15 February 2017

Toshiba/Moorside

Toshiba will “consider” a continued role in the development of the beleaguered Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria, so long as it can avoid any involvement in construction. The Japanese conglomerate said it will seek to sell off shares in the project “as planned from the beginning” as it reported its preliminary financial results for the third quarter of 2016. The fate of Moorside has been unclear since Toshiba announced earlier this year that it was reviewing its overseas nuclear activities in the midst of a financial meltdown. The group said it expected to take a write-down amounting “several billion” dollars relating to the acquisition of a US nuclear construction business by its subsidiary Westinghouse. Toshiba has now revealed the value of the impairment at ¥‎720 billion ($6.3 billion or £5 billion). Having completed the review of overseas nuclear operations, the company said it will seek to “exclude risk inherent on construction work and focus on equipment supply and engineering” in future.

Utility Week 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga has resigned, hours after the Japanese conglomerate revealed details of a multi-billion dollar loss. Earlier Toshiba had delayed issuing its results, but it then said it was set to report a net loss of 390bn yen ($3.4bn) in the year to March 2017. The company said it expected to take a 712.5 billion yen ($6.3bn, £5bn) writedown at its US nuclear business. The situation has led some analysts to warn the company’s future is at risk. The losses are linked to a deal done by its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, when it bought a nuclear construction and services business from Chicago Bridge & Iron in 2015. In a statement, NuGen said: “NuGen acknowledges the announcement that Toshiba’s review into the future of its nuclear power business outside Japan is complete and that it remains committed to developing NuGen’s Moorside Project.”

BBC 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Toshiba ‘still developing’ Moorside nuclear plant. Toshiba says it will continue to work on the development of a nuclear power station in Cumbria but will not be involved in its construction.Uncertainty shrouded Moorside, near Sellafield, as it was thought the corporation would withdraw from all nuclear operations outside Japan. However, it says it will retain its role in the initial phase of Moorside before looking to sell its stake. Speaking on Monday, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria, said it would be a “hammer blow” for the region if the firm cancelled its planned investment. Describing the nuclear industry as “the backbone of the local economy”, he added such a move would risk “hurting the livelihoods of thousands of people”.

BBC 14th Feb 2017 read more »

The huge uncertainties surrounding a proposed £15 billion nuclear plant at Moorside in Cumbria were laid bare yesterday as the financial crisis engulfing Toshiba, its lead developer, deepened. The Japanese conglomerate stopped short of announcing a complete withdrawal from the Nugen venture developing Moorside, as had been feared, but said that at most it would play only a limited future role. Toshiba may still supply its Westinghouse AP1000 reactors for use at Moorside, but confirmed it would look to sell down its 60 per cent financial stake in Nugen and ruled out undertaking any actual construction work. The industrial giant is battling to survive after being rocked by huge losses in its US nuclear construction business that led to Shigenori Shiga, its chairman, standing down yesterday. However, the comments underlined the vast scale of the challenge to be overcome if the Moorside project is to reach financial close in 2018 and be up and running by 2025 as planned – a timescale many in the industry already think is highly unrealistic. Toshiba’s comments that it will only “consider participating in the project”, however, combined with its deepening financial crisis, suggest it may well seek to offload its entire 60 per cent stake. Its position stands in stark contrast to its statement when its bought its Nugen stake in 2014, when the company said that it intended to “move forward with the construction of three AP1000 nuclear reactors on the Moorside site”. Toshiba yesterday said its rationale was to “avoid further cost overruns” and “resolve issues and accelerate construction”. After it found the costs and liabilities were far higher. It accused CB&I of overinflating the value of its assets and the two are now embroiled in a legal dispute. The case is yet to be resolved, with CB&I insisting the AP1000 reactor design is partly to blame. Yesterday Toshiba announced a writedown of the goodwill in the US nuclear business of ¥712.5 billion ($6.3 billion). It attributed $6.1 billion to cost overruns, due to increased labour and equipment costs. The debacle had already cast doubt over the AP1000 reactor technology. Now, it has thrown the entire future of Toshiba into question.

