US

Illinois can subsidize nuclear power if it wants: U.S. FERC brief. U.S. energy regulators said federal rules do not preempt Illinois’ program to provide money to nuclear reactors that provide carbon-free energy to help prevent the units from shutting early, according to a filing with a federal appeals court. The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made their comments in a brief on Tuesday in an appeal of a case brought by power generators opposed to Illinois’ Zero Emission Credit (ZEC) program.

Reuters 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Japan

Japanese utility Kansai Electric Power Company is to cut its electricity prices for customers by more than 5% on average following the restart of units 3 and 4 of its Ohi nuclear power plant and the subsequent reduction in fuel costs. The company made a similar price cut last August after units 3 and 4 of its Takahama plant resumed commercial operation.

World Nuclear News 30th May 2018 read more »

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori on Wednesday told the international community that the nuclear-crisis-hit prefecture is mostly decontaminated and that its food exports are picking up. “Our consistent efforts over the seven years have borne fruit and recovery is underway,” Uchibori said at a news conference at One World Trade Center in New York, a site symbolizing the U.S. recovery from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He said the prefecture has completed decontamination work for 97 percent of its land after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, triggered reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The governor also said the size of evacuation zones has dropped to 3 percent of prefectural land from the peak of 12 percent.

Japan Times 31st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Nuclear Testing

The proof that British nuclear test crews WERE used as human guinea pigs by our own government. Cold War scandal emerges as unearthed files back up story of Eric Denson, who was among RAF officers whose family inherited health defects due to the A-bomb.

Mirror 30th March 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Renewables – solar

Environmental campaigners believe the north-east could become a “hotspot” for solar energy after Scotland’s biggest solar farm project was approved for the region. About 200,000 solar panels will be spread across the derelict former RAF Milltown base, near Lhanbryde in Moray, to transform the site. Once complete it will be about four times the size of the biggest one that is currently operational, which is on the Errol Estate in Perthshire. Developer Elgin Energy, which has previously focused on the south of England, targeted Moray for the project due to the area’s huge amount of daylight hours during the summer while retaining easy connections to transmit the energy.

Press & Journal 30th May 2018 read more »

IChoosr has confirmed its next set of ‘one-round’ solar auctions are to take place on 22 August, and installers have been given more insight into the pre-qualification process. Following on from the success of its Solar Together London scheme, which saw almost 4,000 London residents submit their interest in receiving a PV system, iChoosr has already turned its attention to forthcoming auctions. The next auctions are to be ran for participating counties in the east of the country, and iChoosr expects to finalise details in early June. Installers have until 1 June to enter the pre-qualification process via iChoosr’s online portal here. The actual auctions will take place on 22 August with the company intending to run them all simultaneously.

Solar Power Portal 29th May 2018 read more »

Renewable energy consultancy Dulas is aiming to cater for the growing number of public entities looking at solar by launching a new survey service. Dulas’ Remote Renewable Energy Survey Service (RRESS) assesses a site’s suitability for renewable energy projects, essentially providing public sector entities with what’s described as a ‘pre-feasibility report’ that analyses the potential for new developments. The service uses light detection and ranging (LiDAR) surveys and geographic information system (GIS) mapping, with all work conducted remotely. This, Dulas said, stands to save public sector organisations time and costs usually incurred via multiple site visits. The service was most recently taken up by the University of Chester’s Faculty of Science and Engineering. Dulas’ RRESS assessed a 66-acre area and selected a number of suitable roof spaces and car parking sites which could be a good fit for solar installations, accounting for the orientation and slope of roofing and forecasted irradiance levels.

Solar Power Portal 29th May 2018 read more »

Google is offering a new service, which it says could help British homeowners save money by switching to solar power. The tech giant has released an online tool called Project Sunroof, in partnership with energy supplier Eon, that estimates savings using data from Google’s Earth and Maps apps. It first launched in the US in 2015, where reviews suggested it was broadly accurate but gave some odd results. Google is also working with German software firm Tetraeder on the project. Project Sunroof uses machine learning to estimate how much solar potential a house has by examining the property’s features, such as its roof area and angle, and weather data, such as sun positioning. Google claims that its models are detailed enough to assess the impact of a single tree on a home’s solar potential.

BBC 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

100% Renewables

Mars Australia will be completely powered by green electricity by the end of the decade, thanks to a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) struck with green energy firm Total Eren. Announcing the deal today, Mars said it was purchasing enough energy from Total Eren to match the power requirements of its six Australian factories – Asquith, Ballarat, Bathurst, Wacol, Wodonga & Wyong – and its two sales offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

Business Green 31st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Heat Networks

The innovative district heating scheme at the Clyde Gateway regeneration project in Glasgow has reached a crucial landmark with £3.7 million funding now in place. Construction is expected to begin “in a few weeks”, according to Sharc Energy Systems, the Midlands-based green energy firm who will use its revolutionary waste water heat recovery technology to generate the heating and cooling services for the site’s future occupiers.

National 31st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Energy Storage

Prolific solar investor NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF) has made its maiden battery storage play, acquiring two utility-scale solar-plus-storage farms. And NESF has made it clear that it expects to follow up this acquisition with further storage asset purchases. The fund has acquired the Salcey Farm and Pierces Farm solar assets, which have a combined capacity of 7.2MW, both of which have integrated, utility-scale battery storage facilities on-site.

Solar Power Portal 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Electric Vehicles

In yet another huge vote of confidence in the growing appetite for EVs, Vattenfall has today announced its first foray into the UK’s electric vehicle charging market. The Swedish energy giant today unveiled its InCharge ‘any driver can use’ charge point concept. Set for launch to market next month, the company hopes to have its first ‘charging poles’ installed during the second half of 2018, targeting the domestic market to allow EV drivers to power up at home, work and in public places.

