PLANS for a new £16bn nuclear power plant in Somerset which will create up to 25,000 jobs, came a step closure to fruition after the European Commission gave approval. The commission had been investigating whether the terms of the deal struck between French firm EDF and the Government constituted illegal state aid for the build of Hinkley C.
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 17th Oct 2014 read more »
Campaigners have issued a rallying cry in their battle against transport plans they claim will cause irreversible damage to communities in east Suffolk. Around 100 people attended Yoxford Village Hall on Thursday night to highlight fears about EDF Energy using the B1122 as its main road transport connection during the construction of Sizewell C. The route was said to be “totally unsuitable” for the volumes of traffic and would have a “huge impact” on the villages nearby. To galvanise efforts, campaign groups and parishes, which have been working separately, were urged to present a united front.
East Anglian Daily Times 18th Oct 2014 read more »
A Danish cargo ship carrying reprocessed radio-active waste from Dounreay via Scrabster harbour, which caused an emergency response off the north-east of Scotland, had visited Montrose earlier this year, writes Shipping Lines contributor John Aitken.
Montrose Review 18th Oct 2014 read more »
The Labour leader of Aberdeen council – and three other local authority chiefs in England – have written to UK Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to endorse ‘ambitious’ EU energy-efficiency targets to boost jobs and improve competitiveness. The letter from Councillor Jenny Laing was co-signed by her counterparts in Bristol, Leicester and Milton Keynes as part of the ‘Energy Cities’ lobbying ahead of this week’s EU Council of Ministers summit in Brussels. The four civic leaders want Cameron to drop his opposition to a binding energy-efficiency target before the summit on 23-24 October, which is meeting to discuss the EU’s proposed 2030 climate and energy framework, which calls for a 30% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030. Other measures in the package include a legally-binding 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and raising the share of renewables to 27% of the EU’s energy mix. Making the target binding would encourage investors to back the UK’s green economy, and create jobs in the energy efficiency industry, the leaders of four major cities said. Climate campaigners have also said that only a binding target would bring real results and spur low carbon innovation.
Scottish Energy News 20th Oct 2014 read more »
The EU’s plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has come under heavy assault as an increasing number of eastern European nations rally behind Poland’s threat to scupper a landmark climate deal this week. Failure to agree an emissions target at a summit on October 23-24 would damage the EU’s status as a leader on climate change and sap momentum for a global deal in Paris next year. The EU is proposing that nations should cut emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels but eastern European nations fear the proposed deal does not sufficiently compensate them for the expense of modernising their industries.
FT 19th Oct 2014 read more »
The Defence Ministry has written to me to confirm that the Atomic Weapons sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield remain on the list of possible sites to undertake work in connection with dismantling retired nuclear submarines. They are now consulting widely to decide which is the best site of the five on the shortlist. They will assess public opinion, the environmental impact, planning, costs and operational issues. Any constituent with a strong view either way on this work should set out their views to the Ministry of Defence. There will be public consultations on 18th November at the Burghfield Village Hall, Recreation Road and at the Community Sports Association in James Lane on 20 November and 22 January. The Aldermaston consultation which may also affect some of my constituents will be on 17 November at the AWE Recreational Society, Plantation Road on 17 November and on 22 November and 23 January at Tadley Community Centre, Newchurch Road.
John Redwoods Diary 19th Oct 2014 read more »
An MoD decision to rule out storing radioactive waste from old nuclear submarines in Devonport will “clean up” the image of the region, says a campaigner. Devonport in Plymouth had been on the long list of sites to keep intermediate level nuclear waste until a long-term storage solution comes into operation after 2040. The MoD has now named a shortlist of five sites – all outside the Westcountry. Tony Staunton, from the Plymouth branch of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), welcomed the news.
Western Morning News 19th Oct 2014 read more »
French President Francois Hollande has promised to limit the growth of the country’s nuclear power, many older reactors have been targeted for decommissioning, and Greenpeace and other environmental groups have been relentless in their anti-nuclear campaigning. But until now, it seemed unlikely that France would ever truly rethink its love affair with nuclear power. Last week, it did. On Oct. 10, France’s parliament voted to begin moving to undo decades of nuclear growth and to reduce its importance to the country’s energy mix. Over the next 11 years, France will reduce the amount of electricity coming from nuclear by one-quarter — from 75 percent to 50 percent. To do that, estimates are that as many as 20 of France’s 58 reactors would have to be closed.
Oil Price 19th Oct 2014 read more »
Center-right executive Henri Proglio will not be reappointed CEO of France’s state-owned utility Electricité de France (EDF) when his term runs out next month, and will be replaced by Jean-Bernard Lévy, who now runs defense electronics giant Thales Group. Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron announced the move, which would end a fairly acrimonious relationship between Proglio, known for his strong temper, and Socialist President François Hollande, who wants to reduce the proportion of nuclear power used to generate the country’s electricity.
Oil Price 17th Oct 2014 read more »
President Obama is prepared to act unilaterally and suspend sanctions on Iran in order to help resolve nuclear talks by a self-imposed November 24 deadline, according to a report. A senior White House official says, while the president lacks the power to lift the sanctions, he can and intends to suspend them in order to help negotiate away Iran’s power to build nuclear arms.
