Renewables – offshore wind

As communities across the county prepare for the impact of the infrastructure for three of the world’s largest offshore wind farms being built off the Norfolk coast, campaigners say there is a solution to reduce the problems it would bring. Campaigners in Necton, between Swaffham and Dereham, are calling on developers to use an Offshore Ring Main (ORM), which would take away the need for individual substations and cable corridors.

Eastern Daily Press 19th March 2019 read more »

The UK and China will today formally open a new £2m offshore wind research centre in the Chinese city of Yantai City, in a move that seeks to strengthen co-operation between two of the world’s largest offshore renewables markets. The UK government and industry backed Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult has teamed up with Beijing’s TUS Wind Technology Co Ltd and TUS Mingshi Science and Innovation Co Ltd, which is based in Yantai, to form TUS-ORE Catapult Research Centre (TORC) – a joint venture company that will run the new centre.

Business Green 21st March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019

Renewables – solar

Eden Sustainable and AMP Clean Energy have partnered on a new, multi-million-pound post-subsidy solar fund. The duo are to develop and finance a number of post-subsidy solar projects and have already amassed a pipeline of around 30MW, around half of which is pegged as being at an advanced stage. The pipeline is representative of investment totalling around £10 million and includes projects on behalf of SMEs, academies, industrial and provident societies and listed companies.

Solar Power Portal 20th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019

Decarbonising Heat

The Ofgem chief has expressed concerns over the decarbonisation of heat, warning there could be a backlash from consumers if they are forced to adopt new technologies such as hydrogen boilers. Speaking at the annual spring forum of Aurora Energy Research, chief executive of the energy regulator Dermot Nolan said he is relatively “sanguine” about the decarbonisation of power and transport but admitted he is “far more nervous about the issue of heat”. Nolan noted there are two main options for decarbonising heat – either electrification or converting gas networks to run on low-carbon hydrogen. He said a hydrogen grid “would be great” but has not been demonstrated at scale and would require “huge” regulatory changes. He was recently shown a hydrogen boiler and was “quite impressed”. But given the “reluctance” some people have shown to welcome smart meters into their homes, Nolan worried that consumers would “react” badly if they are compelled to install a new type of heating system. At the same time, the electrification of heat would mean abandoning £40 billion of existing gas infrastructure.

Utility Week 20th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019


The oil industry needn’t be too concerned — for now — about how Tesla Inc.’s electric cars are denting demand. China and its bus fleet could be more of a worry. By the end of this year, a cumulative 270,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will have been displaced by electric buses, most of it in China, according to a report published Tuesday by BloombergNEF. That’s more than three times the displacement by all the world’s passenger electric vehicles (a market where Tesla has a share of about 12 percent.). Buses matter more because of their size and constant use. For every 1,000 electric buses on the road, 500 barrels of diesel are displaced each day, BloombergNEF estimates. By comparison, 1,000 battery electric vehicles remove just 15 barrels of oil demand.

Bloomberg 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019

Fossil Fuels

Oil rigs could soon be run on renewable energy and battery power under new plans to help the North Sea play its part in the energy transition. The industry’s regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, is preparing to lead a new project to forge closer links between the oil producers and wind farm developers operating in UK waters. It claims that the project, which will run for a year, could help the transition to a low carbon economy, while extending the economic life of the North Sea. The argument is likely to raise eyebrows among green groups, which believe an end to fossil fuels is the most effective way to reduce Britain’s carbon footprint.

Telegraph 21st March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019


Arctic sea ice has reached its maximum extent for the year, peaking at 14.78m square kilometres (sq km) on 13 March. It is the joint seventh smallest winter maximum in the 40-year satellite record – tied with 2007.

Carbon Brief 20th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 March 2019


Energy market rules require us to provide our most likely view of return to service dates. To support time for the ONR assessment, we have declared 30 April 2019 for Reactor 4. The Reactor 3 safety case is currently going through our internal process of independent review. On completion it will be submitted to the ONR for their assessment. To allow sufficient time for this we have declared 30 June 2019 for return to service of Reactor 3.

