Radwaste

Just before Parliament’s Christmas break, two significant and alarming documents were released by the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) concerning its proposed policy for the construction of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for the permanent disposal of nuclear waste. The first is a “Summary of Responses to the Consultation Working with Communities: Implementing Geological Disposal” and the second is “An updated framework for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste”. This replaces the 2014 White Paper “Implementing Geological Disposal in England”.

Cumbria Trust 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Hualong One

All the main equipment has now been installed at the first of two demonstration Hualong One units under construction at the Fuqing site in China’s Fujian province. Installation of the steam generators has begun at the second unit.

World Nuclear News 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Utilities

Energy supplier Economy Energy, which was recently banned from taking on new customers, has collapsed. The supply to its 235,000 domestic customers will continue, any credit they have will be protected, and a new supplier will take on their accounts. Regulator Ofgem said a new supplier would be appointed as soon as possible. On Friday, it had ordered the company to improve customer service. Economy Energy is the latest of a host of small suppliers to fold.

BBC 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Britain’s fastest growing energy supplier is on track to burn through its milestone private equity investment after plunging to a £24m loss last year. Bulb Energy said a boom in its customer numbers drove the business to an annual loss for the year ending last March which was ten times higher than its £1.9m loss the year before. The East London start up “unashamedly” wiped out its £12m gross profit in a bid to acquire new customers. It reached 220,000 accounts at the end of the most recent financial year. Bulb’s losses are expected to balloon in the current financial year after the company trebled its customer base to around 870,000 by the end of 2018. The growth threatens to eat through the £60m investment it raised from a pair of private equity backers less than six months ago.

Telegraph 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Energy Policy

Claire Perry: ‘From power stations to solar panels, the future is local’ With over 50% of our power last year coming from low carbon sources such as offshore wind farms, a clean growth revolution is well underway, cutting carbon emissions and replacing dirty coal with clean energy. This revolution has also taken root at a smaller scale up and down the country as more homes, schools and businesses choose to generate their own electricity from solar panels, small wind turbines and hydro power. But the UK’s success in deploying low carbon generation is just the start of the transformation of our energy system with community energy a key cornerstone of government’s ambition for transition to a low-carbon, smart energy system. I have been impressed with the community energy groups I have met across the UK who are working to ensure that communities take practical steps to take control of how they generate and use energy. We are delivering a smart energy system fit for the 21st Century, that will benefit every home and business. It will allow suppliers to better understand you as a user and offer you products to help you save money; working with smart appliances in the home to hand back control of energy use, and ultimately control of your bills. Smart meters, better data, smarter networks and the right rules and incentives are necessary for this to take place. Small scale generation and battery storage can play a crucial role in cutting carbon emissions as part of this smarter energy system by reducing local demand and providing clean power into the grid when it is needed. This will help avoid costly future connection costs for communities as power consumption grows with electric vehicle uptake and a growth in electric heating.

Energy Live News 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Ireland

The first domestic battery storage installations under the StoreNet project are to complete before the end of this month in what’s a first of its kind for Ireland. Residents of Ballyferriter village on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry are to join the project this month with the installation of domestic storage units in 20 homes. The StoreNet project, managed by a consortium including the International Energy Research Centre, Solo Energy, Electric Ireland and ESB Networks, was first unveiled in December 2017. Its aim is to install domestic batteries in homes, the combined capacity of which will form a virtual power plant designed to benefit both residents and the country’s grid. The pilot, the first of its kind to launch in Ireland, will see the battery storage units provide local network services such as localised network voltage support, and aid ESB Networks by reducing peak consumption without the need for new hardware.

Solar Power Portal 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

US

A new report has found that US carbon dioxide emissions rose by 3.4% in 2018 after three years of decline. The spike is the largest in eight years, according to Rhodium Group, an independent economic research firm. The data shows the US is unlikely to meet its pledge to reduce emissions by 2025 under the Paris climate agreement. Under President Donald Trump, the US is set to leave the Paris accord in 2020 while his administration has ended many existing environmental protections.

BBC 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Guardian 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Last year the Trump administration’s Energy Department announced the launch of a media campaign to counter what an official called “misinformation” about nuclear power. We haven’t noticed an upsurge in pro-nuclear news – because there is none to report. On the first day of 2019, the energy industry trade journal Power asked whether new technology can save nuclear power by making new reactors economically feasible – not only to replace coal and natural gas but also to compete with the rapidly dropping cost of renewable energy. The verdict from Peter Bradford, a former member of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission: [N]ew nuclear is so far outside the competitive range. . . . Not only can nuclear power not stop global warming, it is probably not even an essential part of the solution to global warming. His bleak outlook is shared by the authors of a recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors – an engineer, an economist and a national security analyst – reviewed the prospects for so-called advanced designs for large nuclear reactors, and for much smaller modular reactors that could avoid the billions in construction costs and overruns that have plagued the nuclear energy industry since the beginning. They concluded that no new designs can possibly reach the market before the middle of the century. They cite the breeder reactor that, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, received $100 billion in public development funds worldwide over six decades and still did not get off the ground.

