Urenco

Urenco Ltd.’s Chief Executive Officer Thomas Haeberle said he’s cautiously optimistic that new rules can be negotiated to guarantee the flow of nuclear materials in and out of the U.K. after the nation leaves the bloc. “We are making the U.K. government, which is also our shareholder, aware of the requirements our business needs to fulfill in the context of Brexit and of leaving Euratom,” said Haeberle, referring to the European Atomic Community, a part of the EU’s bedrock agreement signed on March 25, 1957. Just as bankers have made London a global financial hub, nuclear workers have turned Britain into a central cog servicing the world’s flow of atomic materials. Urenco, the world’s second-biggest maker of reactor fuel, runs a factory in Capenhurst and oversees its global distribution network from Stoke Poges outside of London. Owned by the U.K. and Dutch governments as well as German utilities EON SE and RWE AG, Urenco has set up a working group that “deals with all the risks and the possible mitigations,” Haeberle said. He spoke with Bloomberg a week before the EU celebrates Euratom’s 60th anniversary, his first interview since becoming CEO in January 2016. Euratom’s main function is to safeguard nuclear fuel, making sure it isn’t diverted to make weapons. The U.K. will lose that service once it departs the EU. Nuclear fuel suppliers and power plants need certification from Euratom or whatever system succeeds it to buy material on the open market.

Energy Voice 26th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 March 2017

Energy Supplies

National Grid is gearing up for summer with the start of a scheme which pays companies to use more electricity when wind and solar power surges past demand. For the power system operator the return of longer, brighter days during British Summer Time flips the winter-time challenge of securing enough supply to meet demand. Instead, it will face periods when grid demand falls and there is more wind and solar power than Britain needs. The boom in solar panels in recent years, fuelled by subsidies, has far exceeded expectations. These panels feed the power they produce directly into homes or the local electricity grid, cutting demand on the national system to what is expected to be a record low this year. From Monday the so-called ‘demand turn up’ scheme will pay six successful businesses who were selected through an auction and are able to commit to using more power when there is an excess in the system. A National Grid spokesman said its figures show it will save consumers £500,000 over the summer.

Telegraph 26th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 March 2017

Energy Costs

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, has accused the government of failing consumers and the environment over energy policy. The accusation follows new projections from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which estimate that onshore wind and solar will be as cheap or cheaper than gas by 2020 [1]. BEIS now acknowledge an increased role for renewables, particularly due to potential improvements in battery storage. Molly Scott Cato said: “Having hammered the renewables sector for ideological reasons, the government now discovers that wind and solar are set to become the cheapest ways to generate electricity. Government energy policy supposedly seeks to deliver secure, affordable and low carbon energy. They have failed on all three counts. But in particular we now see that by failing to pursue a transition to renewable energy they have missed the opportunity to provide electricity for the consumer at the lowest cost.”

Green Party 23rd March 2017 read more »

A long-awaited report exploring the complex cost implications of different energy technologies has finally been released, offering a series of recommendations on how government should manage a grid that is transitioning to cleaner sources of power. The report from consultancy Frontier Economics was originally commissioned by former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey in response to a wide-ranging debate about whether the government was accounting for the full cost of renewable energy technologies.

Business Green 24th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Energy Policy

In the latest Government forward energy projections the Government implicitly admits that reductions in contracts to be awarded for renewable energy are to be replaced by more generation from natural gas plant. You can see an analysis by Carbon Brief of the Government’s latest projections. The Government recognise that the costs of renewables have continued to fall but for reasons that Carbon Brief has been unable to find out (from Government) the Government have cut back its previous projected growth in renewable energy. Well, I can tell you why the Government has cut back its projections of renewable energy even though onshore wind and onshore solar have become the cheapest electricity supply sources: the Government prefer more expensive, carbon emitting natural gas for political reasons. They much prefer seeing UK natural gas reserves run down to having windfarms and solar farms built.

Dave Toke’s Blog 24th March 2017 read more »

The Committee on Climate Change was established by the 2008 Climate Change Act to act as the climate policy equivalent of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee. Ministers and Parliament are required by law to rely on its advice. Arguably this role gives the committee more influence over Britain’s long-term prosperity than anyone else. A public body, funded by the taxpayer to the tune of £3.8m a year, discharging such a crucial role requires competence, honesty and objectivity. The committee’s recent report on energy prices is deficient in all three, instead displaying similar ethical standards to Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth. Yes, low carbon electricity is more expensive than burning fossil fuels, the report conceded, but overall, low carbon policies were making people better off because energy efficiency policies meant that people were consuming less electricity.