Times 15th Feb 2017 read more »

A key part of the UK’s energy strategy has been thrown into doubt after Toshiba said its financial troubles were likely to force it to abandon its leading role in a Cumbria nuclear power station intended to meet 8 per cent of Britain’s electricity needs. The troubled Japanese multinational, which made the announcement as part of a $6.3bn writedown in its Westinghouse US nuclear business, holds a 60 per cent stake in NuGen, the consortium responsible for the project at Moorside in Cumbria. Although Toshiba said it would still “consider participating” in the plant, the company added it would no longer take on any of the financial risk of construction and was looking to sell its NuGen stake to raise desperately-needed cash needed to stop the bleeding in its US nuclear division. The move by Toshiba means Moorside is only likely to go ahead if new investors can be found to build the plant that will house three AP1000 reactors supplied by Westinghouse.

FT 14th Feb 2017 read more »

The prospect of a new nuclear power station coming to the area had brought hope to the residents of Whitehaven in Cumbria, the nearest town to Toshiba’s proposed Moorside project. Now, with the news of the Japanese group’s intention to scale back its overseas plans, that hope has been replaced by fears that the promise of new jobs – plus accompanying investment in roads and railways – may not be kept. Nuclear is already the biggest local employer: the nearby Sellafield reprocessing site employs more than 10,000 people directly, and thousands more as contractors. Chris Jukes, senior organiser for the GMB union, said Moorside was vital as Sellafield’s workforce would soon be shrinking. By 2020 up to 3,000 jobs could be lost as the Thorp nuclear fuel facility closes and reprocessing of Magnox fuel ends – though the union wants those workers redeployed. Gillian Troughton, the Labour candidate, said the government needed to show leadership: “We need intervention by the government, step ping up to the mark and making sure for the sake of the country we get new power generation at Moorside and meet our commitment to climate change targets. We need the jobs and the country needs to keep the lights on. “We need public funding to bridge the gaps. [Labour] would do that and we need Theresa May’s government to do that.” Jack Lenox, the Green candidate, said there were no guarantees of jobs. The nuclear industry had made “empty promises” and had failed to invest in roads, railways and job creation schemes in the past. Trudy Harrison, the Conservative candidate, once worked at Sellafield and has an aunt, uncle and seven cousins working in the nuclear sector. She said that NuGen – the consortium leading the Moorside project – had assured her the plant would be built “with or without Toshiba”.

FT 14th Feb 2017 read more »

The UK’s plan to build Europe’s largest nuclear power plant risk being derailed after lead developer Toshiba admitted it would have to take billions of pounds’ worth of write downs in its nuclear business and said it would scale back its overseas ambitions. The consortium behind the plans to build a giant 3.8GW nuclear power plant in Moorside in Cumbria was forced to defend the future of the £10bn project after the Japanese conglomerate said it would scale back its work outside of Japan after booking a 712.5bn yen (£5bn) writedown in its nuclear power business. Toshiba is a 60pc shareholder in the NuGeneration consortium, which plans to develop the Moorside project alongside France’s Engie, formerly known as GDF Suez. The new plant is slated to use the AP1000 nuclear reactor, which is made by Toshiba’s US-based nuclear company Westinghouse. But in a shambolic financial reporting day the embattled company raised doubts over its long-term commitment to Moorside, saying it would “consider participating in the project without taking on any risk from carrying out actual construction work”. “As both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have made clear over recent weeks, building new nuclear capacity in west Cumbria is an integral part of the UK being able to replace old power stations, keeping a balanced mix as carbon emissions are reduced. This is a vital part of our country’s energy future,” said Tom Greatrex, the group’s chief executive.

Telegraph 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Unions are urging the government to take back control of its nuclear strategy after Toshiba’s deepening financial crisis cast fresh doubt about its involvement in the planned Moorside power station in Cumbria. Justin Bowden, GMB’s national secretary for energy, described the situation as a “fiasco” after Japan’s Toshiba, the lead party behind Moorside, revealed a $6.3bn writedown in its US Westinghouse business and confirmed it was scaling back investment in new overseas nuclear projects. Toshiba prompted confusion among investors on Tuesday by saying it was not ready to publish third-quarter results as scheduled, only to announce the write-down in its US nuclear business and resignation of its chairman, Shigenori Shiga, hours later. The company’s shares fell 8% in Tokyo. Bowden said the UK government had become too reliant on foreign companies for delivering its energy strategy.