EWG 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Nuclear Testing

Looking at the azure seas, beautiful blue lagoons and white sand beaches, you might not realise that this place was toxic. But those lagoons are actually craters left by nuclear testing, and if you look down to the end of the beach, you’ll see a concrete dome hiding all kinds of radioactive waste. And now with rising sea levels, the storage facility — housing toxic materials such as plutonium — is leaking into the Pacific Ocean, potentially spreading its deadly contents far and wide.

News.co.au 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Fox News 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Renewables – solar

The UK Government has made a U-turn on its decision to end the solar “export tariff”, confirming that households which install solar panels in the future will be paid for excess power they generate and send to the grid. Officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) last month said the Government would be ending the “export tariff” for solar panels under the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme, which is closing in April. The decision, which meant that people installing solar panels on their estate after April 2019 would not have been paid for sending excess power to the grid, sparked outrage from homeowners, green campaign groups and renewable industry bodies alike. However, the UK Government has today (8 January) overturned its decision, promising to replace the FiT scheme with an updated framework. Under the new scheme, which will be called the smart export guarantee (SEG) programme, households and businesses installing new solar panels will be guaranteed compensation for any power provided to the grid. Solar-generated power put onto the grid through the scheme will be bid for by electricity suppliers – a clause BEIS claims will give exporters the best market price and greater control on how their power is brought and sold.

Edie 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Britain’s biggest energy suppliers will soon be buying their renewable electricity from a new fleet of upstart power generators: their own customers. Under proposals for a new government scheme, households with solar panels will be able to sell their renewable electricity back to their energy suppliers at the going market rate. Officials believe the scheme could unlock a fresh area of competition among energy suppliers as homes begin to adopt “smart” energy technologies such as battery storage and electric vehicles. The new scheme could boost the efforts of suppliers to help use energy more efficiently and reduce overall costs. The Solar Trade Association gave a cautious welcome to the plans, but warned the scheme will need to determine a fair way to determine the market price. “The devil really is in the detail here,” said the association’s boss, Chris Hewett. “So we very much hope that government will listen very carefully to the responses to this consultation.” The plan could replace a scrapped subsidy scheme due to end in the Spring.

Telegraph 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Households with solar panels are to get a guaranteed payment for excess electricity they export to the grid – but there will be a hiatus when people are expected to give it away for free. Energy minister Claire Perry said on Tuesday she would legislate for a new market that will make energy firms compete to offer solar homes the best price for any unused energy they export. The marketplace would replace a scheme that pays households about 5p for each unit of solar electricity they export, which is paid for by all energy bill-payers but will close for new applicants on 31 March.

Guardian 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Independent 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Mirror 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Industry offers cautious welcome as UK government guarantees export payments after all. Ms Perry stayed true to her word when she stated publicly that people should not be expected to export excess electricity back to the grid without reward. Even more impressively, the proposed new payments scheme – which itself is out for consultation until March 5 – has won measured approval from U.K. solar and renewables bodies.

PV Magazine 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Business Green 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Proposals to protect consumers whilst guaranteeing payments for households with solar by unlocking smarter energy system.

BEIS 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Renewables – offshore wind

A deal set to secure 100 fabrication jobs at BiFab’s Arnish yard is “all but done”, it was revealed yesterday. The contract, understood to be for 100 monopiles at the Moray East Offshore Windfarm, will revitalise work at the firm’s Isle of Lewis site.

Energy Voice 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019

Geothermal

Work to install eco-friendly heating in Bath Abbey using hot water from the city’s Roman baths is beginning. Contractors are surveying the great Roman drain, which carries steaming water from Bath’s hot springs to the River Avon, as part of a project to use the springs to warm the nearby abbey that starts on Tuesday. Every day, 1.1m litres (250,000 gallons) of hot water flow through the Roman baths from the thermal spring located at the heart of the site. A large quantity of this hot water eventually ends up in the Avon via the great Roman drain. When harnessed and converted, the abbey says it could potentially produce 1.5MW of continuous energy to support a 200kW ground-source heat pump system. Isoenergy, a renewable energy company, will be exploring the great Roman drain to plan how to install heat exchangers in the structure as part of the abbey’s £19.3m Footprint refurbishment project.

Guardian 8th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019