A nationwide shift to LED lightbulbs could slash the risk of a winter blackout, according to new research from Greenpeace. The research, carried out by energy analyst Chris Goodall, found a switch to the energy efficient LEDs in homes would reduce peak electricity demand in the winter by five per cent, or 2.7GW. The study also calculates the use of LEDs in office and other commercial building could save around 4.5GW, around nine per cent of peak demand, while LED street lighting would save a further 0.5 GW. While lighting might not seem an area of high energy demand, it is responsible for nearly a third of total winter peak electricity demand, according to the research. It calculates that a complete switch to LEDs would likely halve power use from lighting. Greenpeace said the research shows a business and government drive to promote a switch to LEDs could see a reduction in the UK’s electricity demand equivalent to over two Hinkley Point nuclear plants’ worth of electricity. Greenpeace estimates it would currently cost around £1.7bn to switch the most used bulbs in all UK homes to energy-efficient LED lighting, adding that the transition could be completed “relatively quickly”. The payback period for switching the most used lighting typical domestic house to LED is two to three years at current prices, with the estimated £62 cost of replacing 21 bulbs in living areas likely to cut annual electricity bills by at least £24, Greenpeace said. However, the new analysis also shows that in addition to helping cut domestic energy bills a national switch to LEDs would help save at least £65m a year on capacity market payments, reducing the subsidies the government pays for back up power capacity.
Business Green 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Greenpeace 14th Oct 2016 read more »
A new consultation on plans to connect Cumbria’s proposed nuclear power station to the electricity network have been announced by National Grid. The company will hold 30 public events in Cumbria and Lancashire, starting in Rampside, Barrow, on Tuesday, November 1 to discuss the £2.8bn project. At the sessions the firm will explain the technologies to be used to connect the grid to NuGen’s planned development at Moorside, near Sellafield.
Carlisle News & Star 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Whitehaven News 14th Oct 2016 read more »
The £2.8bn connection that will link the proposed Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria to the electricity network will go out for public consultation at the end of October. The public will be asked for its opinion on the detailed design work for the pipeline, which has been six years in the making. National Grid said the scheme aims to balance protecting local landscapes and providing value for money. Moorside is the proposed 3.4GW nuclear power station that will be built near Sellafield in West Cumbria. Development work for Moorside is currently being carried out by Amec Foster Wheeler.
New Civil Engineer 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Jobs are under threat at Wylfa Newydd developer Horizon Nuclear Power as they consult with workers on a restructure. Horizon, which eventually plans to employ more than 800 workers at Wylfa Newydd, said they were making changes to staffing to make sure they had the “right skills” to take the project forward. While they said “some people” would be leaving the company the overall number of permanent staff should remain the same.
Daily Post 15th Oct 2016 read more »
The risk of electricity blackouts in Britain this winter has diminished, after the National Grid and the government spent more than £140m on tools designed to guarantee the lights stay on. The Grid’s capacity margin, the cushion between electricity demand and supply, has risen to 6.6%, beating its summer prediction of 5.5%. The buffer zone is also well ahead of last year’s “tight but manageable” 5.1%, which was the lowest in a decade. In its annual winter outlook, the firm that operates the UK’s electricity transmission network said it expects average peak demand of 52.7GW during cold weather, with 55GW of supply capacity available. The improved position is partly down to a reprieve for the Eggborough coal power plant in North Yorkshire, which was due to shut down before the winter but will stay partly operational until March 2017.
Guardian 14th Oct 2016 read more »
European institutions are helping Ukraine extend its already outdated nuclear operations — increasing short-term risks and halting energy alternatives for the future. In the past few weeks, two of Ukraine’s Soviet-era nuclear reactors received a lease on life for an additional 10 years beyond their originally projected life-span. Units 1 and 2 at the Zaporizhska nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, are the fifth and sixth units to have their expiry dates extended by Ukraine’s nuclear regulator. This is a dangerous move, which violates international law and democratic principles. Nuclear proponents, Ukrainian governmental officials and the state nuclear power operator Energoatom argue these extensions are necessary. But is it really? And who benefits from the continued operation of Ukraine’s aging nuclear fleet? On the face of it, the “nuclear safety upgrade program”, supported by Euratom and the Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), is meant to help Ukraine improve safety standards in its nuclear units. But in reality, the EU is paying (60% of EBRD shares belong to EU member states and the European Investment Bank) and Ukraine is extending operation of its unsafe, aging reactors beyond their original lifespan without completing some of the top priority safety measures.