Guardian 14th Feb 2017 read more »

NuGen acknowledges the announcement that Toshiba’s review into the future of its nuclear power business outside Japan is complete and that it remains committed to developing NuGen’s Moorside Project. Moorside is at the core of the UK’s plans for providing safe, sustainable low-carbon electricity for generations to come and will be a transformational opportunity for West Cumbria. NuGen CEO, Tom Samson, said: “The project has made significant progress since Toshiba took over as major shareholder in 2014. The site has already been proven as suitable for three Westinghouse AP1000 reactors, two phases of consultation have found the public overwhelmingly supportive of the need for new nuclear and have helped shape the plans for Moorside.

Nugeneration 14th Feb 2017 read more »

The extraordinary resignation of Toshiba’s chief executive over £5bn worth of losses in the nuclear power industry has thrown the future of a planned Toshiba built nuclear power plant in the Copeland constituency to the heart of next week’s knife edge by-election. An estimated 12,000 jobs in Copeland in Cumbria are dependent on the nuclear industry, with the Conservatives having made their commitment to nuclear a central part of their strategy in could be a truly historic victory of a governing party winning a seat from the opposition in a by-election. But Toshiba’s announcement that is scaling back and effectively ending its nuclear power business outside Japan has piled pressure on the government to step in and protect the plans for the Moorside Power plant, for construction has not yet begun and which is not yet scheduled for to come online until 2024.

Independent 14th Feb 2017 read more »

THE company building a new nuclear power station in Cumbria says partner Toshiba “remains committed” to the project despite the Japanese giant revealing huge financial losses.

Express 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Toshiba owns Westinghouse, which has a site at Springfields, near Preston, whose AP1000 nuclear reactors are to be used at a planned £10 billion power plant at Moorside in Cumbria. Greenpeace UK said any public spending should be on renewable energy schemes rather than nuclear. Kate Blagojevic, the charity’s head of energy, said: “As Toshiba announces multibillion-dollar losses this week, our Government is considering using public funding to kick-start the nuclear build at Moorside. “It could cost up to £4 billion of taxpayers’ money. This year’s school leavers could still be paying for the project as they approach their pension age. “The cost of renewables is falling, with offshore wind, storage and smart grid technologies all coming down in price.

Lancashire Post 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Paul Dorfman interview on Toshiba.

BBC World 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Toshiba/EDF

The main company due to build UK’s ‘flagship’ nuclear power project at Moorside in Cumbria is on the ropes, writes Doug Parr, thanks to its multi-billion dollar nuclear losses on in the US. The obvious solution, (almost) all our politicians insist, is to ignore cheaper, faster, cleaner renewables, and make the taxpayer pick up the cost of yet another nuclear white elephant.

Ecologist 14th Feb 2017 read more »

After a day of chaotic communication, a stock sell-off and a $6.3bn writedown that may destroy one of Japan’s greatest industrial names, the Toshiba president’s bow of apology finally came. Satoshi Tsunakawa’s head nodded for just one perfunctory second on Tuesday. Most assume there will be much deeper, longer bows to come as Toshiba leads investors, customers, employees and Japan as a whole through the country’s first downfall of a nuclear industry titan. In a humiliating setback for a conglomerate that had only recently touted its nuclear business as a core growth driver, Toshiba said it would pull out of constructing new plants overseas and focus on providing less lucrative but lower-risk reactor designs and nuclear equipment. It is also a damaging blow to the outlook for the nuclear industry worldwide. Toshiba’s decision to give up on bidding to be a lead contractor on nuclear power plant projects will dramatically reduce its ability to compete with rivals from China, South Korea and Russia, and limit the options for countries seeking to build reactors. EDF, which has also been beset by problems with its new-build nuclear projects, warned of a “challenging” 2017 after being hit by weak power prices and problems with some existing reactors last year. Unlike Toshiba, EDF says it is determined to push ahead with its international nuclear new-build strategy, seeing it as a way to leverage France’s historic expertise in reactor technology and diversify away from an increasingly competitive domestic market. But since 2007, the French nuclear industry has only won one new deal: the controversial £18bn Hinkley Point project in the UK. “From now on, there are only three major players in the global nuclear power plant market: Korea, China and Russia,” says Michael Shellenberger of Environmental Progress, a pro-nuclear campaign group. EDF, meanwhile, is contending with a government-directed restructuring of the French nuclear industry. The company is being pushed by the French state, its controlling shareholder, to rescue former rival Areva by taking over its struggling reactor business that is behind EPR technology. The EPR reactor that EDF is building at Flamanville in France is six years late and 7.2bn euros over budget. With 34 overseas projects under way and a 10-year export order book worth $133bn, Russia’s state-controlled nuclear monopoly Rosatom is currently building more plants than any other company, and making inroads into EU markets including Slovakia, Hungary and Cyprus. China General Nuclear in October submitted the Hualong 1 design to British regulators, and intends to build its maiden reactor in Essex in the UK after investing in the EDF-led EPR reactor at Hinkley Point. To date, however, China’s only overseas reactor project has been in Pakistan, although China National Nuclear Corp has committed to building reactors in Argentina. After decades developing its domestic nuclear industry, South Korea burst on to the international stage in 2009 by winning a hotly contested deal to supply the United Arab Emirates with four 1,400 megawatt reactors at $5bn per unit by 2020. Rival suppliers including EDF found it impossible to match that pricing. The deal, won by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp, was heralded as a landmark, and the country declared an export target of 80 reactors by 2030. That objective is now viewed as wildly ambitious, however. Since the Abu Dhabi deal, South Korean companies have failed to win a single commercial contract, in spite of a sustained focus by Kepco on the Middle East and a broader reputation for cost competitiveness and reliability.

