The Stop Hinkley Campaign today welcomed the audit of Government plans to subsidise the proposed new Hinkley Point C. Stop Hinkley spokesman Allan Jeffrey said it was “an extraordinarily bad deal, locking consumers into high prices until almost 2060. Worse still it will use up most of the money available to subsidise non-fossil fuel energy leaving almost nothing available for renewables at a time when their costs are plummeting,” he added. The NAO move follows pressure from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC). Labour MP Joan Walley, chairman of the committee, wrote to the NAO earlier this week re-iterating an earlier call for an investigation into whether the deal represented value for money.
Mid Devon Gazette 18th Oct 2014 read more »
Western Morning News 18th Oct 2014 read more »
Over half the 52,060 used nuclear fuel elements at the former Magnox nuclear power plant at Oldbury in the UK have now been removed from site, two and a half years after the plant generated its last power.
World Nuclear News 17th Oct 2014 read more »
NOT many employees can claim to have saved their companies £1.5 million. But that is the sum Jarred Fraser has pruned off the clean-up bill for Dounreay after his bright idea was taken up by his bosses. The original intention was to build a stand-alone effluent treatment plant to deal with low-level radioactive waste produced by the decommissioning of Dounreay’s notorious underground shaft and silo. That scheme has been spiked after the senior engineer was conducting a tour of the site when he spotted an existing building which he reckoned would be able to do the job.
John O Groat Journal 17th Oct 2014 read more »
Two nuclear reactors that were shut down for safety reasons could be back online – but at a reduced power to prevent cracks, EDF Energy said. The reactors at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool power stations were shut in August following a routine inspection. They could return to service at 75-80% power because defects such as that found at Heysham 1 “can only develop into cracks at very high temperatures”. The phased return could begin between the end of October and December. The dates will also be subject to approval from the independent nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).
BBC 18th Oct 2014 read more »
That Scotland be granted substantial control of its own taxation and spending in general terms is not overly controversial, but in particular the settlement needs to include control of energy policy and revenues. To be explicit this must include responsibility for the regulation, licencing, royalties and tariffs for mineral and other natural resource exploitation in Scottish territory, whether on or off-shore. The ability thus to manage extraction, investment and subsidy is essential to ensure the inevitable transition to a low carbon economy is done in a way which also transitions the communities currently invested in oil and gas or similarly unsustainable industries. This must be done more thoughtfully and humanely than it was by Westminster during the transition from coal and steel related industries during the 1980’s.
Bella Caledonia 18th Oct 2014 read more »
The MP for North Shropshire called on the Government he was a member of until July to rein in the “subsidy-drunk renewables industry and their green lobby friends” who back the 2050 target. “This is the single most regressive policy we have seen in this country since the Sheriff of Nottingham,” he cried, to loud applause. Calling on the 300-strong Westminster crowd to “challenge current group think” and “stand up to the bullies in the environmental movement”, Paterson ended his speech by calling on his own government to “drop the 2050 target” and “repeal” the Climate Change Act. While most people there were supportive – Paterson’s speech was hosted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a pressure group sceptical about climate change – the speech was criticised severely elsewhere. Many environmental campaigners described it as “mad”, “bonkers” and worse. Stressing his intention to “rally my party”, he points to the “broad support” in Britain for “fewer politicians, fewer bureaucrats, less regulation and less taxation”. “Energy policy is clearly important as many of our natural supporters have had a tough time economically in recent years and object strongly to paying higher bills for renewable technology they know won’t work,” he says. “I say to those at the top of my party that they need to wake up and not pursue policies that are repellent to the ‘small-c’ conservatives that we need to get back from Ukip.”
Telegraph 18th Oct 2014 read more »
Tim Montgomerie: It’s a policy that takes money from pensioners who can barely afford to heat their homes and transfers it to rich landowners. It ruins beautiful landscapes in the name of conservation. Because it is based on unreliable sources of electricity, it increases our dependence on some of the world’s most odious oil and coal exporting regimes. And, to top it all, it has not prevented the growth in global pollutants. The largest percentage increase in carbon emissions occurred in 2010, 20 years after the Kyoto summit warned that disaster would engulf us without immediate action. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the political establishment’s energy and climate change policy. In reaching for the moral high ground there was one striking omission from Mr Paterson’s speech. He made no criticism of the Hinkley Point nuclear deal. Perhaps he felt embarrassed that he sat around the cabinet table that agreed Â£18 billion of public subsidy over the next 35 years for the nationalised French energy company EDF and a price per unit of electricity that is twice the current rate. Mr Paterson is right to be angry at the subsidies that onshore and offshore wind power require but opponents of the green movement must be consistent. Mr Paterson is close to sanity on energy policy but not yet close enough.
