EDF and the government remain locked in talks over price subsidies that are seen as crucial for the energy firm’s proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point. The French firm said that negotiations have “taken longer than expected” but that it is working to finalise a deal by the end of the month. Both EDF and the Department for Energy and Climate Change refused to comment on reports over the weekend that an agreement was imminent. The company is expected to win planning permission for the country’s first new nuclear plant in a generation on 19 March. EDF has said it will be making cost cuts that will affect jobs at the site “until there’s greater clarity around its negotiations with the government”.
City AM 11th March 2013 read more »
Britain is close to signing a 35-year deal with French energy group EDF to build the first of a new wave of nuclear power plants after reaching an agreement on subsidies, the Independent newspaper reported on Sunday.
Reuters 11th March 2013 read more »
Campaigners urged the government to reject “dangerous and expensive” nuclear power today as they marked the second anniversary of the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Crowds took to the streets of London on Saturday to say no to nuclear power worldwide and to “wake the British public up” to what they call the government’s lack of “courage and vision” on the issue. The march took place to mark tomorrow’s second anniversary of the quake and tsunami that sent the Fukushima nuclear power station into multiple meltdowns. It was organised by the Sunflower Revolution, CND and Kick Nuclear to coincide with anti-nuclear marches across the world. Demonstrators, including Japanese expats, wore sunflower garlands and carried an array of sunflower-covered flags and banners as they marched on London’s streets. Organisers said they aimed to send a clear message to those hoping for a sustainable future and warned that a lesson must be learned from “the thousands of people suffering in Japan” after the events of 2011. CND general secretary Kate Hudson said: “We owe it to the victims and to ourselves to reject this dangerous and expensive energy form.” Kick Nuclear co-founder Camilla Berens added: “We need to wake the British public up to the fact that the government’s line – that we need nuclear to keep the lights on – is completely untrue and unfounded. It’s the last thing we need.”
Morning Star 10th March 2013 read more »
Six global power companies have told the Government that it risks handing France and Germany a crucial advantage by failing to set a UK target for cutting emissions from electricity generation. Many companies have already put investment plans on hold and the lack of a target would “seriously undermine” future green projects, they said. The warning was delivered in a blunt letter to several Cabinet ministers. It sets the scene for a Commons’ showdown in which a looming Tory and Liberal Democrat rebellion could embarrass the Government. The companies behind the warning include Alstom UK, the infrastructure and energy company, and Mitsubishi Power Systems. The others are Areva, Doosan, Gamesa and Vestas. Together they employ 12,500 people in the UK. At issue is the proposal for a 2030 target for power generators to cut their carbon emissions. This is distinct from the legally binding 2050 target for emissions from the whole economy.
Times 11th March 2013 read more »
For the Government to move on energy policy is not primarily because of the needs of the planet in some long-distant future, important as it is to be a good custodian of the environment. This country faces a serious problem about the security and safety of its energy supply. The shift to an economy that consumes less carbon is best seen as a shift away from dependence on the oil reserves of unstable regions of the world in favour of sources of energy that are politically sustainable. Energy policy, properly conceived, can also be seen as a source of future growth and job generation. This is the pitch made by the business leaders in the high-efficiency gas-fired generation, clean coal, carbon capture, nuclear and renewables sectors, in an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for Climate Change and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Times 11th March 2013 read more »
Dash for Gas
A group of environmental campaigners being sued for £5m by energy company EDF for occupying one of the company’s power plants in October last year has launched a website encouraging EDF customers to switch to alternative providers as a gesture of opposition to the civil action. Members of the campaign group “No Dash for Gas” occupied EDF’s gas-fired power plant in West Burton for a week in October last year, protesting against fossil fuels and carbon emissions. Last month, 21 activists pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated trespass, and face possible custodial terms when they are sentenced later this month and in April. Separately, EDF initiated civil proceedings against 21 of the campaigners to recoup what it says were damages in excess of £5m caused by the protest, a figure that includes staff and labour costs, delays to the completion of the station, specialist security and lost carbon emission credits.
Guardian 10th March 2013 read more »
Planned capacity has doubled for an electricity interconnector using the rail link between England and France. Eleclink, a venture that aims to transmit surplus electricity between Britain and France, has doubled the planned capacity for the power it hopes to route through the Channel tunnel. The joint venture between Eurotunnel and Star Capital Partners, the UK private equity group, has extended its original plan for a 500MW interconnector to 1,000MW, in a move that will increase the cost of the project from £250m to £350m- £400m.
FT 10th March 2013 read more »
In the middle of 2011, Germany announced its new energy policy: the energiewende or energy transformation. This is a 40 year programme with aspirational targets along the way including for renewable energy to provide 35% of electricity and 18% of energy by 2020 rising to greater than 80% of electricity and 60% of energy by 2050; with total energy demand to be cut by 50% by 2050; total carbon emissions to be cut by 80-90% by 2050 with the targets for renewables seen as co-dependent on energy demand reduction. Britain has a similar target to Germany of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, albeit enshrined enshrined in law, but beyond this there is little similarity between the two countries energy policies on the ground. Slowly, incrementally but surely the ‘new’ system is winning around the world. Germany’s energiewende – mistakes, scope and all – is unlocking the next stage of the sustainable energy transition. We cannot know what that ‘new’ system will be but all the evidence points to smaller, nimbler, more integrated approach to energy provision. It may take a decade. It may take 40 years but without doubt the future is some system more related to the German energiewende than it is to that of Britain’s electricity market reform.
IGov 13th March 2013 read more »
Thousands of people marched in the Japanese capital Tokyo today demanding the government turns its back on nuclear power permanently. The demonstration was timed to coincide with the second anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the Fukushima atomic disaster. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in central Hibiya Park where anti-nuclear activists and trade unionists packed a concert hall to voice their opposition. Academics, business people and volunteers gave anti-nuclear talks as musicians performed, before the crowds marched through the government district of Kasumigaseki to parliament.
Morning Star 11 March 2013 read more »
Reuters 11th March 2013 read more »
Irish Times 9th March 2013 read more »
Herald 11th March 2013 read more »
On the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Greenpeace made the following statements to highlight the flawed laws protecting the nuclear industry and the fact that hundreds of thousands of people in Japan still lack the proper support, with the public forced to pick up the costs of the triple meltdown. People in any country with reactors would be left in the same troubling state after a nuclear accident.
Greenpeace 11th March 2013 read more »
Green energy activists should now be considering boycotting stately homes now that the National Trust and English Heritage appear to have launched a campaign to defeat large numbers of windfarm applications near their assets by virtually any legal means possible. They have been successful in overturing a Government decision to grant planning consent to a windfarm in Northamptonshire. This is significant because they persuaded the High Court to overturn a decision made by a Government Appeal Inspector. If this was about birds, ecosystems, or even serious threats to human wellbeing I would be less annoyed, but it seems to me that these so-called defenders of our environment are using their power and resources to defend not ecology or people’s welfare but their own misconceived commercial interests coloured in many instances by a conservative antipathy to wind power.
Dave Toke’s Green Energy Blog 9th March 2013 read more »