FT 15th Feb 2017 read more »

The financial troubles afflicting Toshiba do not just have implications for the proposed Moorside nuclear plant. They expose the fragility of the UK’s energy policy as a whole. The question of how Britain generates its electricity is taking on greater importance as the government aims to meet a 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 57 per cent compared to 1990 levels. As part of that goal, ministers want to eradicate polluting coal power stations by 2025. The issue is what will replace them: Britain has been investing heavily in renewables to help make up the gap but the government is also alert to the need for other, more stable sources of power generation to keep the lights on when the wind is not blowing or the su n is not shining – and have low emissions as well. Tuesday’s weather illustrated the point. It was sunny and calm across most of Britain, making nuclear the day’s second-most important source of electricity supply behind gas plants, according to Electric Insights, a website that tracks where Britain’s power is coming from. Nuclear is key to the UK’s energy strategy: the government has the goal of 14 gigawatts of new nuclear generating capacity by 2035. Some 10GW is in operation today but most of the existing nuclear plants – except Sizewell B, a plant owned by French utility EDF Energy on the Suffolk coast – is due to be decommissioned during the 2020s.

FT 14th Feb 2017 read more »

EDF Energy

EDF Energy has reported a sharp drop in profits in 2016 due to low wholesale gas and electricity prices and continuing customer losses in the face of “strong competition”. Earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) fell by 29 per cent when compared 2015 to £470 million as customer numbers fell by 80,000 to 5.2 million. EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “The exceptional performance of EDF Energy’s existing nuclear power stations is making a huge contribution to security of supply and providing large volumes of reliable, low carbon electricity. Our new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C will play a vital role as the UK continues to make the transition away from fossil fuels.” “Our investment in renewables and innovative battery technology is further evidence of our ambition to be at the forefront of the UK’s low carbon future,” he added. EBITDA for the whole of the EDF Group fell by 6.7 per cent to €16.4 billion (£13.9 billion) and sales were down 5.1 per cent at €71.2 billion (£60.4 billion). Among the causes was a large drop in French nuclear output due to safety inspections on 18 of its reactors at the request of the country’s nuclear regulator ASN. EDF was forced to extended maintenance and refuelling at other reactors to accommodate the tests.

Utility Week 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Profits at EDF slipped last year as the highest output from its UK nuclear plants in more than a decade failed to offset the impact of lower power prices and safety shutdowns to its reactors in France. The company, which is majority owned by the French state, made 16.4 billion euro in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation, down from 17.6 billion the year before, a 6.7 per cent fall. Its UK division, EDF Energy, which operates Britain’s nuclear power stations and is one of the “big six” household energy suppliers, reported a 14 per cent drop in ebitda to £1.4 billion. The group said that its UK reactors “achieved their highest output since 2003”. However, the “excellent performance of nuclear generation” could only partially offset the “highly negative impact of falling prices” on the UK generation business, which includes wind farms and two coal-fired power stations. EDF said it had only made the investments needed to maintain its British nuclear fleet and extend their lives because of two government interventions: the carbon price floor, which effectively boosts the market power price; and the capacity market, under which power plants will receive extra payments to guarantee their availability. EDF was forced to keep some of its French nuclear reactors offline last year amid safety concerns. Some of the reactors remain shut, which is expected to contribute to a fall in ebitda for 2017 to between 13.7 billion to 14.3 billion euros.

