Electric Vehicles

ELECTRIC car manufacturer Tesla has rolled out its cheapest vehicle to date which could fire the starting gun on a price war. The new Model 3 retails at $35,000 (£26,650) and founder of the firm Elon Musk hopes it will be the first mass-market electric car.

Herald 30th July 2017 read more »

BBC 29th July 2017 read more »

Transparency Market Research estimated the global lithium-ion battery market at $30bn in 2015, rising to more than $75bn by 2024. Morgan Stanley analysts expect global car sales to rise by 50% by 2050 to more than 130m units a year, and estimates that electric vehicles will account for at least 47% of that total. Lithium-ion batteries have long been used to power smartphones, laptops and other gadgets. Scaled-up versions are now being developed for electric vehicles. These batteries should last for at least 10 years, or 150,000 miles, until they need to be replaced. However, the road to a promised land of zero-emission vehicles is littered with speed bumps and red lights that threaten to seriously slow the progress of the electric car. Battery makers are struggling to secure supplies of key ingredients in these large power packs – mainly cobalt and lithium. The hopes of both battery and vehicle manufacturers hang on the mining sector finding more deposits of these precious minerals.

Observer 29th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 30 July 2017

New Nuclear

The 8 key reasons why building new nuclear reactors in England and Wales is not the answer for the UK’s future energy mix – the views of NGOs and the NFLA to the BEIS NGO Nuclear Policy Forum.

NFLA 28th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

Hinkley Point C

THE effects of Hinkley C are already beginning to be felt on the West Somerset housing market. Estate agents say the value of buy-to-let properties is on the increase and rent prices are rising as hundreds of employees move into the Somerset area to work on Europe’s largest construction project. However, although house prices are on the increase in West Somerset, experts in the sector say it is too early to draw a direct correlation with the new power plant. Simon Hawley, partner at Fox and Sons in Minehead, said that house prices from June to June in West Somerset rose by 3.6 per cent, but this was likely down to historic under-supply and high-demand, particularly for houses worth £250,000 or less.

This is the West Country 27th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

Hinkley Point B

A WORKER at Hinkley B cracked vertebrae after falling through a skylight at the nuclear power plant. EDF and contractor Doosan Babcock have been told they need to make improvements to safety after an investigation by the Office for Nuclear Regulation. The Doosan Babcock employee cracked vertebrae following the fall in April this year, and the following ONR investigation ‘revealed gaps in compliance of legal requirements by the licensee, EDF, and contractor Doosan Babcock’. Improvement notices have now been served to both companies. EDF confirmed the man is set to make a full recovery.

Somerset County Gazette 28th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

Wylfa

Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) confirmed today it is in talks about “cooperation” with Horizon Nuclear Power, which is planning to build two large reactors at Wylfa Newydd in Wales. KHNP said that Hitachi Japan had proposed cooperation with Horizon, its fully-owned UK project company, and that “KHNP is in the early stages of examining various aspects of cooperation from a practical point of view.” The company said there had been no discussion with Horizon of a role operating nuclear reactors.

World Nuclear News 28th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

Energy Supplies

Just as in 2005 the UK was rushed into an ill-judged nuclear programme by scare-stories of imminent power blackouts, we are now being herded into a panic mode by lop-sided projections of future energy demand out of fear of electric vehicles. EVs are the future of motorised road transportation of course, and I’m sure it will happen quite quickly. But if you work out the figures based on past trends you find out that after re-working the National Grid’s recent projections peak demand is actually likely to FALL, not increase. There is always a supply-side bias in energy projections, and the numbers that are pouring out of the newspapers are the latest manifestation of this phenomenon. One factor which almost everybody seems to have missed is that electricity demand has fallen since 2005 by around 12 per cent (in 2006 the Government talked about dramatic increases in demand). If you carry this forward to the future then this rate of decline would be more than the increase associated with the expansion in the number of EVs that was assumed by the National Grid in their most recent report. Given the fact that they identified opportunities for load shifting, in particular through ‘time of use’ charging that would reduce peak demand by up to 4.5 GW, that adds up altogether to a substantial FALL in the amount of peak generating capacity required in 2030. In fact EVs supplied with electricity by sources such as wind, solar or marine energy are extremely efficient. First, the EVs themselves are, in terms of energy used to move a given distance much more energy efficient than conventional motor vehicles – and this difference is likely to increase as EVs mature as a technology. They have about a threefold advantage in energy efficiency. If the electricity is generated by these renewable energy sources then very little will be wasted (mainly grid losses) before the power is used in the vehicle. In fact the extra electricity needed to power the NG’s projected expansion in EVs will be easily covered by the expansion in renewable energy if we assume recent trends continue. Using the National Grid’s assumption that around 9 million road vehicles constituting around one quarter of Britain’s road transport fleet will be EVs by 2030 then some 108 TWh of petrol/diesel consumption will be replaced by around 40 TWh of electricity. Since 2012 renewable energy production has increased by over 40 TWh between 2012 and 2016. There have been some ridiculously exaggerated numbers printed in one leading newspaper about the numbers of wind turbines needed to cover the extra production for EVs. In fact there are now around 7600 wind turbines in the UK. Given increasing sizes of offshore wind turbines (soon to be 10 MW each) and also increasing levels of efficiency for the newest models (with capacity factors approaching 50 per cent) then no more than 1000 new wind turbines would be needed to generate the demand for all of the EVs in operation by 2030. Now, for various reasons, including cutting carbon emissions and reducing our dependency on imported natural gas, we ought to be doing a lot more than that. Which, I suppose, if I were more cynical might lead me to forget about about countering the exaggerated stuff about the need for new power plant since this boosts the need for renewable energy. But getting further towards the objective of providing close to 100 per cent of our energy from renewables, as well as promoting energy efficiency, are good things in themselves and enough of an incentive to do a lot more than what we are doing now.

