Canada

NB Power and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organisation (NBEMO) are to carry out Synergy Challenge 2018, a full-scale exercise to test the province of New Brunswick’s readiness to respond to a simulated nuclear emergency at the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant.

World Nuclear News 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Japan

Work has started to remove fuel assemblies from a sodium-filled storage tank at the Monju prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR), the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has announced. Once all these assemblies have been placed in a water-filled pool, removal of assemblies from the reactor itself will begin.

World Nuclear News 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Iran

Iran has remained within the main restrictions on its nuclear activities imposed by a 2015 deal with major powers, a confidential report by the U.N. atomic watchdog indicated on Thursday. In its second quarterly report since President Donald Trump announced in May that the United States would quit the accord and reimpose sanctions, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had stayed within the caps on uranium enrichment levels, enriched uranium stocks and other items.

Reuters 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

South Africa

Theresa May has revealed that the UK Government will invest £56m into a South African battery storage project to help the nation bolster its renewable power generation output.

Edie 30th Aug 2018 read more »

The South African Government has approved a draft to increase renewable energy generation. Jacob Zuma, the former President, had proposed expanding the nuclear power sector by adding new nuclear capacity in excess of 9 gigawatt. However, this February, he faced a vote of no confidence and was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

Climate Action Programme 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Renewable Investment

SSE has issued a second green bond worth €650m, confirming the big six supplier as the largest issuer of green bonds from the UK corporate sector. The nine-year bond, which will be used to fund renewable energy, will mature in September 2025 with a coupon of 1.375%. Proceeds will be swapped to sterling and the all-in funding cost is expected to be around 2.6 per cent. The money will be used to help in the transition towards a low-carbon future. Gregor Alexander, finance director at SSE, said: “In line with our innovative approach to financing investment and as a major investor in the UK and Ireland’s renewable energy infrastructure, we are pleased that this second green bond continues to show SSE’s focus on sustainability and responsibility principles.

Edie 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Business Green 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Renewables – solar

More than 200 stakeholders in the UK’s solar sector, including energy companies, NGOs and city leaders, have called on the Government to continue an export tariff once the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) scheme ends next March. In a letter to Energy Minister Claire Perry, members of the Solar Trade Association (STA) have urged ministers to confirm the extension of the export tariff, which enables small solar generators like households to sell unused renewable electricity back to the national grid, as a “matter of urgency”. The export tariff is not a subsidy but was introduced alongside the FIT scheme, which has been one of the key factors contributing to the huge increase in solar photovoltaic deployment across the UK. Since the launch of the FiT scheme, solar capacity has grown from 100MW in 2010 to 12.7GW at the end of last year.

Edie 30th Aug 2018 read more »

The government should abandon plans to scrap the export tariff paid to small solar generators, which the industry argues will leave householders providing green power to the grid for free. In an open letter co-ordinated by the Solar Trade Association (STA) and sent to Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry today, more than 200 organisations warn the removal of the export tariff will deal a further blow to the solar industry and leave small-scale UK solar generators in a poorer position than European counterparts.

Business Green 30th Aug 2018 read more »

A majority of UK solar installers said they would face hardship if the government presses ahead with plans to close the export tariff, a Solar Power Portal survey has found. And of those surveyed, more than half said the decision would result in them having to either downsize or close their business altogether. The survey findings are being published ahead of forthcoming deadlines for responses to government documents. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s call for evidence on a future regulatory framework for small-scale renewables closes today, while a consultation on the closure of both the feed-in and export tariffs closes in a fortnight. “Let’s be clear; we are not asking for subsidy. We are asking for fair treatment for the everyday people and businesses who want to invest in clean power to do something really meaningful to help tackle climate change. Government must support their efforts,” Chris Hewett, chief executive at the STA, said.

Solar Power Portal 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Heat Networks

Financing Heat Networks in the UK – A Guidebook. This guidance outlines some of the issues, risks and opportunities around financing heat networks in the UK, to support the move to a self-sustaining heat network market.

BEIS 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Energy Efficiency

Halogen lightbulbs are to be phased out from this weekend as part of an EU-wide effort to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions. From tomorrow, retailers will no longer be allowed to replace stocks of the lightbulbs, which use considerably more energy than alternatives such as LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs. They also have a relatively short lifespan of about 2,000 hours, or approximately two years when used for about three hours per day. Halogen bulbs have stayed on the market until now because manufacturers said that LEDs were not yet a viable replacement because of higher upfront costs, particularly for the brighter 60W to 100W-equivalent bulbs. A government study found UK homes have an average of 34 lights, with ten halogen. Stewart Muir of the Energy Saving Trust said: “Halogen bulbs are now quite an old technology. They were first patented for commercial use in 1959, so they’ve been showing their age for a while – mostly by inflating your energy bill.”

Times 31st Aug 2018 read more »

There are lots of ways to make your home more energy-efficient, from adding more insulation to buying new appliances. Actions such as these reduce your energy use and save you money on your bills, but does it really make a difference for the climate? Recent reports suggest that it very well could. A recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a group called Energy and Environmental Economics identified residential energy efficiency as the largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions from a single intervention. According to the study, it could contribute 550 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions reductions each year by 2050. Many countries already require homebuilders to follow building codes that promote energy efficiency. According to research from Climate Action Tracker, if every country across the globe adopted the highest standards, energy demand would decrease enough that 1,000 coal-fired power plants could close. The study used the average size of coal plants, around 600 megawatts, to determine how many could close.

