New Nuclear – Scotland
RUTH Davidson has been criticised for committing her party to building two new nuclear power stations in Scotland without giving their cost or saying how they would be paid for. The Scottish Conservative leader included the pledge among a package of environmental measures designed to protect the environment and tackle climate change. The Global Challenge, Local Leadership policy paper said the Tories were the only pro-nuclear Scottish party and promised to support “new nuclear power plants at Hunterston and Torness”. Published to mark Scottish Environment Week, the Tory paper said natural resources could not be used at the current “unsustainable” rate, and more must be done to cut fossil fuel use. An SNP spokesperson: “Considering the eye-watering bills the public face for the Hinkley Point vanity project in England – which could cost the taxpayer as much as £37bn – it’s staggering that the Tories want their own white elephants nuclear projects in Scotland without any detail on when, where, how or who will pay. “The Tories have an appalling record on the environment. If Ruth Davidson wants to be taken seriously, she should call on her Westminster colleagues to fulfil their broken promise on Carbon Capture investment and to reverse their cuts to support for renewable energy.” Green MSP Mark Ruskell MSP said the Tory proposals were cynical “greenwash”. He said: “The frackers’ friends, the Tories, have no environmental credentials.
Herald 23rd Feb 2017 read more »
Scotsman 23rd Feb 2017 read more »
Express 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
STV 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
The Scottish Conservative party has launched a major new policy on energy and the environment – in a move that could replace parts of the SNP-Govt’s own draft Scottish Energy Strategy, while dove-tailing with other parts of it. Proposals include: A step change in support for BPVs (battery powered vehicles), including incentives for electric car ownership – such as free town centre parking and allowing use of bus and taxi lanes; a new fund to expand BPV charging points across Scotland and urges public bodies to consider electric vehicle ownership; A target to ensure 50 per cent of Scotland’s energy comes from renewables by 2030, with individual targets for heat, transport and electricity sectors; Support for nuclear as part of a low carbon economy – with new plants at Torness and Hunterston; New developments to maximise solar energy capture and install heat pumps in design considerations; Backing for 10 per cent of all the Scottish Government’s capital budget to be spent on energy efficiency measures – with the aim of ensuring all homes are energy efficient by 2030.
Scottish Energy News 23rd Feb 2017 read more »
Free town-centre parking for electric cars, the creation of new nuclear power plants and a target for half of Scotland energy to be produced by renewables are among Scottish Conservatives’ plans to protect the environment and tackle climate change.
Energy Voice 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
A CAMPAIGN group fighting against a new power station at Bradwell has met with a council to reaffirm its opposition to the plans. Representatives from the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group held a meeting with Colchester council leader Paul Smith and deputy leader Tim Young last month. Colchester Council has confirmed it continues to oppose a new power station at Bradwell in accordance with a motion passed unanimously by the council in February 2008. The council has also agreed to write to the Environment Agency to support BANNG’s opposition to the latest proposals to discharge some waste into the Blackwater Estuary.
Maldon Standard 21st Feb 2017 read more »
The first block of concrete has been removed from the structure of one of Dounreay’s cooling ponds – representing a major first step in demolishing the redundant giant chamber. The pond is one of two concrete pits, six metres deep, which was used to store spent fuel from the Dounreay Fast Reactor (DFR). When in operation they resembled deep swimming pools, containing around 500m³ of water, providing shielding for workers from radiation emitted from spent fuel. They have now been drained of water and sludge, while redundant equipment has been removed. There are around 180 blocks of concrete, individually weighing around one tonne, to be removed from each pond and packaged as waste.
DSRL 16th Feb 2017 read more »
Professor Derek Abbott, a physicist and electrical engineer at the University of Adelaide, Australia, shows why the pipedreams of the pro-nuclear propagandists are precisely that. Using a wealth of empirical data illustrating global trends, he ably debunks the pro—nuclear arguments. Beyond Nuclear summarizes some of Prof. Abbotts’ key points: On China: “Nuclear apologists point to China as a role model that is actively building a number of NPPs. The fact is that China has built $160 billion in overcapacity of coal plants that are unused. Will their NPPs [nuclear power plants), which are presently under construction, become similarly redundant? By contrast, in 2015, China invested five times more in renewables than nuclear power. These nuclear projects will take many years to complete, whereas renewables are deployed and put to immediate use.”
Shut Down Sizewell 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
France’s Areva and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) have signed a framework agreement for industrial and commercial cooperation in the nuclear fuel cycle.
World Nuclear News 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Tim Farron has written on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland to the Director of Public Health Cumbria County Council Colin Cox, Regarding construction of Moorside and “Population Mixing.” “Population mixing” is a red herring used to explain the up to 20 times (Maryport) and 10 times (Seascale) acknowledged excess in cancers on the West Coast of Cumbria. IF the government will not take responsibility for radioactive emissions as a cause of excess cancer then it must take responsibility for its belief that “population mixing” is the cause of excess cancers. The public should be warned. Radiation Free Lakeland has written to all the prospective parliamentary candidates for Copeland on this crucial matter of public health- not one has replied.
