discussion at CES about political and economic issues in contemporary Poland and Europe.While populist movements across Europe, and even in the U.S. with the rise of Donald Trump, have accurately identified the socioeconomic problems brought about by the global economy, he said the solution is not to eliminate free markets, break up Europe, or sever Western alliances. Rather, liberal democracies, which Walesa said he was “very, very hopeful” will include the U.S., must work together to come up with a type of capitalism that works for the 21st century, one in which workers and owners share in a company’s success.Working at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, during the 1970s, Walesa became an unlikely political and social activist, leading 17,000 striking workers to form the trade union Solidarnosc, or “Solidarity,” in 1980. The union, created to bargain with the Soviet-controlled government for better wages and working conditions, soon became a global, nonviolent protest movement against Communism and in favor of democracy and workers’ rights.Walesa was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for his work, and his movement was credited with speeding the fall of Communism, which began in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1990, Walesa won a landslide electoral victory, becoming the first president of the newly democratic Poland. He served until 1995.Now 76, Walesa had been enjoying retirement, but the developments in Poland and Europe, particularly the resurgence of populist and nationalist politics, prompted him to go back out on the field, he said.“You have to do everything you can, and I’m promising that I will contribute as much as I can for the United States to restore its leadership position in the world,” he told the gathering at HKS.
LNG World News Staff Kochi LNG storage tanks (Image courtesy of Petronet LNG)India is reportedly planning to add 11 more liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals as the country is boosting the share of gas in its energy mix.The country currently imports LNG via four facilities, namely Petronet’s Dahej and Kochi LNG terminals, Shell’s Hazira plant, and the Dabhol terminal operated by Ratnagiri Gas and Power. It imported almost 20 million tonnes last year.India plans to more than double the share of natural gas in its energy mix to 15 percent by 2022 from about 6.5 percent now.To realize this plan, over the next seven years the government plans to raise regasification capacity to 70 million tonnes per year, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing Narendra Taneja, spokesman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as saying.India would eventually require even more than 15 LNG import terminals to meet its demand, the report said.The 70 million-tonnes-a-year target a few years later would mean India would need to import more than China took last year via both pipelines and tankers, and it would put India close to what top importer Japan currently buys.As part of its drive to reduce pollution, Taneja said the government was encouraging Indian railway companies and LNG importers to look at fuelling trains by LNG instead of diesel.India also wants to become a hub for supplying ships that run on LNG, with plans to build more facilities like a fuelling station at Kochi port, Taneja said.