Times 18th Oct 2014 read more »
After six-decades of denial research at the University of Liverpool has proven some of the service-men ordered to watch bomb tests during the Cold War could have passed deadly radiation onto their children. The study was carried out by Dr Chris Busby while he was a Fellow at the University of Liverpool. He found a statistically high rate of defects among veteran families indicating a “genomic instability” in their DNA, something also seen in animals after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.
Mirror 18th Oct 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Environment Secretary Liz Truss has said large-scale solar farms are “a blight on the landscape” and confirmed plans to cut a taxpayer subsidy to farmers and landowners for the schemes. She told the Mail on Sunday the land could be better used for growing food. There is currently a Â£100-an-acre grant scheme in place, worth £2m a year. Ms Truss said: “I want Britain to lead the world in food and farming and to do that we need enough productive agricultural land.” She described the rows of solar panels as “ugly”, telling the newspaper: “I’m very concerned that a lot of our land is being taken up with solar farms. “We’ve already got 250 of them and we’ve got 10,000 football pitches worth of new solar farms in the pipeline.” Many parts of Southern England have seen a boom in solar power generation in recent years.
BBC 19th Oct 2014 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
Eric Pickles has turned down applications to build 19 onshore wind farms in the past year, prompting allegations from senior Liberal Democrats and energy firms that he is playing politics with green energy, motivated by a need to shore up support from wavering Conservative voters in the party’s rural heartlands. The revelation that Mr Pickles has stalled £500m of onshore wind investment by calling in an “unprecedented number” of planning decisions for his personal approval comes as senior Lib Dems accused the Secretary of State in the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) of using a “back door” to strangle offshore wind for political purposes. The coalition row broke out as renewable energy developer Ecotricity was given permissi on to launch a legal appeal against Mr Pickles’s refusal to permit four turbines at Black Ditch on the Somerset Levels. Last week, the Court of Appeal granted the firm the right to challenge Mr Pickles’s decision, which was made against the recommendation of a planning inspector.
Independent 19th Oct 2014 read more »
THE boss of an Aberdeenshire renewables company is raising money to build a wind turbine factory in Scotland, using a “game changing” secret design which he believes can revolutionise the industry. Nigel Perkins set up Raggnar Power two years ago to exploit a growing niche for the installation and servicing of biomass energy systems for businesses. The firm has expanded rapidly, establishing hubs across the UK, but Perkins says his real ambition has always been to bring his turbine design to market. He says the system overcomes all the major objections he has heard from anti-wind farm campaigners and would not have to rely on government subsidies to be economically viable. He is earmarking about £10 million to set up the factory, and is negotiating with private backers to get the first tranche. He expects to have enough money in place to start the venture within six months.
Scotland on Sunday 19th Oct 2014 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Prudential is poised to become the key investor in a £1bn tidal power station, securing the future of the infrastructure project. The FTSE 100 insurer, through its investment arm M&G, is to inject up to £100m in the Swansea Bay Tidal power station. The insurer will be the cornerstone investor in the project, which is scheduled to open in 2018. The backing from Prudential means the project is now likely to get the go ahead.
Telegraph 18th Oct 2014 read more »
The Scottish Government’s wildlife watchdog ignored the advice of its own experts and bowed to political pressure to allow a nature conservation area to be damaged by opencast coal mining. A raft of internal emails released under Freedom of Information laws reveal that Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) was repeatedly told by its staff not to allow the expansion of the Grievehill mine in East Ayrshire because of the dangers it posed to golden plovers, short-eared owls and hen harriers.
Herald 19th Oct 2014 read more »
Christopher Booker: Who are potentially the most expensive man and woman in Britain, due over the next 36 years to cost this country £1.3 trillion, equivalent to our entire, ever-swelling National Debt? The man is Ed Miliband, who in 2008 pushed through the final version of the Climate Change Act. It made us the only country in the world legally committed between now and 2050 to cutting our emissions of CO2 by a staggering 80 per cent. Even then, the Government projected that this would cost us up to £734 billion. The latest figures from the EU and the International Energy Agency suggest that, for Britain to reach this target, it would now cost even more: £1,300 billion. Less well known, however, is the extraordinary story of how this most expensive Act ever put on the statute book originated in the first place. Google “Bryony Worthington YouTube” and you will see the video of a young climate activist, now known as Baroness Worthington, describing how she first conceived the idea of such a policy when she was campaigns director on climate change for Friends of the Earth.
Telegraph 18th Oct 2014 read more »