Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Germany generates a record 6.17 TWh of solar power in July

The country’s solar power generation surpassed its previous record of 5.93 TWh of two months earlier

The news was announced by German research institure, IWR, which cited provisional figures from transmission system operators. The previous record had been set by Germany’s PV systems just two months prior – when their solar power generation had reached 5.93 TWh.

The month of July saw increased sunshine, from a normal standard of 212 hours, to a remarkable 305 hours this month. July 2018 was marked as the second- sunniest July on record, after July 2006. The institute further reported that solar reached its peak with 29.1 GW of total capacity fed into the grid. This amount of power corresponds to that of nearly 25 nuclear plants.

For wind power generation, the unusually stable and high-pressure weather conditions on the month were not as favourable. IWR reported that wind power production actually dropped to 4.4 terawatt hours—which was 20% less than in July 2017.

Overall, the IWR estimated that the electricity generated from PV and wind turbines in Germany at 10.6 terawatt hours in July 2018. For the time period ranging from January to July, PV and wind power generation totaled 86.9 terawatt hours – 11% more than in the first seven months of the previous year.

Germany has been rapid in its plans to expand its reliance on renewables.It manage to achieve the milestone of briefly having 100% of its electricity usage covered by renewables in January 2018. While it already reache its target of increasing the share of power consumption to 35 % by 2020 – its has seen not been able to meet its targets in emmission reduction for the third straight year in a row – which has put a dent on its self-imposed climate targets of 2020.

The country is noted to have recently shifted to auctions for large renewable installations, to ensure that the sectors’ exposure to market forces keeps on increasing.

-GBO Correspondent

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