Times 15th Feb 2017 read more »

EDF on Tuesday reported a 7 per cent fall in core earnings for 2016 as low electricity prices and problems at some nuclear power plants weighed on results, although the French utility said it was on track to generate positive cash flow in 2018. State-controlled EDF issued three profit warnings last year, partly due to regulators ordering a temporary halt to operations at 18 of its French nuclear plants after the discovery of high carbon levels in components made by some suppliers. The company, which has a large debt load, has also been hit by lower energy prices across Europe. Meanwhile, the opening-up of the French electricity market to competition has eroded EDF’s once near-monopoly status.

FT 14th Feb 2017 read more »

EDF, the French energy giant building the new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point, plans to shrink its dividends for next year as it wrestles with the spiralling costs of maintaining its ageing nuclear fleet in France. The company issued three profit warnings last year following a string of unplanned nuclear plant shutdowns ahead of its 55bn euro nuclear upgrade programme. In the clearest sign that the financial pressure facing the group will continue EDF said it will cut its dividend ratio by over 10 percentage points in 2018. Mr De Rivaz added that the Hinkley Point C project is making good progress and “is already delivering significant benefits to the national and regional economy, creating jobs and boosting skills and industrial capacity.” “The exceptional performance of EDF Energy’s existing nuclear power stations is making a huge contribution to security of supply and providing large volumes of reliable, low carbon electricity,” he added.

Telegraph 14th Feb 2017 read more »

French state-owned utility firm EDF today said a drop in nuclear production hit its core earnings for 2016. However, it said it will deliver positive cash flow next year before it has to invest in building new reactors in Britain. The French firm has been taking on debt just to pay dividends for several years, according to Reuters. It had negative cash flow of €1.6bn last year, and €2.1bn in 2015, and its due to spend £18bn building two nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point as well as a €50bn upgrade of its French nuclear stations over the next decade. EDF’s board approved a €4bn increase in planned capital raising yesterday, and the French state is set to subscribe for €3bn, Reuters said.

City AM 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Hinkley

Construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset is “making good progress” with 1,200 workers currently on-site, EDF Energy has said. However, the French energy giant also revealed a dip in profits in its latest financial results. According to the EDF Group’s results for the year to 31 December 2016, underlying operating profit for 2016 was £470m. This represents a 29 per cent dip on the 2015 figure of £664m, which it said was “driven mainly by lower wholesale prices”.

Insider Media 15th Feb 2017 read more »

Burnham-on-sea.com 15th Feb 2017 read more »

Wylfa

More changes are afoot at Gloucester’s own nuclear energy firm Horizon in what is already shaping up to be a landmark year. Just days have gone by since the Brockworth-headquartered Hitachi-owned fledgling nuclear power firm was revealing plans to create an estimated 60 new jobs this year. It was news which came on the back of the firm receiving a licence giving it permission to begin ordering major equipment for its proposed new reactor at Wylfa Newydd. In short, it was another piece of paper allowing the business to progress towards construction of its next nuclear power station giving it permission to order various necessary materials in advance of the main build. Now the firm has announced a significant reshuffle at the top. “Horizon Nuclear Power has today announced two new appointments to the board of Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa Ltd. “William Doig, power and energy consultant, Grove Consulting and Dr Ken Petrunik, former advisor to the CEO of Nuclear Power, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, will join the board as independent non-executive directors effective from the March 1,” said a spokesman for the firm. “These appointments further strengthen the nuclear credentials of the Board as Horizon Nuclear Power Wylfa Ltd prepares to apply for a nuclear site licence for the construction and operation of the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station, on Anglesey, North Wales.”

South West Business 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Rolls Royce/SMRs

Rolls-Royce said today the long-term outlook for its nuclear business was positive with renewed activities in the civilian market. There are “encouraging opportunities” in the UK and China in particular, alongside its nuclear submarine activities, the company said on the release of its 2016 financial results. The British engineering company recorded a loss of £4.6 billion ($5.7 billion), but revenue in the group’s nuclear business rose 11% year on year to £777 million. This was led by submarine programs, including refuelling projects and decommissioning activities, though civil instrumentation and control programs in France and Finland were also strong, Chief Financial Officer David Smith said. These included the first phase of upgrade work at the Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland and maintenance programs across the French nuclear power fleet. Rolls-Royce last year outlined plans to develop through a consortium a fleet of 7 GWe SMRs in response the UK government’s competition to identify the best value SMR design for the country. “We continue to invest in new designs for new opportunities … SMRs represent those opportunities,” CEO Warren East said. Other 2016 highlights for Rolls-Royce’s nuclear business include the government’s final approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, for which it was awarded preferred bidder status for waste treatment system, heat exchanger and diesel generator contracts. It has also announced closer strategic collaboration with China National Nuclear Corporation, including engineering and training services. “The Chinese market is expected to sustain strong growth and we are well-positioned with relevant technology,” it said.

