Good Energy: it’s not about technology anymore, it’s about people: Thriving eco energy firm founder Juliet Davenport on power through profit and growing prospects of challenging the Big Six. Throughout the discussion, whether we’re talking about the frustrations of politics – the fact that the more successful renewables become, the more politicised their use – or the impossibility of knowing just how much vested interests will work against you, Juliet Davenport maintains a brisk confidence, an expectant, infectious certainty that it’s all going to work out. “We don’t have to do it the same way as we’ve always done it. We can change the way we run our economy; we don’t have to run it the way we’re running it now. One of the biggest changes of a decentralised energy economy is that you wouldn’t have six big powers, you’d have lots of people, and we as a society need to get comfortable with that. My view is that it could happen very fast. It’s not about technology anymore. It’s about people.”
Guardian 20th May 2014 read more »
NFLA Letter: I AM pleased the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has finally allowed the publication of a public health report on the contaminated site around the beach at Dalgety Bay in Fife (“Radiation particles on beach are risk to public, says report”, The Herald, May 20). That it suppressed a report for six months which confirmed the radioactive particles found on the beach do pose a potential public health risk, with urgent remediation action required, is disgraceful. The Nuclear Free Local Authorities Scotland Forum (NFLA) finds that, across the nuclear industry, there is still an endemic lack of openness and transparency. In providing advice and assistance to Fife Council to ensure that public health and safety is at the core of the response to dealing with the radium contamination, the NFLA has been staggered by the attitude of the Ministry of Defence. As the health report points out, radium contamination was found at Dalgety Bay as long ago as 1990, and then only due to a routine survey carried out by the owners of the nearby Rosyth site. Previous reports suggest as many as 25 sites are of concern, which is bad enough, but are there others? How many other local communities risk the worry over radiation exposure, damage to the local environment and the challenge in dealing with a Government department in the MoD that has stalled at every stage of the cleaning up of the Dalgety Bay site? The MoD needs to start working now with local councils, environmental and public health agencies to assess all such sites and to deal with them in an effective fashion.
Herald 21st May 2014 read more »
Energy giant SSE faced calls to cut prices on Wednesday after announcing its group profits rose by 9.6pc to £1.55bn last year. Britain’s second-largest energy supplier raised prices for its 5m customers by 8.2pc last November, but said that profits from supplying households had actually fallen. Lower gas usage in the milder weather and higher costs led to a 32.2pc fall in operating profits in the energy supply division, to £246.2m.
Telegraph 21st May 2014 read more »
Times 21st May 2014 read more »
Like its predecessor summits, the recently concluded Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague acknowledged the role that nuclear material accounting can play in securing materials from unauthorized use. The emphasis of this and past initiatives, however, has been on improving national laws and regulations—and primarily in states without nuclear weapons. States have yet to develop comprehensive requirements that address the full scope of nuclear risks and that are meant to be adopted by all states—including nuclear weapons states.
Nuclear Security Matters 16th May 2014 read more »
May 26, an undisclosed year in the mid 1980s: Sheffield is devastated by a nuclear attack. Thousands in the city die instantly. Buildings are destroyed. A mushroom cloud forms above the Peak District. Survivors face a decade-long apocalyptic winter. This was the harrowing storyline for a BBC drama, written by South Yorkshire author Barry Hines and screened exactly 30 years ago, which traumatised a generation.
Sheffield Star 20th May 2014 read more »
US – radwaste
A leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico was likely caused by using the wrong sort of cat litter.
Chemical Engineer 20th May 2014 read more »
Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) has asked the government for a five-year extension to a license to build its next nuclear reactor, bringing new uncertainty to the politically-sensitive project. TVO’s existing project Olkiluoto 3, supplied by Areva and Siemens , has been hit by repeated delays and soaring costs and its estimated start-up has been pushed from 2009 to 2016. The parliament gave TVO the general permit for the next reactor, Olkiluoto 4, in 2010, asking the consortium to submit its construction plan in 2015. But TVO, whose biggest owners include paper companies UPM-Kymmene and Stora Enso as well as utility Fortum, said on Tuesday it was impossible for it to decide on Olkiluoto 4 on time due to the delays to the existing project.The government said it must now re-evaluate the whole project as Finland’s nuclear law does not recognise such permit extensions. Economic affairs minister Jan Vapaavuori said any extension would be shorter than the five years requested.
Reuters 20th May 2014 read more »
Economic Affairs Minister Jan Vapaavuori says government isn’t likely to make a decision on the construction of a nuclear power plant by the power consortium Fennovoima before August. Vapaavuori told Yle that the project is still important to the main government partner the National Coalition Party.
YLE 20th May 2014 read more »
While the international community has been focusing on a potential Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, another much larger issue looms large that should be tackled very urgently. Nobody, except for a few concerned neighbors in the Gulf, is really looking at the possible implications of a potential earthquake in Bushehr, where Iran’s oldest and main nuclear plant is located. Bushehr, a city of about 200,000, in south-east Iran, sits in one of the most active seismic regions in the world, at the intersection of three tectonic plates. Building a nuclear plant in this area should have been a no-no, but construction started in 1975 with the help of Germany. It was stopped in 1979, right before the Revolution that unseated the Shah. It was resumed in 1996, with Russia then leading the project that took over 15 years to complete because of the very difficult technical issues of merging German and Russian technology.
