Fears over intermittent solar and wind power were “overblown” and those who said they would jeopardise Britain’s ability to keep the lights on have been “proved wrong”, Greg Clark, the new business and energy secretary has claimed. In his first major speech on energy since his appointment in July, Mr Clark set out his stall firmly in favour of green technologies, vowing it was “imperative” that Britain used “every industrial policy lever that we have” to hit its climate change targets. While he acknowledged that the intermittent nature of wind and solar farms – which only generate power when the wind blows or the sun shines – was “creating new challenges for the system”, he insisted that “the fears we had, even less than a decade ago, of the impact of intermittency – those fears were overblown”.
Telegraph 11th Nov 2016 read more »
IGov2 argues that the GB energy system effectively runs along two streams: the conventional ‘old’ energy system and the ‘new’ entrants and non-traditional practices which are occurring around the edges of the conventional systems. This is often: despite policy rather than because of it; trying to survive despite them doing what Government says it wants; and uncoordinated and without directional oversight. IGov2 is trying to understand the governance needs of that ‘new’ system and its actors. IGov2 is therefore more current and forward looking than the IGov focus – which aimed to explain why the move to a demand focused, energy efficient energy system in GB was having so many problems. IGov2 is exploring change that is happening at the moment; the different dimensions of that change [eg: business models, gender, technology, markets, networks, ownership, political systems, system operation and economics, social preferences]; and the reasons behind that change. One aspect of understanding that change is to understanding the political economy context. IGov looked at this but IGov2 will be expanding this area.
IGov 10th Oct 2016 read more »
While many EU member states are looking to abandon nuclear energy, a new nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus and an obsolete nuclear station in Armenia represent a serious danger to European security. The BelNPP Belarusian nuclear power plant being constructed by Russia’s State Atomic Energy company Rosatom has raised concerns across EU member states including Lithuania, whose capital is located just 50 km from the construction site. Last August Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė described Belarus’ nuclear plans as an ‘existential’ threat to European security. Safety concerns related to the power plant emerged following a recent explosion at the BelNPP site that caused the death of a Russian contractor. Previously, a 330-tonne reactor casing had fallen from a height of several metres.
Parliament Magazine 10th Nov 2016 read more »
An officially convened 350-strong Citizens’ Jury has decisively rejected South Australia’s plans to import over half a million tonnes of high and intermediate level nuclear waste for long term storage, writes Jim Green. This has dealt a powerful blow against the project from which it is unlikely to ever recover, and represents a major victory for campaigners, indigenous Australians and economic sanity.
Ecologist 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Germany’s coalition government has reached an agreement on a climate change action plan which involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050, a spokesperson said on Friday. The plan, which will require German industry to reduce its CO2 emission by a fifth by 2030, and Germany’s energy sector to reduce emissions by almost a half, will be reviewed in 2018 with a view to its impact on jobs and society.
Guardian 11th Nov 2016 read more »
This summer families of atom bomb test veterans who have died of cancer took the UK government to the High Court for its failure to compensate them, writes Chris Busby. Also on trial was the ‘official’ radiation risk model, which understates the true health hazards of internal exposures by a factor of 1,000. But 17 weeks after the case, litigants and veterans are still awaiting judgment.
Ecologist 11th Nov 2016 read more »
The planet is warming, dangerously so, and burning more coal will make it worse. President-elect Donald Trump thinks man-made climate change is a hoax and he’s promised to revive the US coal industry by cutting regulation. So renewables are dead in the water, right? Maybe not. President Trump can’t tell producers which power generation technologies to buy. That decision will come down to cost in the end. Right now coal’s losing that battle, while renewables are gaining. Trump will doubtless try to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which obliges states to cut fossil power carbon emissions. That would probably keep more coal plants open for longer. But, try as he might, Trump can’t will the coal industry back to health. It will still struggle to compete with cheap natural gas, as Gadfly colleague Liam Denning explained here. Even without the CPP, about 60 gigawatts of coal-fired generating capacity will probably be retired by 2030. On the same basis, renewable capacity would still be expected to grow more than 4 percent a year until 2040, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, meaning they’d have a 23 percent share of generation.
Bloomberg 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
A new software platform in Germany lets utilities buy and sell “regional electricity” by connecting up small producers with consumers. Start-up Lumenaza, founded three years ago, meets a growing demand for transparency, explains CEO and founder Christian Chudoba in an exclusive interview with Energy Post. Unlike a typical virtual power plant, Lumenaza targets tiny producers such as owners of rooftop solar. Its goal is to connect up all of Germany’s 1.4 million small power producers.
Energy Post 11th Nov 2016 read more »
One of the biggest ever environmental campaigns has been launched by a group of the world’s most eminent scientists and environmentalists in an ’emergency’ effort to convince the President-elect, Donald Trump, that global warming is real before he becomes US President in January. Mr Trump, who described climate science as a “hoax” perpetrated by China, has already appointed a prominent climate change denier, Myron Ebell, to a key environmental post and promised that he will rip up the landmark Paris Agreement climate deal when he enters the White House. Climate sceptics in Australia crowed that the Paris Agreement was “cactus” – meaning finished – following his election this week.
Independent 11th Nov 2016 read more »