Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns met representatives from Hitachi in Japan today to discuss the future of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant in Wales. His visit to Tokyo comes after the Japanese company said it would shelve the £16 billion plant on Anglesey after failing to reach an agreement on the strike price with the UK Government. Mr Cairns said he is grateful to Hitachi for the “constructive meeting” today to discuss options for its future plans in Wales. The Secretary added: “While I fully recognise their decision was a disappointment to people on Anglesey and across north Wales, the UK Government remains committed to developing a broad-based, resilient economy. We believe that nuclear has an important role to play in the UK’s future energy mix as we transition to a low carbon economy, but any future offer must represent good value for both the taxpayer and the consumer. “I look forward to future discussions on Wylfa’s new nuclear future and will continue to push for greater investment and additional job creation across north Wales.”

Energy Live News 18th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019


Not the biggest hotel in Europe. Bridgwater is the nearest town to what is the biggest construction site in Europe. EDF started work two years ago and there are currently 3,300 people on site, but soon this will go up to 5,600. It is expected to bring 20,000 people to the area and it is costing twice the cost of the 2012 Olympics. Emma Britton has always lived in the shadow of nuclear power. Her hometown of Bridgwater is ten miles from Hinkley Power station. As a child her Mum told her “don’t worry about Hinkley, if it goes up you won’t know a thing about it”. Today she’s a breakfast presenter on the BBC in the South West, “I reckon I’ve done more phone-ins on Hinkley C than anything else”. But, despite the controversy, the third station got the go-ahead from Theresa May late in 2016 – and, over the past two years, her town has started to change. There’s been a surge of investment in the town, and there’s a massive demand for accommodation. There is no way there is enough B&Bs or rental properties to go round.

Radio 4 15th February 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019


Areva MOX services sued by the United States. The United States accuses the consortium in charge of building a military plutonium conversion plant that it has paid back false invoices. An illegal system of retrocommissions between a supplier and employees of the consortium was also discovered.

Capital 18th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019


EDF in 2018 achieved all its financial objectives and exceeded the targets of its performance plan, company chairman and CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy announced last week. Its performance would be “amplified” in 2019, he said during the presentation of its results.

World Nuclear News 18th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019


SHARE your thoughts about policing in Cumbria at an event at Sellafield on Thursday. Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, will be at the site on Thursday from 10.30am to 11.15am at B314 foyer and the main foyer B409 Canteen from 11.45am to 1.15pm. Mr McCall is really keen to speak to as many people as possible across the county and wants to hear their views about policing. He said: “Public surgeries such as these help to give me a real feel for what people are experiencing out in our communities.

Whitehaven News 18th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019

Energy Policy

Why I cringe when economists claim carbon taxes are the most ‘efficient’ way of curbing carbon emissions. With gilets jaunes blocking French cities, initially sparked by a carbon tax added to motor fuel taxes, and schoolchildren striking for climate change you would think that politicians were being forced in two contradictory directions. Especially when you get big time economists like Margaret Yelland (former Chair of the Federal Reserve) saying that carbon taxes are the key measure to reduce carbon emissions because they will be most ‘efficient’. Well, carbon taxes are not especially ‘efficient’ for two reasons. First because they are not very good at encouraging technical and social innovation and secondly however ‘efficient’ they may be in economists mind they are politically very unpopular if set at high levels (ie they are politically very inefficient). Certainly big corporations and right wing politicians tend to argue that that carbon taxes can solve the world’s climate problems much better than regulations. This appeals to some US audiences on an ideological level, but again, misses out the practical measures that need to be taken. Carbon taxes of course can be useful, but miss the point that in order to promote technological innovation you have to have some regulatory measures to encourage ‘bottom’ up’ technological innovation. Innovation requires niches supported by relevant incentives/regulations. if carbon taxes are applied as the ONLY measure on the level necessary to achieve big carbon reductions they will cause political rebellion on a much greater scale than anything attending the regulatory and incentive measures promoted by the renewable or energy efficiency trade associations and other NGOs. We need lots of different methods; incentives, regulations, carbon taxes, local cooperatives….whatever.