Open Democracy 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Japan election key to world’s biggest nuclear plant and Abe’s energy policy. A regional election north of Tokyo between candidates most Japanese have never heard of may decide the fate of the world’s biggest nuclear plant and mark a turning point for an industry all but shut down after the Fukushima disaster. The campaign for governor of Niigata Prefecture has boiled down to two men and one issue: whether to restart the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station. Reviving the seven-reactor giant, with capacity of 8 gigawatts, is key to saving Tokyo Electric Power, which was brought low by the 2011 Fukushima explosions and meltdowns, and then the repeated admissions of cover-ups and safety lapses after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Distrust of Tepco, put under government control in 2012, is so high in Niigata that this election has become a litmus test for nuclear safety and put Abe’s energy policy and Tepco’s handling of Fukushima back under the spotlight. The LDP’s Mori has toned down his support for restarting the plant as the race tightens, media say, and now insists that safety is the top priority for Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, while promoting the use of natural gas and solar power in Niigata.
Reuters 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Business Insider 14th Oct 2016 read more »
The Astronomical Cost of New Subsidies for Old Reactors: $280 Billion.. GreenWorld has covered the unfolding story of the American nuclear power industry’s clamor for new subsidies and bailouts since it started in 2014. Purely as a spectator sport, it might have been entertaining to watch the country’s largest utilities go from proclaiming a “Nuclear Renaissance” a decade ago to peddling the message that “Nuclear Matters.” But there is just too much at stake to treat it like a game. The utility industry’s ramped-up efforts to block renewable energy and horde billions of our clean energy dollars to prop up old nukes risks both climate and nuclear disaster. Most of these proposals have been failing, thanks to the dogged persistence of grassroots activists and clean energy groups–and, it must be said, the outrageous sticker price of subsidies the industry needs.
Green World 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Germany’s leading utilities will start contributing next year to a 23.6 billion euro ($26.4 billion) fund as a condition for shifting liability for nuclear waste storage to the government, giving investors greater clarity over their future finances. The new legislation, seen by Reuters on Friday, will remove uncertainty about the costs of storing waste — the most complex and costly aspect of nuclear decommissioning — which has been a major drag on German utility stocks.
Reuters 14th Oct 2016 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News: Swindon’s solar bonds to fund 5MW solar farm; Havering’s solar park plans; London’s Solar Strategy in the works.
Microgen Scotland 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Large-scale batteries to store energy and devices that switch themselves off are likely to be key technologies for keeping the UK’s lights on while shutting down old coal and nuclear plants, an influential committee of MPs has said. The threat of blackouts has receded for this winter after scares earlier in the year, National Grid said on Friday, citing a reprieve for Yorkshire’s Eggborough coal-fired power station, as well as greater flexibility from companies with big energy requirements. But the respite will be brief unless further action is taken, warned parliament’s energy and climate change select committee. The MPs recommend investment in two major areas: on the supply side, energy storage; and on the demand side, efficiency technologies that smooth out peaks in usage, for instance by switching devices off and on and running them at lower power at times.
Guardian 15th Oct 2016 read more »
Baroness Neville-Rolfe’s speech on energy efficiency delivered to the International Energy Agency – in full. We are also thinking about how to motivate people to install energy efficient solutions. When I was an executive at Tesco, a major supermarket chain, we found that installing lobbies on our stores returned the cost of capital needed within two years. When people move house they are more likely to make improvements to their bathrooms and kitchens, but why not the efficiency of their houses, which can save them money – as well as emissions? Increases in the efficiency of our renewables sector have been particularly marked. This is very welcome since in the long run only systems that don’t require subsidy can be viable. Taking offshore wind power as an example, when the Contracts for Difference Scheme was launched three years ago, we set the maximum price we would pay for electricity generated by offshore projects in 2017 at £140/MWh. In March this year we announced that this would fall to £105 for projects generating in 2021 – already a 25 per cent reduction. With projects competing against each other in an auction we expect the actual price we pay to be even lower. And we have set out our ambition that offshore prices continue to fall. We are keen to promote the greater use of heat networks in built-up areas – they’re a very efficient way of delivering heat, and can utilise a range of low carbon sources. And they work well already in Scandinavia, Germany and France for example, and there are already some in the UK.
Business Green 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Many of the areas that have been recently licensed for fracking are rich in wildlife that perform crucial functions from pollination to decomposition, researchers have found. Scientists say that almost two-thirds of the areas that have been labelled as suitable for shale gas extraction have levels of biodiversity above the national average, according to a new analysis of records collected from across the country.
Guardian 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Today, Park City, Utah became the latest in a series of mountain communities to commit to 100 percent renewable electricity. Surrounded by city council members, key members of the community, and partners, Park City Mayor Jack Thomas signed on to Climate Reality’s 100% Committed campaign. He pledged that the city’s electricity would come entirely from renewable sources by 2032. This announcement comes on the heels of a similar pledge from Salt Lake City, Utah and a recent commitment from Boulder, Colorado to transition to renewable electricity, showing that mountain communities are taking control of their energy future.
Climate Reality Project 11th Oct 2016 read more »