World Nuclear News 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Energy Policy – Scotland

The UK energy industry trade union – the GMB – last night raised fears over possible Scottish power black-outs arising when a ‘perfect storm’ of no coal- or gas-fired thermal power, allied with unplanned shutdowns at the Scottish nuclear stations, occurs. Justin Bowden GMB National Secretary for the Energy Sector, said: “We are calling for the UK parliament and devolved governments as well as OFGEM and National Grid to urgently evaluate lessons that should be learned from the widespread power cuts in Australia arising from the changes from sourcing power from renewable sources instead of coal and oil fired stations.

Scottish Energy News 15th Feb 2017 read more »

Fukushima

With two robot-probe operations apparently encountering increasingly high radiation levels inside the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant during the past three weeks, some media reports suggested the radiation count was climbing rapidly. It didn’t help temper that view when plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had to prematurely halt the second operation last Thursday to yank out the robot probe. Radiation had begun to dim the view of the attached cameras, threatening to leave the robot blinded and therefore unable to retrace its steps and escape the rubble. A TEPCO official explained that nuclear engineers conducted radiation lab tests prior to the operations taking place. This enabled the engineers to study the images taken in the first probe and estimate the different radiation levels—the highest of which was estimated to be 530 sieverts an hour. An estimate based on images taken during the second probe put the level as high as 650 sieverts an hour. (To put those numbers in context, when you take an abdominal X-ray, you’re exposed to about 4 millisieverts of radiation.) TEPCO says it is not particularly surprised at these numbers given that its probes were approaching the reactor vessel. “And these are not direct measurements, but are based on the amount of image noise produced,” a company official emphasized. “There is also a plus or minus error-margin of 30 percent.”

IEEE Spectrum 14th Feb 2017 read more »

Dr Helen Caldicott, explains recent robot photos taken of Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear reactors: radiation levels have not peaked, but have continued to spill toxic waste into the Pacific Ocean — but it’s only now the damage has been photographed.

Independent Australia 13th Feb 2017 read more »

Island Energy

Almost 6,000 new full-time equivalent jobs could be created in the Western Isles if the construction of two planned Lewis Wind Power turbine parcs – already approved by the local cooncil – go ahead. This is the key conclusion of a cost-benefits analysis compiled by BVG Associates, an independent energy consultancy, for the EDF – Lewis Wind Power project partners if the Stornoway and Uisenis wind turbine parcs proceed to development. In addition to the renewable energy generation assets, the project also provides for construction of a high-voltage DC connection to the UK Grid and further onshore wind developments, which would generate 5,970 full time equivalent job years and £164 million in local value added for the Western Isle economy.

Scottish Energy News 15th Feb 2017 read more »

Energy Efficiency

“Insulation is not sexy. Energy efficiency is not sexy. Putting more insulation in your walls that you will never see and you will never even know is there, is not sexy. But your bills are a bit lower,” said Alex Hunt, a sustainable building consultant and partner with Bright Green Homes. Is it time for the Low Energy housing sector to shed its frumpy image and have a face lift? What needs to be done to bring about a low energy housing transformation? That was the question at the heart of a workshop on Low Energy Housing organised jointly by the Energy Savings Trust and the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand. Low energy housing may not be “sexy”, but it is important. Domestic buildings were responsible for approximately 23% of total UK carbon emissions in 2014. Under the Climate Change Act, the UK has to achieve at least an 80% reduction in the carbon emissions from our homes by 2050. If we are to be ready by to meet those carbon targets by 2050, the industry needs to transform. Despite the urgent need, according to Philip Sellwood, CEO of the Energy Savings Trust, the government’s green ambition has been “roughly halved” in recent years.

SPRU 14th Feb 2017 read more »

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Published: 15 February 2017