Telegraph 23rd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Brexit

Last year, in advance of the referendum, UKERC published a policy paper predicting that a vote to leave the EU on 23 June would lead to a period of uncertainty of at least two years for the UK energy sector. Now Article 50 is set to be triggered on 29 March, what might that mean for our future energy relationship with the EU?

UKERC 20th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Transport

Electrification of Britain’s railway lines should be scaled back in favour of cheaper alternatives such as battery-powered trains, the boss of Network Rail has said. Mark Carne insisted that electrifying lines was “not necessarily the best way” to improve punctuality, cut delays and boost capacity. In an interview with The Times, he said that technology was advancing at such a pace that better reliability could be achieved without the construction of unsightly overhead cables.

Times 25th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Brexit

Clare Moody is Labour MEP for the South West and Gibraltar: Euratom is betrayed for the sake of hard Brexit – risking our nuclear industry. We now know that Theresa May will trigger Article 50 next week, firing the starting gun on our exit from the European Union. What is less well known is the Government will also be starting the process of leaving Euratom, the treaty that safeguards our nuclear industry – from power stations to world class research to radiotherapy. In our fast-moving politics last week we saw the Government do a spectacular U-Turn on its Budget announcement of the week before. The U-Turn followed the Prime Minister and the Chancellor breaking a clear manifesto promise without apparently realising it, demonstrating a level of competence that should deeply worry us all. This is the same Government that we have to rely on to deliver an acceptable deal for the UK through the phenomenally complex negotiations on our departure from the EU. I want to be very clear that my criticism is about the competence of the government in its failure to recognise or acknowledge what it was doing, not that they changed their minds. In fact, I am firmly in favour of Government reversing bad decisions. What is more is that I have a suggestion for another U-Turn, one which could restore a semblance of competence and make our lives safer in the process. Now is the time to back away from triggering Article 50 in the Euratom Treaty.

Labour List 23rd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 24 March 2017

Climate

A new “carbon law”, modelled on Moore’s law in computing, has been proposed as a roadmap for beating climate change. It sees carbon emissions halving every decade, while green energy continues to double every five years. The carbon law’s proponents are senior climate-change scientists and they argue it provides a simple, broad but quantitative plan that could drive governments and businesses to make urgently needed carbon cuts, particularly at a time when global warming is falling off the global political agenda. The carbon law shows how global warming can be beaten, said Gareth Redmond-King at WWF: “It’s important to remember that there is genuine hope. This inspiring vision of change reaffirms that we still have time, provided we commit to serious, ambitious and urgent action to control our environmental impact. Every journey, however long and complicated, is easier with a clear map.”

Guardian 23rd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 24 March 2017

Brexit

NFLA publishes report on the impacts of ‘Brexit’ and ‘Brexatom’ on UK nuclear policy and the Irish single energy market as it prepares for its upcoming meeting in Newry.

NFLA 22nd March 2017 read more »

NFLA 22nd March 2017 read more »

Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union (EU) offers an opportunity to push the nation towards the forefront of an interconnected, decentralised energy system – but only if the Government delivers constructive regulatory support mechanisms. That was the overriding consensus of an expert panel during a discussion on the future energy relationship between the UK and the EU, held yesterday (21 March) as part of a public session of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee. Renewable Energy Association (REA) chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska said that the UK cannot afford to rollback its European-derived renewable energy commitments during the two-year Brexit transition period, which will begin immediately after Article 50 is triggered on 29 March. Instead, the UK’s upcoming Industrial Strategy must strive to deliver a successful energy system that fosters renewable sources and flexible energy generation methods, Skorupska said.

Edie 22nd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 23 March 2017

Energy Cost

The Government’s pledge to curb household energy prices risks sabotaging the retail market leaving consumers worse off in the long run, a group of former regulators has warned. The UK’s largest energy suppliers are braced for what could be the industry’s most significant political hit yet following a decade of heated debate over rising energy bills and low levels of consumer switching. Prime Minister Theresa May last week vowed to “step in”, after a string of tariff hikes, because the market is “manifestly not working” for consumers. Mrs May pointed out that energy prices have risen by 158pc in the last 15 years, and the “vast majority” of consumers, especially those on low incomes, are still on the most expensive tariffs. Ahead of the crackdown, which is expected within weeks, a group of f ormer energy regulators has warned the Government against taking a heavy-handed approach which could undermine the market and leave customers to pay the price.

Telegraph 22nd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 23 March 2017