Ecologist 7th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Climate

The majority of the planet’s forests and deserts will likely undergo “major” transformations over the coming decades if climate change continues at its current, rapid pace, an international research team has warned. There is a “high risk” that most of the planet’s land based ecosystems – from forests and grasslands to deserts and tundra – will experience “ubiquitous and dramatic” change unless there is a significant reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions, according to a newly published paper. Far-reaching consequences of climate change. Using fossil records of global vegetation change that occurred during a period of post-glacial warming, the researchers projected the magnitude of ecosystem transformations likely under a variety of scenarios. A “business as usual” emissions scenario, in which little is done to rein in heat-trapping greenhouse-gas emissions, will result in vegetation changes across the planet’s wild landscapes that are more far-reaching and disruptive than previous studies have suggested, the findings indicate.

The i Newspaper 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Until recently I thought I was a pretty eco-friendly human being. I don’t eat much meat, my flat is fuelled by green energy, I cycle to work and don’t own a car. I even wash and recycle baked bean cans for crying out loud. As far as I was concerned I had an LED-lit green halo circling my head. But then I did a carbon footprint calculator. It grilled me on my lifestyle, what I eat and what I buy, and it turns out my annual carbon emissions are 50 per cent higher than the recommended amount. The seven-tonne elephant in the room? Air travel. My results, formulated using WWF’s calculator, don’t take into account business trips but do include the four leisure trips I took over the last twelve months (three short-haul to Europe, one to the US). Those flights alone – totalling around 24 ho urs in the air – account for half of my annual carbon emissions. Half a year’s carbon output in one day. Whichever way I try to spin it, that doesn’t sound great. Actually there is one way to spin it. Compared to fellow Brits I’m not particularly excessive in the number of holidays I’m taking per year. According to ABTA the average number of holidays taken in 2017 was 3.8 per person. Hands up, I didn’t have to use up my 3.8 allowance with overseas trips, but when budget flights are often cheaper than domestic rail travel, and when there’s so much of Europe to see, a hop across to the Continent seems to be a perfectly acceptable option. I fear that my line of reasoning won’t fly in future decades, when the projections of global warming become a reality – something that we, and many countries around the world, received a sobering glimpse of this summer. In the way that we have woken up to the environmental impact of single-use plastic waste, diesel fumes, and the health impact of cigarettes, I wonder if my unborn grandchildren will look back in horror at the way we travelled in 2018.

Telegraph 30th Aug 2018 read more »

The prime minister of Samoa has called climate change an “existential threat … for all our Pacific family” and said that any world leader who denied climate change’s existence should be taken to a mental hospital. In a searing speech delivered on Thursday night during a visit to Sydney, Tuilaepa Sailele berated leaders who fail to take climate change seriously, singling out Australia, as well as India, China and the US, which he said were the “three countries that are responsible for all this disaster”.

Guardian 31st Aug 2018 read more »

The Earth is quickly heading for the “point of no return” unless we act immediately, climate scientists have warned. If governments don’t act decisively on global warming before 2035, it will be very unlikely that we will be able to limit global warming to under two degrees, according to a major new study. If warming reaches over that point, it is likely to trigger climate catastrophe that could make much of the world unliveable. The researchers also say that the deadline to stop global warming reaching 1.5C has already passed, unless we commit to radical action now. They hope that the strict deadline can become an important moment to commit to action on the climate. Without that action, Earth will fall past the point of no return and it will be impossible to stop global warming, they warn. And even those dramatic projects might be overly optimistic, they note.

Independent 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Global warming could mean crop losses from insect damage double in ‘breadbasket of Europe’ by 2050.

Independent 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Carbon Brief 30th Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018

Transport

Five years ago, the Estonian capital of Tallinn introduced free public transport after residents said yes to the idea in a referendum. Residents register with a “green card”, meaning only visitors pay to use buses, trams and trains. It’s proved so popular that the government is planning to roll it out across the country. France and Germany are considering similar ideas. But should public transport be free, like schools and the health service? There’s a debate to be had here, as making it easy for people to move around is clearly good for economic activity, and it helps people on low incomes the most. However, Tallinn’s offer of free public transport hasn’t stopped people from driving. In 2014, a year into the experiment, use of public transport had increased by 14 per cent but car use had only declined by 5 per cent. More walkers hopped onto buses, as the number of trips made on foot dropped by 40 per cent. The long-term effects still need to be assessed but given the potential to tackle the social, health, economic and environmental challenges in our communities, we should not be timid in our approach. It’s estimated that in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, the worst Scottish cities for congestion, drivers are losing 28 hours a year to peak time traffic. But road expansion isn’t the answer. A year on from the opening of the £500 million M8-M73-M74 motorway project, we see journey times in the area have only reduced by 4 minutes compared to the 20 promised. Hardly value for money! Scotland could take a new direction. We’re famous for inventing the bicycle, tarmacadam road-building and the pneumatic tyre. Wouldn’t it be great if we became known as the country that cracked congestion?

The National 31st Aug 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 August 2018