Conservative Home 20th May 2014 read more »
North Korea, which this month threatened to carry out a fourth nuclear test, may be closer than previously thought to putting a nuclear warhead on a missile, some experts say, making a mockery of years of U.N. sanctions aimed at curbing such a programme.
Reuters 20th May 2014 read more »
The world’s first community-owned tidal power turbine has started producing electricity for the local grid. The turbine will power up to 30 homes, a locally owned ice plant, and Cullivoe Harbour Industrial Estate on Yell, in the Shetland Islands. The turbine is fixed on the seabed at a depth of more than 100ft and is designed to turn as the tide flows past it, driving a generator and producing electricity that is transmitted onshore via a 1km-long subsea table. It has been developed by Leith-based tidal energy company Nova Innovation and is wholly owned by the North Yell Development Council (NYDC), a company limited by guarantee and a charity.
Business Green 21st May 2014 read more »
Renewables – floating turbines
Scotland is officially in the running to host the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, in a move that supporters claim could drastically cut the cost of offshore wind energy. According to reports, Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd, a joint venture between start up Pilot Offshore Renewables and engineering giant Atkins, submitted plans late last week for an eight turbine project that would be moored in waters up to 80 metres deep at a site 12.9 kilometres from the Aberdeenshire coast.
Business Green 20th May 2014 read more »
The UK’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) plants must be fast-tracked and get the go-ahead within a year, according to a report from MPs. It describes the technology, which traps the carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning and buries it, as “vital to limit climate change”.
Guardian 21st May 2014 read more »
The government is making a mess of developing carbon capture and storage in the UK, according to a committee of MPs. In a new report, the House of Commons’ energy and climate change committee says carbon capture and storage (CCS) has the potential to be a “game changer in efforts to tackle climate change”. It could – in theory – allow some continued use of fossil fuels while staying within carbon budgets. But funding bungles and policy uncertainty have resulted in a “lost decade” for the CCS industry, the MPs say. The report implores policymakers to learn from past mistakes and “fast track” existing CCS projects.
Carbon Brief 21st May 2014 read more »
Flipping through the UK government’s Energy Saving Trust website highlights the substantial savings households and business have available if they simply used energy more efficiently. This simple idea of doing the same things you do everyday but with less energy is the first and easiest steps in rebuilding our energy systems to be more sustainable. Investing in this idea can be done today and in a sensible fashion. We highlight three energy efficiency areas that are making a huge difference in the way we consume energy and are investable today. The potential energy savings are enormous by switching to LEDs. The US Department of Energy estimated that their country consumes 450 terawatt hours of electricity through incandescent and linear fluorescent lights (office ceiling lights). We estimate that switching all these lights to LEDs could save 228 terawatt hours of electricity annually.
Renew Economy 21st May 2014 read more »
Ready for Retrofit, the programme run by the Energy Saving Trust has today signed contacts worth 0ver £660,000 to two Social Housing Associations in the South West. The programme, which awards funding to social housing suppliers to retrofit their properties with energy efficiency or micro generation measures confirmed the awards to Alliance Homes and Westward Housing Group. Jon Rattenbury, Ready for Retrofit Manager said: “These schemes are exactly the type of project Ready for Retrofit is here to support. We want to see tenants benefiting from cheaper energy bills, a reduction in the risk of fuel poverty, whilst also saving on CO2 emissions.” Alliance Homes in Bristol have been given £503,056 to retrofit measures make its challenging properties in the Portishead area more energy efficient. Including the funding, Alliance Homes will invest a total of £819,081 to improve 63 properties that currently suffer high wind exposure and fabric issues, resulting in high fuels costs. Installations will include solid wall insulation, loft top up’s for top floor flats and bungalows, LED lighting as well as replacement of gas boilers and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems.
Energy Saving Trust 20th May 2014 read more »
The latest statistics on the Government’s troubled flagship energy efficiency scheme revealed that 22,005 were completed by the end of April – the second highest number lodged in any month to date – but down on the March total of 25,138. A total of 439 additional Green Deal plans entered the system, bringing the total up to 2,439 at the end of April 2014.
Utility Week 20th May 2014 read more »
The government has today published the latest monthly figures on take-up for its Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) schemes, confirming the energy efficiency initiatives are maintaining their recent momentum. However, the figures, which show the number of households with Green Deal plans in progress has risen just over 20 per cent from 2,000 at the end of March to 2,439 at the end of last month, are unlikely to satisfy critics who have accused both schemes of failing to deliver the scale of energy efficiency improvements that was originally envisaged.
Business Green 20th May 2014 read more »
Shell has hit back at claims that its multi-billion dollar investments in tar sands, fracking and other unconventional oil and gas exploration will create a “carbon bubble” which may backfire catastrophically because of expected global climate change legislation. Previous research by economists, campaigners, and MPs has suggested that the majority of coal, oil and gas reserves of publicly listed companies, including Shell, are “unburnable” if the world is to have a chance of not exceeding global warming of 2C, the level governments have agreed to limit rises to. That is leading to a so-called carbon bubble, an overvaluation of oil companies’ financial value, they have said. But in a 20 page response to its shareholders who are meeting on Tuesday in The Hague, Netherlands, for the company’s annual meeting, Shell strongly refutes the criticism that it is vulnerable to such a bubble.
Guardian 20th May 2014 read more »