Dave Toke’s Blog 18th Feb 2019 read more »

Most European companies have no target for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions even though 80% see climate change as a business risk, a survey has found. Among those that have set climate goals, only one in three stretch beyond 2025, according to the annual Carbon Disclosure Project report. Instead, corporate action has focused in the boardroom, with 47% of firms rewarding their CEOs for climate performance, and a quarter tying incentives to environmental goals. European firms now make up half of the CDP’s environmental “A-list” and the managing director for Europe, Steven Tebbe, praised climate disclosure’s entry into the financial mainstream. One A-listed property management firm, Landsec, has cut its greenhouse gases by 17% since 2014 – on the way to a planned 40% tail-off by 2030. Caroline Hill, Landsec’s head of sustainability, said: “We set what was the first science-based carbon reduction target in real estate, based on what was needed in our sector to ensure the world keeps within 1.5 to 2C of global warming.” She said the company drove down energy consumption in London offices and sub urban retail parks by upgrading to LED lighting and systematically installing rooftop solar panels.

Guardian 19th Feb 2019 read more »

The world’s greenest major companies continue to deliver strong returns against stock market averages, according to the latest Carbon Clean 200 rankings. The Clean200 list, which was first launched by research firm Corporate Knights and non-profit As You Sow in July 2016, ranks 200 publicly-listed companies according to the amount of absolute revenue they earned from low carbon products and services.

Business Green 19th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019


The European Commission made a savvy move by publishing its vision for a climate neutral Europe by 2050 in November 2018. They opted for a slow but safe path by playing the long game. This is the Commission’s three step plan.

E3G 19th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019

Japan – offshore wind

Last week, ITOCHU, a Japanese trading company with an equity market capitalisation of US$29Bn, confirmed it would not develop any more coal-fired power stations. Back in May 2018, the company said it recognised it needed to address the impact of climate change; now it has acted. “We recognise that, among other things, our coal-related business must be one of the issues which we have to promptly address as its impact on our business and our stakeholders is significant,” the company said. “We hereby commit ourselves, as our policy, not to develop any new coal-fired power generation business or to acquire any new thermal coal mining interests.” It also announced it had sold an interest in the Rolleston coal mine, held through a wholly-owned subsidiary in Australia. This was the second such sale by ITOCHU of a coal mine, following the sale of its interest in the NCA joint venture in September 2016. As Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis director of energy and finance studies Tim Buckley noted, the company, which had long traded coal mined in countries such as Australia and sold it for generation in Asia, is redirecting its capital allocations away from thermal coal mining and coal-fired power plants and proposing to instead prioritise investment in “low carbon industries of the future.” Coincidentally, last week also saw energy research consultancy Wood Mackenzie highlight the very positive outlook for Japan’s offshore wind sector, which it said was projected to reach 4 GW in 2028.

Offshore Wind Journal 18th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019


Australia is an example of where the ‘future’ energy system is already happening. This has been driven by a number of factors, which could happen to any country. System transformation is happening at such a rapid pace that the traditional institutional practices have been unable to keep- up with change, causing issues for both the technical and social aspects of transformation. This includes action by the Government and Regulator, with a clear lag between system change and its governance – an issue that is not uncommon in many countries currently. It shows how difficult it can be to coordinate governance change in the face of rapid technical, system and social change and as such it is a region IGov has followed closely. For a good overview of the Australian energy system, it governance and the insights it is providing on energy system transformation we recommend the blog on National Electricity Market Overview for a more graphic summary of what has been happening see this presentation. All of the resources we have produced to date are below.

IGov 18th Feb 2019 read more »

Renewable energy experts have called on federal and state governments to invest in additional transmission infrastructure and storage, saying Australia’s emissions reduction targets won’t be met without rapid policy action. A statement issued by more than 40 experts, following a three-day symposium at the Australian National University, says renewable energy is now central to efforts to mitigate climate change, and the energy sector has been deploying solar and wind power at “unprecedented” rates. “But there are emerging bottlenecks, and the present market settings do not deliver for consumers,” the joint statement says.

Guardian 19th Feb 2019 read more »

Australian hydrogen infrastructure developer H2U confirmed today that it will use Baker Hughes NovaLT gas turbine generators at its South Australian Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Supply Chain Demonstrator in Port Lincoln. H2U won the AUD$117.5 million green tech project a year ago in partnership with German-based thyssenkrupp. Partially funded by $4.7M in grants and $7.5M in loans from the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund, the project will integrate new hydrogen technologies, including a 15-MW electrolyzer plant, a distributed ammonia production facility, and a 10-MW hydrogen ­fired gas turbine and 5-MW hydrogen fuel cell, which will both supply power to the grid.

Renewable Energy World 11th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019


Now, even in Canada unsubsidised solar beats fossil fuels. German energy giant Innogy has finalised plans to build two solar farms in Canada that will be built without subsidies, highlighting once again the tremendous potential and growth of the global solar industry over the last few years. It was not that long ago that most every renewable energy project that reached active development and construction did so only with the support of government subsidies.

Renew Economy 19th Feb 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 February 2019