Business Green 30th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 31 May 2018

Wylfa

Hitachi ‘won’t pay’ for nuclear accidents at proposed Wylfa plant on Anglesey. Hitachi could seek to absolve itself of financial responsibility for any accidents at its proposed new nuclear power station in north Wales. The Japanese conglomerate has decided to continue with work developing the planned Wylfa plant on Anglesey after progress in financing talks with the government, which Hitachi is already relying on for a package of loan guarantees, subsidies and potential direct investment to make the project viable. However, the company wants further concessions to reduce its risks, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported. Reports in several Japanese media outlets have claimed that the Wylfa plant could cost as much as three trillion yen, or almost £21 billion — making it even more expensive than Hinkley Point C. EDF decided to build Hinkley Point only thanks to a 35-year subsidy contract from the government, which locks consumers into paying a fixed price for the power it generates and has been criticised for its high cost. The Nikkei reported that some of Hitachi’s directors also wanted “safeguards that reduce or eliminate Hitachi’s financial responsibility for accidents at the plant”. Nuclear operators are already obliged to take out insurance to cover their liabilities in case of an accident. If they are unable to secure insurance from the market, the government is obliged to step in and provide it instead. It is unclear what alternative arrangement or safeguards Hitachi might be seeking.

Times 30th May 2018 read more »

Hitachi has agreed to continue negotiations with the UK on a planned £20bn nuclear power station in Wales after the government in London expanded financial support to ease the Japanese group’s concerns about the project’s price tag. The Tokyo-based conglomerate’s board voted on 28 May 2018 to move ahead with talks. The vote means the board has accepted the principle of a tripartite investment structure under which Hitachi, the UK government and state-backed Japanese entities would become equal investment partners According to reports in Japan and the UK, the UK is proposing an equal equity split of about £6.5bn among Hitachi, the UK public-private consortium and a group of government-backed Japanese entities. Negotiations are said to be continuing on the make-up of the consortiums and other financial details. The Financial Times reported that another key factor is the strike price – the guaranteed level at which the plant sells electricity – which is still under discussion.

Nucnet 29th May 2018 read more »

According to Nikkei Asian Review this morning some of Hitachi’s outside directors remain concerned about the Wylfa project’s risks. In response, the company plans to insist on safeguards that reduce or eliminate Hitachi’s financial responsibility for accidents at the plant. More sweeteners from the UK government over the weekend reportedly included an offer to double the level of its previous guarantee on the loans required to fund construction, as well as a possible equity stake from a UK public private consortium. This would see the taxpayer liable for the cost of any delay or technical difficulties that the company encountered, which could run into billions of pounds. Japanese media reports the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) balked at a government agency’s request to pump 75 billion yen ($688 million) into the project citing risk as a reason for its reluctance. Despite the UK government’s financial backing, the company is still reluctant to go ahead due to concerns over its financial risk. It is rumoured that if the power station is built, the government will guarantee a price for the electricity of £80 per mega watt hour, which is considerably more than offshore wind, even accounting for additional grid costs like back up power for when the wind doesn’t blow. Greenpeace UK has calculated that this single project would then add an average ‘nuclear tax’ of well over £3 per year to every household electricity bill compared to delivering the same amount of secure, low carbon power through offshore wind. Doug Parr, Greenpeace Chief Scientist said: “This deal is looking like a complete rip off for everyone in Britain. Taxpayers and bill payers will be shelling out for a nuclear tax if this power station is built because it’s so much more expensive than renewable energy, which is faster to build, cheaper and cleaner. It does not bode well if the company that owns and builds the nuclear technology doesn’t want to pay for building it, or own the consequences if there is an accident. It’s like buying a new car but the manufacturer saying the brakes might not work and you’ll have to compensate anyone you crash into. Greg Clark needs to come to his senses and realise that this is a terrible deal for everyone except Hitachi. Renewable power can deliver the electricity we need, it just needs a fraction of the political and financial backing that is being given to the nuclear industry.”

Greenpeace 29th May 2018 read more »

A government-affiliated financial institution balked at an agency’s request to pump 75 billion yen ($688 million) into Hitachi Ltd.’s nuclear power project in Britain, while the entire plan came under fire from citizen groups. The Agency for Natural Resources and Energy under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry asked the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) for the investment to help finance a new nuclear power plant designed by Hitachi Ltd. on the island of Anglesey off northwest Wales. A DBJ executive expressed a willingness to invest but is reluctant to finance more than half of the requested amount, saying of the original figure, “The risk is big.” Under the plan, Hitachi subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd. will be in charge of constructing two reactors for the new nuclear power plant. Hitachi plans to disperse the risk of loss and slash its investment ratio from the current 100 percent to less than 50 percent as preconditions for the start of construction. After the company held an extraordinary board meeting on May 28 to discuss the project, Toshiaki Higashihara, president and CEO of Hitachi, told reporters, “We have not decided anything yet.”

Asahi Shimbun 29th May 2018 read more »

Hitachi Ltd. decided on Monday to continue talks over a 3 trillion yen ($27.4 billion) nuclear power plant project in Wales after the British government made a financing offer, a source close to the matter said.

Mainichi 29th May 2018 read more »

NHK 29th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 May 2018

Nuclear Costs

The cost of building new nuclear power plants is nearly 20 per cent higher than expected due to delays, a new analysis has found. A new analysis of the history of nuclear power plant projects shows since 2010 delays have contributed 18 per cent the costs. These delays – which can run into years or even decades – increase the cost compared with older projects and are often overlooked when new projects are planned. The authors say that these extra costs need to be properly assessed when considering new nuclear projects.

Imperial College 29th May 2018 read more »

Energy Live News 29th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 30 May 2018