The UK’s subsidy proposals for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and new biomass projects are set to move forward as the energy secretary holds crunch talks on Wednesday with the EU’s competition commissioner. The European Commission confirmed the scheduled meeting between Davey and Almunia, but stopped short of saying that a decision could be made A spokesperson from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said: “We are continuing to engage with the Commission as it progresses its assessment of the Hinkley Point C state aid case.” The EC has questioned the level of support, such as the guaranteed power price and construction guarantees, that the UK government has offered, when new nuclear power plants are being built in France and Finland without such measures. On the state aid negotiations, Citigroup said: “In our view, the key issue for the nuclear and biomass CfDs will be the lack of competition in arriving at the administratively set strike prices and the total returns achievable on the projects.”
Utility Week 17th Sept 2014 read more »
L-3 MAPPS announced today that it has been awarded a contract by U.K.-based EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited to upgrade the Sizewell B simulator and to provide a host of other training devices to support both licensed and non-licensed operations personnel. The project is underway and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015.
EIN News 16th Sept 2014 read more »
An independent Scotland would have to spend billions of pounds building disposal facilities for nuclear waste that is presently sent across the border to Sellafield in Cumbria, according to the MP whose constituency includes the nuclear reprocessing site. Jamie Reed, Labour MP for Copeland, said the SNP had “purposefully ducked” the issue of how Scotland would deal with waste from two nuclear power stations, Hunterston in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian. EDF Energy, the French company which operates the stations, also appeared to criticise Alex Salmond for failing to clarify how an independent Scotland would regulate the nuclear industry and pay for decommissioning. “A Britain without Scotland would mean that a location in Scotland would have to be found to provide the service currently provided by Sellafield.“Even if a commercial agreement was entered into, whereby a separated Scottish government would pay the rest of Britain to undertake nuclear services for it — such as waste packaging, handling and transportation — these materials would have to be stored and eventually disposed of in Scotland. “The start-up costs for such a facility would be billions of pounds. All of these avoidable costs would have to be borne by the Scottish taxpayer.”
Times 17th Sept 2014 read more »
In a separate intervention on Tuesday, Peter Strachan, professor of energy policy at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said he believed independence would allow Scotland to cut energy bills and tackle fuel poverty. Professor Strachan told the Press and Journal newspaper he would be voting yes because independence would guarantee security of supply and ensure electricity bills were affordable.
Mynextfone 16th Sept 2014 read more »
Scotland’s voters are set to decide whether the country will separate from the rest of the UK. Here’s our guide to what independence might mean for the country’s climate and energy policies. Scotland would get the lion’s share of North Sea oil and gas tax revenues, but might have to forego some of it to keep the sector going.
Carbon Brief 17th Aug 2014 read more »
Scotland is an important repository of valuable nuclear know-how, which should not be neglected. The presence of the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet in Faslane has led to a concentration of expertise in testing and maintenance of nuclear reactors — smaller than, but very similar to, the Pressurised Water Reactors that are set to be built for the UK’s new nuclear power stations. This expertise is located next to another important nuclear site, Dounreay, set in splendid isolation on the North coast facing the Orkneys.
Engineer 17th Sept 2014 read more »
If Scotland votes for independence later this week, its Government could face an uphill challenge in in persuading the Scottish people that fracking is necessary, research has revealed. The University of Nottingham Shale Gas Survey has been tracking public perception of shale gas extraction in the UK since March 2012 and has shown that people living north of the border are the least supportive of fracking.
Nottingham University 16th Sept 2014 read more »
Alex Salmond’s claim that an independent Scotland could expect £1.5 trillion of revenue from the North Sea’s remaining oil and gas reserves have been shot down in the final hours of the referendum campaign by one of Scotland’s most respected energy consultants. Edinburgh-based Wood MacKenzie said Wednesday that a “low level of discovered reserves combined with the cost challenges facing operators mean that, notwithstanding the total level of reserves that can be produced over the life of the North Sea, future Scottish production is under pressure.”
Telegraph 17th Sept 2014 read more »
Times 18th Sept 2014 read more »
So now a “resilient energy union with a forward-looking climate agenda” is on the table and a new EC VP is almost in the hot seat, we start to work-out what might go into such a thing. At the present time, certainly it’s far from clear. Since I expect I’ll post quite a few times about this set of questions, I’ll use numbered titles (as above). For Part 1, I simply share the key source texts in one place.