Radiation Free Lakeland 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has issued a sharply worded attack on the UK government’s green agenda, warning the government is backsliding on its climate commitments and calling for urgent action to spur green growth. Farron, who was speaking this morning at the London offices of the think tank Policy Exchange, accused the government of failing to “see the business opportunity of investing in a low carbon economy” and called on the UK to lead the low-carbon transition by embracing a new era of Victorian-style infrastructure investment. The Lib Dem leader said his party are putting together a plan to show how such emissions reductions can be achieved – dubbed the Liberal Democrat roadmap to a Zero Carbon Britain. The strategy will include reform of agriculture and land use, increasing protections of natural forestry and peat, electrifying the transport industry and phasing out diesel cars, boosting clean heating and supporting better climate risk disclosure in the financial industry, he said. Farron also backed plans for the UK’s first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, and said his party would commit to a “whole programme of tidal lagoons”, with up to 10 being constructed over the next two decades. The government is currently considering whether to press ahead with the Swansea tidal project, after a government review into tidal energy led by former energy minister Charles Hendry backed the scheme last month.
Business Green 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Edie 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Britain’s energy market is a “mess” and ministers must decide if they want a competitive system or to move to full price regulation, according to ScottishPower, one of the “big six” UK utility companies. The group, owned by Spanish companyÂ Iberdrola, is urging UK ministers for clarity: do they want a competitive market where companies are free to increase or lower their prices, or do they want to move to a regulated price – as in other countries, including Spain. “Either believe in the competitive market or have a regulated market, a halfway house is a mess,” Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer of ScottishPower, told the Financial Times.
FT 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Increases in energy bills can be explained in some cases, the head of Britain’s energy regulator has said, as MPs expressed fury at recent price rises by some of the “big six” utility companies. Dermot Nolan, head of Ofgem, said on Wednesday that there “can be explanations for price increases by specific companies”, as he was probed by MPs on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee for reasons behind recent hikes by the likes of Npower. Mr Nolan had previously said there was no “obvious” reason why household energy bills should climb in the near term, given that most of the big utility companies have 18-24 month hedging strategies that protect them from sharp rises in wholesale gas and electricity prices. Since then, two further companies, NPower and ScottishPower have announced price increases. EDF Energy said in Decemb er that it would raise electricity prices in March for customers on a standard variable tariff. Around two thirds of British households are on standard rates, Some companies may be less efficient than others and, therefore, less able to absorb rises in external costs, Mr Nolan told MPs. The costs of Npower, which earlier this month announced a near 10 per cent rise in energy bills for around half of its customers, “may well be higher than many other companies”, he said, adding that the utility was “not profitable last year”. However, he admitted that it was hard for him to judge the exact reasons behind Npower’s increases, which sparked a political and consumer backlash.
FT 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
RWE unveiled a loss of 5.7bn euros for 2016 and scrapped its dividend for the second consecutive year as the crisis in Germany’s energy sector deepened. The annual loss was largely due to a massive writedown of 4.3bn euros on its German power plants, as well as assets in the UK, Netherlands and Turkey. The announcement on the dividend comes almost a year to the day after it scrapped its payout for 2015. However, the utility said it expected to be able to pay a dividend of â‚¬0.50 per share for 2017 and at least maintain that level in subsequent years. In early morning trading in Frankfurt the shares were down 1.9 per cent at 13.25 euros. Like other German utilities, RWE has been hit hard by the country’s Energiewende, its radical shift away from nuclear and fossil fuels towards renewables. Energy generated from wind and solar has squeezed conventional power out of the market, leaving many coal and gas plants struggling to turn a profit.
FT 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Europe now consumes less energy … than in 1990. If the European Union’s gross energy consumption decreases, dependence on imported fossil fuels has increased over the past 25 years.
Challenges 20th Feb 2017 read more »
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano commended the United Kingdom for its support of the Agency’s work, particularly in the areas of nuclear security and applications, during a two-day visit to London this week. Mr Amano held talks with senior officials including Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Jesse Norman, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Industry and Energy. They discussed the role of nuclear science and technology in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and strengthening the collaboration between the IAEA and the UK.
IAEA 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Public support for China’s nuclear-energy programme plummeted after Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011. So far, however, there have been no reported protests against a proposed nuclear power plant in Zhangzhou in southeast China. Other nations could learn from the strategy used by the authorities to make this project acceptable to the public. After announcing the proposal in October last year, China’s National Nuclear Corporation and the regional government engaged with local communities to communicate the planning issues and improve transparency. They also offered support for potential job seekers and for local enterprises. These efforts were spurred by the suspension two months earlier of a proposed nuclear plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, in response to public outcry.
Nature 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
The two EPR units under construction at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China’s Guangdong province will not enter commercial operation until the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018, respectively. This is some six months later than originally scheduled.
World Nuclear News 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Trump and the Republican Party need an issue and a policy that has strong support among all Americans. Climate change and a carbon tax fit the bill perfectly.