EDF Energy 18th March 2019 read more »

Plans to restart two cracked and ageing reactors at Hunterston in north Ayrshire have again been delayed as operators struggle to convince regulators they are safe. EDF Energy, the French company that runs Hunterston B nuclear power station, has postponed the restart date for reactor three by two months to 30 June 2019. The restart of reactor four has been postponed a month until 30 April 2019. Critics, however, reiterated calls for the reactors to shut down permanently. “It really is time for EDF to admit that these stations are well past their sell-by date and need to close,” said nuclear consultant, Peter Roche. “They should start talking to the Scottish Government about providing alternative employment opportunities in Ayrshire, preferably by bringing forward decommissioning and dismantling and developing robot technology.” Rita Holmes, chair of the Hunterston site stakeholder group chair, said that personally she had no doubt that ONR would take time to scrutinise EDF’s safety cases. “Some people find the delays reassuring because EDF is sparing no expense, leaving no stone unturned, consulting the experts in order to build a robust safety case,” she said. “Some feel the opposite – if it takes EDF that long to provide a robust safety case then maybe there is something far wrong. The safety case might or might not satisfy the regulator. I have every confidence that ONR will make the right decision.” ONR said it had initially received a safety case for a return to service of reactor four in November 2018. “But we requested further information from EDF in respect of multiply cracked bricks,” an ONR spokesperson told The Ferret. “The safety case will be assessed by ONR’s specialist inspectors and a decision will be made on whether it is safe for reactor four to return to service for the justified

The Ferret 19th March 2019 read more »

EDF prolongs the shutdown of two nuclear reactors in Scotland. DF Energy has extended the shutdowns of two nuclear reactors at its Hunterston B plant in Scotland pending an assessment of their safety cases by the UK regulator. The Hunterston B-8 reactor is expected to restart by April 30, a month later than expected, while the commissioning of Hunterston B-7, originally scheduled for April 30, is scheduled for June 29, according to the website. the EDF subsidiary.

Le Figaro 19th March 2019 read more »

Reuters 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 March 2019


Our dream is being crushed by a juggernaut: This family’s rural idyll is under threat from a new road that could make it almost unsellable. Despite the family challenges many couples of our generation face, we knew we were very lucky. Fir Tree Farm and the lifestyle it gave us was like wearing a warm, cosy jumper on a crisp, frosty morning. But then, last October, EDF Energy wrote to tell us it was launching a final consultation on plans to build two nuclear reactors at Sizewell, about eight miles from our home — and our property had been identified as possibly being affected.

This is Money 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 March 2019


A new consultation will give Burnham-On-Sea residents a chance to have their say about proposed changes to how cooling water is taken from the Severn Estuary by Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant and its impact on fish. NNB Genco Ltd was granted an environmental permit by the Environment Agency in 2013, which set out how the nuclear power plant could take water from the Severn Estuary for cooling. This permit required measures be taken to reduce impact on the fish population. The company no longer wants to install one of these measures, an acoustic fish deterrent, and has now applied to change its permit to reflect this. 19th March 2019 read more »

THE tiny coastal community of Stolford near Bridgwater has become the first location in the UK to benefit from innovative £1.5m flood defence technology pioneered in Holland. Overlooking the Bristol Channel, Stolford has a history of coastal erosion and is prone to flooding. In 1981 high tides overtopped sea defences and flooded 660 hectares of land including 24 properties. Livestock also died. In 1990 a high tide and storms caused further flooding. There are already coastal defences between Stolford and Hinkley comprising of rock armour and an embankment wall. These defences adjoin a shingle ridge that was prone to serious erosion. However rising sea levels and more extreme weather conditions have made the ridge and embankment increasingly vulnerable to erosion and increased the risk of a breach.

Bridgwater Mercury 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 March 2019


Anglesey Council is seeking £40M from the Welsh and UK governments to fund energy projects on the island. The council claims that funding for alternative projects is needed to make up for the suspension of work on the Wylfa nuclear plant. Anglesey Council leader Llinos Medi has asked the Welsh Government to provide £20M of additional investment for other energy projects and is asking the same of the UK government. The UK and Welsh governments have already committed £120M each for the North Wales Growth Deal. Medi claims the additional £40M fund is needed to fast track alternative energy schemes on the island including a tidal energy centre and a Nuclear Centre of Excellence. “A decision has been taken by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board that we would prioritise the projects coming to Anglesey because of the Wylfa Newydd developments,” Medi said.

New Civil Engineer 20th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 March 2019