Daily Mail 20th Oct 2014 read more »
CND general secretary Kate Hudson reminded the government yesterday that a fair pay rise for workers could easily be delivered by cutting the millions splashed on unusable nuclear weapons. The anti-nuclear weapons campaigners launched their general election campaign drive to stop Trident’s renewal in 2016 at their annual conference in London yesterday.
Morning Star 20th Oct 2014 read more »
Angie Zelter: AT A time when the Scottish independence debate has highlighted the idiocy of spending mega-zillions on a Trident nuclear deterrent that is no such thing but rather a provocation to anyone crazed enough to target Faslane, this collection of 18 essays on the impact of nuclear weapons and militarisation from a British perspective is timely indeed. One’s only doubt is whether anyone in power will even pay attention.
Morning Star 20th Oct 2014 read more »
Renewables – biomass
Biofuels are controversial because they are often produced from food crops or grown on farmland, but a common algae found in abundance around coastlines and clogging up beaches may be the answer. It has often been used as a farmland fertilizer, and in some communities it is eaten as a vegetable, but now researchers believe that seaweed could power our cars and heat our homes too. One species of algae in particular, sugar kelp is exciting scientists from Norway. It grows prolifically along the country’s coasts and, as its name suggests, contains a lot of energy − about three times as much sugar as sugar beet. That makes it suitable for turning into food and fuel.
Climate New Network 19th Oct 2014 read more »
PLANS for Scotland’s oldest university to become the United Kingdom’s first carbon-neutral institution came a step closer this week – when plans for a biomass development at an old paper mill were approved. The St Andrews University is to invest £25 million in creating a green energy centre at the home of Curtis Fine Papers in Guardbridge. Since the mill shut in 2008, the 17.3 hectare site, which began as a distillery in the mid-1800s, has lain largely abandoned. Now the university has been given planning consent in principle to convert it into a sustainable power and research campus, which will help make Fife seat of learning the first carbon neutral university in the UK.
Scotsman 17th Oct 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
The Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, came under fire yesterday after branding solar farms “a blight on the landscape” and announcing plans to scrap subsidies for new developments. Campaigners accused Ms Truss, a Tory, of echoing the language and behaviour of her predecessor, Owen Paterson, who repeatedly clashed with renewable energy advocates by opposing wind farms and championing fracking while he was in office. Ms Truss, who took over from Mr Paterson in July, announced on Sunday that farmers will no longer be able to claim subsidies for filling fields with solar panels, in a government drive to ensure that more agricultural land is dedicated to crops and food.
Independent 19th Oct 2014 read more »
Farmers will no longer be able to claim an agricultural subsidy for solar panels on their land. Liz Truss, the environment secretary, said yesterday that she did not want to see farmland “blighted by solar farms”. The National Farmers’ Union said that the withdrawal of the subsidy, worth £100 an acre, would make no difference to the number of solar farms built. It added that few farmers claimed it and it was minor compared with other subsidies available for solar farms.
Times 20th Oct 2014 read more »
HOUSEHOLDERS are needlessly adding to their energy bills because of widespread myths about the most effective way to heat homes, a campaign group has warned. Of the four-fifths (78 per cent) of Britons who think they understand how to use their heating controls, more than half (52 per cent) turn up the thermostat during colder weather – an unnecessary move because the thermostat automatically compensates and increases indoor heat as outside temperatures fall. The survey, carried out for the Big Energy Saving Week campaign between the Energy Saving Trust (EST), Department of Energy and Climate Change and Citizens Advice, also found 38 per cent think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating constantly turned on at a low temperature – simply meaning the home is heated when there is no one there to benefit and too cold when people are inside. And more than a third (35 per cent) turn their room thermostat up when they want to heat the space faster, which only sends the temperature higher but no more quickly.
Scotsman 20th Oct 2014 read more »
Europe must put low-income households at the heart of its future policy to address a “growing energy divide”, a damning report from the charity National Energy Action (NEA) warns today. But this must not come at the expense of the environment, it added, ahead of a meeting of the region’s leaders later this week to decide Europe’s energy policy priorities until 2030. The move follows a recent call from the International Energy Agency, which highlighted that improving energy efficiency measures could save the European Union’s economy as much as €190bn (£150bn) a year as well as dramatically enhancing health and well-being.
Independent 20th Oct 2014 read more »
The Labour leadership’s support for fracking is starkly at odds with opinion among the party’s MPs and voters, according to two surveys that raise doubts about whether a future Labour government would back the emerging shale industry. More Labour MPs oppose fracking than support it, and women intending to vote Labour in next year’s general election are particularly concerned about its potential environmental impacts, with less than a quarter saying that hydraulic fracturing should be used to extract shale gas. Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, has made several supportive statements about fracking and is backing government plans to change the law to allow it to take place deep under people’s homes without their permission. However, only 32 per cent of Labour MPs support fracking, compared with 36 per cent who oppose it, according to a survey of 100 MPs by Dod s Monitoring. The remainder were undecided (26 per cent) or answered “don’t know” (6 per cent).
Times 20th Oct 2014 read more »