Germany

The last German nuclear power plant should be shut down in three years. However, the Federal Republic still does not know what to do with its highly radioactive waste. And we will have to stock no less than 10 000 tonnes by 2080. Faced with the urgency of the situation, the government has set a timetable. A site must be found by 2031, to take office in 2050. It is the Federal Society for Final Storage, based in Berlin, which is responsible for prospecting.

RFI 18th March 2019 read more »

A year ago, Germany set itself a target of securing 65 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030 – one of the more ambitious renewable energy targets anywhere in the world, but one that is still well short of the 100 per cent many experts believe is not only necessary, but possible in Germany. A week ago, RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson reported that Germany had sourced nearly 65 per cent of its electricity generation from renewables for the week finishing March 3 – “week 10”, according to the parlance of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), from whom the data has been sourced. Weeks 11 and 12 have seen Germany’s renewable electricity generation continue to increase, with week 11 (the week ending March 10) securing 67.6 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources while week 12 (the week ending March 17) increasing that percentage to 72.4 per cent.

Renew Economy 19th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 March 2019

Japan

Japan’s cumulative installed PV capacity could reach 150 GW by 2030, from roughly 55.5 GW by the end of 2018, according to a new report by Tokyo based research firm RTS Corp.

PV Magazine 18th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 March 2019

US

At least one person was missing on Monday after devastating floods across the U.S. Midwest that killed three others and inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in what Nebraska’s governor called a disaster of historic proportions. The Missouri River’s overflowing banks cut off roads leading to the Cooper nuclear plant, near Brownville, Nebraska, forcing operators to fly in staff and supplies by helicopter. The plant continued to operate safely, its operator said. Water also covered one-third of that state’s Offutt Air Force Base, near Bellevue, home to the U.S. Strategic Command.

Reuters 18thMarch 2019 read more »

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) said its Cooper nuclear plant in Nebraska continued to operate safely at full power on Monday as the Missouri River floodwater around the plant receded following a late winter storm last week.

Reuters 18th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 March 2019

France

France’s fifth major auction for ground-mounted PV has concluded with 118 winners, including projects by Engie and Solarcentury. A spokesperson from the French Environment Ministry confirmed that 855MW in volumes had been processed at the auction of late February 2019, aimed at ground-mounted projects in the 500kW-30MW capacity region. The average price across all auction bids was €62.7/MWh, a 3% rise on the number recorded last year. Split between capacity brackets, mean prices reached €56.8/MWh (5-30MW projects) and €63.8/MWh (500kW-5MW). The list of tender winners includes Solarcentury’s first ever projects in France – with planned capacities of 30MW, 17MW and 10MW – and a 20.26MW PV park by Engie in the Sonne department, south of Paris. France’s ground-mounted PV programme launched in August 2016, with plans to tender 3GW throughout six 500MW exercises in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The scheme is designed to support winners through a premium tariff, which they receive on top of power sale revenues.

PV Tech 18th March 2019 read more »

Solar Power Portal 18th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 March 2019

Costa Rica

Costa Rica, is small yet bold. We have historically been a leader, a first mover, and have thrived by taking steps others deemed impossible. We were the first country in the world to abolish our army in 1948, have established free public healthcare and education, and invested in our national parks in order to protect our biodiversity. In 2017, Costa Rica achieved another first – and set a world record – for the most consecutive days of running the national electricity grid with only renewable energy: 300 days in a row. And this little country is aiming to go even further than that. Decarbonisation is the great task facing our generation, and we want to be the first country in the world to achieve it. We have launched an economy-wide plan to decarbonise our country in line with the Paris agreement on climate change and the objectives of the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda. Our nation has a history of thinking long-term and those decisions have paid off. Costa Rica rejected cheap coal in the 1970s and instead turned to hydropower, which to this day supplies much of our clean energy and allows us to power our country emissions-free for long stretches. As the price of wind and solar technologies fall globally, we’re investing more in these forms of energy to keep our grid clean and reliable.