Dave Toke’s Blog 27th July 2017 read more »

DIESEL BAN: UK needs TEN nuclear plants & 10,000 turbines for cars to go electric by 2040. The electric car revolution could cost more than £200billion as the National Grid warns peak demand for energy may increase by 50 per cent, a new report has revealed.

Express 27th July 2017 read more »

Nuclear power’s share of the UK’s electricity generation mix was stable at 21% last year, according to statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) yesterday. Nuclear generation rose 2% from 70 terawatt hours to 72 TWh in 2016 as nuclear plants had fewer planned and unplanned outages than in 2015. The Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics 2017, compiled by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, contains tables and extensive commentary, charts and technical notes. As well as giving new data for 2016 it also presents some revised data for earlier years.

World Nuclear News 28th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

Engie

Engie had a better first half of the year than its rival French utility EDF with profits growing 3.5 per cent, as the group made further progress in moving away from fossil fuel production to focus on renewables and energy services.

FT 28th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

EDF

French utility EDF suffered both a drop in sales and profit in the first half of the year as its nuclear electricity generation was hit by a number of plants being out of service during the period. The state-controlled group, which earlier this year launched a €4bn capital raise to shore up its stretched balance sheet, posted a 3.7 per cent decline in net income to €2bn while sales were down 2.6 per cent to €35.7bn. Earnings before interest taxes and amortisation – the measure the company uses for its full year targets – dropped 21.8 per cent, or 20.6 per cent on an organic basis, to just under €7bn, although the company reaffirmed its 2017 target of Ebitda in the range of €13.7bn-€14.3bn. Nuclear output in its home market was 3.9 per cent lower during the period to 197.2 terawatt hours while hydropower generation was also down 16.5 per cent due to what the company described as “unfavourable” conditions.

FT 28th July 2017 read more »

Telegraph 28th July 2017 read more »

Ipswich Star 28th July 2017 read more »

EDF Energy is today announcing changes to its leadership team as it proceeds along the path of EDF Energy 2020. This is the company’s action plan to ensure that EDF Energy delivers its contribution to the EDF Group CAP2030 strategy. Following good progress by the company on implementing the EDF Energy 2020 action plan, EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz has today announced the following changes to the Executive responsibilities for its Generation and New Nuclear Build activities: Nuclear Development Managing Director – Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson; Hinkley Point C Managing Director – Stuart Crooks; Generation Managing Director – Brian Cowell.

Nasdaq 27th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

Euratom

As part of Britain’s exit from the European Union, British Prime Minister Theresa May has committed to removing the United Kingdom from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The issue has marked a crucial redline in ongoing Brexit negotiations, dividing those who take an absolutist approach to the manner of the country’s exit from those seeking more flexibility. But the Prime Minister has been unequivocal. In her own words: “The authority of EU law in Britain will end.”

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 24th July 2017 read more »

Labour warns of ‘potential timebomb’ of quitting Euratom. EDF could walk away from Hinkley warns Whitehead,

Utility Week 28th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017

US – Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation has agreed to pay a maximum of $2.168 billion to South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) and Santee Cooper under its guarantee obligations for the two AP1000 reactors under construction at VC Summer in South Carolina. The project owners say the additional cost to complete the units is expected to exceed this amount.

World Nuclear News 28th July 2017 read more »

Posted: 29 July 2017