Guardian 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Dramatic cost reductions mean wind and solar can now compete on price with conventional sources of energy in many parts of the world, including the UK. This turns the spotlight onto the so-called “whole system costs” of integrating renewables into the electricity system, which include backing up intermittent generation and strengthening grids. In a report published this week, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) reviews the latest evidence, finding that these costs are “modest” – probably of the order of £10 per megawatt hour (MWh), even if wind and solar double their output from today. But the UK needs to keep investing and upgrading its electricity grid, regardless of the mix of generating technologies. A more flexible grid would help secure electricity supplies and keep the integration costs of renewables to a minimum, offering savings of up to £8bn per year by 2030.
Carbon Brief 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
The UK government must act urgently to support greater flexibility in the country’s power system or risk escalating system costs, the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has warned. The UKERC has today updated a decade-old report assessing the added costs and impacts that variable electricity generators such as wind and solar have on the grid, concluding that those costs stand to be restricted by greater network flexibility. The centre’s initial report in 2006 found that network costs for renewable penetration of around 20% would be minimal at an estimated £10/MWh in 2015 terms. But these estimates have looked increasingly out of date as countries are forced to adopt more ambitious renewable energy targets. The UK has repeatedly set new records for renewable generation in recent quarters.
Solar Portal 21st Feb 2017 read more »
Renewables – marine energy
Leaders of the marine energy industry and MPs from across the main UK political spectrum are calling for wave and tidal power to be included in the British government’s new industrial strategy. This follows today’s publication of the new ‘Ocean Energy Race’ report on the industry by RenewableUK which highlights the value of the marine energy industry to the UK in terms of economic growth. The R-UK call also follows publication last month of the Scot-Govt’s draft Scottish Energy Strategy. In this, the Scot-Govt. vows to ‘support the future development of marine energy in Scotland’ and pledges to “work with the sector to demonstrate strong industrial potential of marine energy and to press for continued UK Government support”. The wave and tidal sector is providing jobs and attracting millions of pounds in investment to some of the areas of the UK which need them most – such as the Highlands and Islands.
Scottish Energy News 23rd Feb 2017 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Ambitious plans have been drawn up for a network of “tidal lagoons” around the UK coast that could provide up to a quarter of the country’s electricity – and there is potential to roll out the technology in many parts of the world. Tidal lagoons work by using a wall to capture a body of water in the sea or a tidal estuary pushed in on the rising tide. The water drives turbines as the tide comes in, and then, as the tide falls, the turbines are reversed and the energy from the falling tide is harnessed again. The technology is not without its drawbacks. Artificial lagoons can cause increased silting-up of shipping lanes. Tidal estuaries are also important for wading birds, marine mammals and migratory fish, and conservation groups have warned that the ecological impacts of tidal lagoons are not well understood and that any roll-out of lagoons in the UK should be conditional on the Swansea project being tried and tested. Backers of the technology say management practices can be adapted to address such concerns – and they point out that lagoons can provide environmental benefits, acting as artificial reefs for marine wildlife. The UK government is expected to announce a final decision on the Swansea Bay project within the next few months.
Climate News Network 22nd Feb 2017 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
SCOTTISH Power chief Keith Anderson has underlined the company’s desire to continue investing in Scotland and indicated it was unconcerned by the prospect of a second independence referendum in the country. Noting the Spanish-owned utility is developing eight onshore windfarms in Scotland amid record construction activity, Mr Anderson said: “In terms of renewables in Scotland we are still bringing things through the planning system because we still think there’s a way of developing onshore renewables.”While some people have complained wind farms require hefty subsidies, Mr Anderson said Scottish Power is confident they can be developed without requiring greater support than other forms of generation. He appears confident the right mechanisms are likely to remain in place in Scotland.
Herald 23rd Feb 2017 read more »
Demand Side Management
The Sunshine tariff project testing the ability of time of use (ToU) tariffs to promote domestic demand side response (DSR) has been completed with mixed results, suggesting homeowners are not able to shift enough demand to offset the need for grid upgrades. The trial, which ran over 1 April – 30 September 2016, offered participants a smart meter and a reduced tariff rate of 5p/kWh between 10am-4pm compared to 18p/kWh for the remaining hours. These ‘Sunshine hours’ were chosen as they were closest to the income received by a solar generator through the feed-in tariff and therefore could create a greater sense of connection between the customer and the solar farm. The results of the joint project between Western Power Distribution (WPD), Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network, Tempus Energy and Regen SW showed that those on the Sunshine Tariff on average shifted 10% of their demand compared to the control group. The analysis states that in order to offset the generation from a 250kW solar farm approximately 650 Sunshine Tariff customers would be required, around 20% of the homes in Wadebridge where the trial took place. The group of households using automation technology were able to shift 13% of their consumption into the 10am – 4pm period compared to 5% for those without automation, suggesting just 360 Sunshine Tariff customers would be required to offset generation from the same size solar farm. While this demonstrates the potential of automated control technology in shifting electricity consumption to the middle of the day, the project showed that domestic DSR is only able to shift limited demand.
Solar Portal 20th Feb 2017 read more »