FT 17th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 18 March 2019

Greece

Greece’s regulator has announced details of the country’s next renewable energy tender. The Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) will open the bidding on 15 April for 600 MW of wind and solar energy projects. RAE has set the maximum bidding price at €64.72/MWh. The tender will be open to solar projects is capacities of at least 20 MW, while the minimum project size for wind is 50 MW. Clusters of wind and solar projects using a single substation are also allowed to participate, provided that their combined capacity exceeds 50 MW. The auction follows the first renewable energy auction held by Greece in July 2018, which awarded around 277 MW of capacity. In December the country’s second auction awarded 160 MW of wind and 62 MW of small-scale solar.

Modern Power Systems 18th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 18 March 2019

Argentina

A delegation from China will visit Argentina this month to discuss the construction of a nuclear power plant, signalling possible progress in a deal that could increase Beijing’s deepening influence in the South American nation. An Argentinian government source told Reuters this week the “technical team” from China would meet local suppliers about the long-stalled nuclear power plant project, reportedly worth up to US$8 billion.

South China Morning Post 16th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 17 March 2019

US

When America’s fleet of nuclear reactors was designed some four-plus decades ago, few people had ever heard the phrase “climate change.” Today, the global threats of worsening weather patterns and natural disasters are well recognized, commanding concern and responses across the board. Except, apparently, at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In late January, by a 3-to-2 vote, NRC commissioners rejected a recommendation from their own senior staff to require reactor owners to recognize new climate reality and fortify their plants against real-world natural hazards such as flooding and seismic events. Most, if not all, of those reactors were engineered, built and maintained with highly optimistic assumptions rooted in the late 1960s and 1970s. For those keeping tabs, March is nuclear accident month. Three Mile Island occurred 40 years ago; Fukushima Daiichi, eight. In the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima disaster, the NRC asked its staff to scrutinize U.S. reactor operations and identify ways to prevent a similar accident. The experts crafted a list of 12 sweeping recommendations. The underlying theme: Prepare for the unexpected. High on the list was a recommendation that plant owners be required to reevaluate the seismic and flooding hazards at their sites “consistent with the current state of knowledge and analytical methods,” and update buildings and equipment to reflect actual risks — not projections formulated back when “Laugh-In” was must-see TV. The 12 recommendations were delivered to the NRC commissioners in July 2011. A draft of new rules implementing the recommendations was finally hammered out in 2016. Lobbyists for the industry pushed back, arguing existing rules provide adequate protection. That’s not surprising. After the Three Mile Island accident, when safety enhancements were ordered, the price tag was steep. The industry set out to ensure that didn’t happen again.

Twin Cities 17th March 2019 read more »

A powerful, late-winter “bomb cyclone” storm pushed into the U.S. Midwest and the Great Lakes region on Friday, causing flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, stranding herds of cattle and raising alarms at a Nebraska nuclear power plant.

Reuters 15th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 17 March 2019

Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island and thyroid cancer: Debates continue over health issues after nuclear plant accident. On March 28, 1979, Chris Achenbach-Kimmel was a 14-year-old freshman at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Cumberland County. Fourteen miles away, on the Susquehanna River, staff at Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station were trying to contain the damage from an accident at one of its reactors. For Achenbach-Kimmel, the accident became merely one more high school memory. She graduated in 1982 and went on to a career in occupational therapy. It wasn’t until her thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2010 that she thought again about Three Mile Island. Her doctor wasn’t surprised when Achenbach-Kimmel mentioned TMI. “She said, ‘oh yeah, we see an increased incidence in the area compared to what my colleagues see around the country.’” Pennsylvania has had one of the highest thyroid cancer rates in recent years, according to Centers for Disease Control. For those who grew up in central Pennsylvania, Chris’s story is a common one. People blame TMI for their illnesses, and some doctors accept it could have been the case. Yet, the nuclear industry’s position has been that there has been no conclusive link between the accident and adverse health effects.

Penn Live 15th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 16 March 2019

Chernobyl

Is Chernobyl STILL killing us? Four times deadlier than Hiroshima, the radiation from it continues to affect us 33 years on — and may even be responsible for the rise in cancers and auto-immune diseases.

Daily Mail 15th March 2019 read more »

Posted: 16 March 2019