Mark Johnston 17th Sept 2014 read more »
Finland is on the verge of putting Russian interests before its own values in its foreign policy and returning to the days of “Finlandisation”, according to the Nordic country’s own environment minister. Ville Niinisto, who is also the leader of the Greens, will propose that his party leave the five-party ruling coalition if – as seems likely – the government decides to approve a Russian-built nuclear reactor on Thursday. That would raise the chances of Finland’s government collapsing and a snap election being called, months earlier than the current plan to hold the vote in April. Mr Niinisto told the Financial Times that building the new reactor with Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear company that owns a 34 per cent stake in the Finnish project, would increase Finland’s energy dependence on Russia.
FT 17th Sept 2014 read more »
AREVA has been selected by the utility RWE to supply fuel assemblies to the Emsland nuclear power plant located near Lingen, Germany. From 2016 to 2020, the power plant will receive a total of four reloads of AREVA’s HTP™ fuel design, one of the group’s proven fuel assembly designs developed for pressurized water reactors (PWR). The fuel assemblies will be produced in Germany in AREVA’s Lingen manufacturing plant.
Energy Business Review 17th Sept 2014 read more »
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design, allowing power companies to use it in nuclear plants they may build. To date, two power companies have already picked the ESBWR technology for planned reactors. DTE Energy Corp will use it for a project in Michigan, and Dominion Resources Inc, for one in Virginia. GE Hitachi, a venture of conglomerates General Electric Co of the United States and Hitachi Ltd of Japan, said it expected the final design certification rule to be published in the Federal Register by the end of September. The following lists the proposed U.S. new nuclear plants and reactor designs.
Reuters 16th Sept 2014 read more »
Talks between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China on Iran’s disputed nuclear programme are due to resume in New York. But officials say that a breakthrough in the negotiations is unlikely. US and Iranian diplomats have met ahead of the talks and Iran’s foreign minister and the EU foreign policy chief will meet on Thursday.
BBC 18th Sept 2014 read more »
Reuters 17th Sept 2014 read more »
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) plans to begin construction of two new nuclear power plants in the southern province of Bushehr, Iran, in the current Iranian year, which will end on 20 March 2015.
Energy Business Review 16th Sept 2014 read more »
The referendum on Scotland’s independence could have a nuclear impact on the United States. The United Kingdom’s atomic arsenal is based in Scotland, and independence leaders have said they would like to expel the weapons from the country, perhaps forcing England to send dozens of Trident missiles, submarines, and warheads to a naval base in Georgia.
Vice News 17th Sept 2014 read more »
In the working paper on defence, for example, the officials write: “The UK government has made it clear that it is not planning for Scottish independence or to move the strategic nuclear deterrent from Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde.” It goes on to say that if the result of the referendum were to lead to “the current situation being challenged then other options would be considered, but any alternative solution would come at huge cost”. They note that it would be an enormous exercise to reproduce the facilities elsewhere. If the nuclear deterrent had to relocate “then so would the whole of the submarine enterprise, including the Royal Navy’s attack submarines and the submarine centre of excellence”.
FT 17th Sept 2014 read more »
Renewable – Tidal
The MeyGen tidal array has secured a 10 year power purchase agreement with SmartestEnergy which could pay the generator more than £50 million over the lifetime of the project. The world’s largest tidal project signed the PPA with independent energy provider SmartestEnergy in order to secure long-term revenues for the project, MeyGen chief executive Dan Pearson said. “The agreement with SmartestEnergy will secure the long-term revenues which will demonstrate the commercial viability of the project and also highlight the wider potential of tidal stream generation to become a significant industry,” Pearson explained in a statement.
Utility Week 17th Sept 2014 read more »
The City of Edinburgh Council is embarking on an energy retrofit programme for its buildings. It will become the first Council in Scotland to sign up to the RE:FIT programme. This award-winning energy retrofit scheme has been designed to help public sector organisations achieve substantial financial savings, improve the energy performance of their buildings and reduce their carbon footprint.
Scottish Energy News 18th Sept 2014 read more »
Through the overuse of machinery or equipment, inefficient or outdated appliances and fixtures, and excessive use of lighting, air conditioning and heating, businesses could be wasting far more energy than they realise, ultimately hindering their attempts to generate revenue. More than half (57%) of catering and hospitality businesses are likely to leave equipment on when not in use, while 52% of retailers leave window displays on through the night. Ainsworth added: “Using attractive lighting can be a useful way to exhibit goods or attract customers but it may not be cost-effective if you rely on outdated or inefficient fixtures to light your store through the night.”
Edie 17th Sept 2014 read more »
Best-selling progressive journalist Naomi Klein has an important new book out, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate.” The author of “No Logo” and “The Shock Doctrine” now “tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth,” as the book jacket aptly puts it.
Climate Progress 16th Sept 2014 read more »