26 January 2016

Hinkley

A French union has published a set of last-minute challenges to EDF over its plans to build an £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with just days to go before an expected final investment decision. People close to the deal said they expected the decision about whether the project would go ahead to happen at a board meeting on Wednesday. EDF declined to comment. The CFE-CGC energy union, which is represented on EDF’s board, has drawn up a list of 15 questions it says have yet to be answered. The list includes an expression of serious concern about the plant’s viability and what it might cost the company, and is the latest sign of worries about a deal that has attracted criticism in the UK and France. The document reveals that the Infrastructure UK arm of the government has attached a BB+ credit rating to the project – below investment grade – reflecting worries in Whitehall that it might not be completed. The Treasury did not respond to a request to comment. Among the questions from the French union are several asking what happens if the project, which has been delayed many times already, is not built before 2025, as planned. The union expressed concern that “significant” financial issues related to the Hinkley plant could “put EDF in danger” in the long term. It asked: “What is the rationale for starting construction on two EPRs, at the same site, in such a short period of time?” Given that the other projects appeared to be taking 10-15 years to build, its asked of Hinkley Point: “How can EDF estimate a construction time of nine years?” Much of the concern in France about the project focuses on how EDF plans to pay for the reactor while continuing to pay its dividend. A report this month in the French business newspaper Les Echos suggested that EDF’s finance for Hinkley Point could come from selling stakes in eight other British nuclear plants, for more than 6bn euros. The company, which has 37bn euro net debt, has some huge investments to make in the coming decades, including an estimated 55bn euros to increase the life expectancy of the 58 nuclear plants in France from their current 40 years to 50. It is also taking a majority stake in Areva’s 2.5bn euros reactor business, which some close to the company said they expected also to be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting. Last week, EDF, which faces increased competition and difficult markets in France, announced plans to cut 5 per cent of its staff over the next three years. It said that it was planning cost cuts of 700m euros by 2018. Francis Raillot, representative of the CFE-CGC, declined to comment on the meeting on Wednesday and which way the union representative would vote, but said that key questions about Hinkley had “still not been answered” by the management. One person close to the deal said he expected the vote to still be carried but that it could be delayed. “We have been here before,” the person said. “I wouldn’t bet my mortgage on the final investment decision being this week, even though that is what the company has been gearing up for.” John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace, which opposes nuclear power, said: “It is shocking to think that both EDF and the UK government are determined to push ahead with a project that EDF’s own staff say is too risky and too expensive, potentially threatening the survival of the company.”

FT 26th Jan 2016 read more »

The final decision on whether the controversial Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is expected to be made on Wednesday in Paris – with French energy firm EDF wrestling with last-minute jitters over the project. The uncertainty over whether Hinkley C will get the ‘Final Investment Decision’ (FID) go-ahead looks like going right to the moment the board of the state-owned French energy giants meet tomorrow, with conflicting developments even in the past few days. Last week, French regulators delayed a decision on what to do about ‘very serious’ weaknesses detected in the pressure vessel of a nuclear reactor being built at Flamanville in Normandy – one of only two other nuclear stations of the same design under construction in Europe. That uncertainty means the design for Hinkley C still can’t shake off its question marks. The Flamanville plant is five years behind its own schedule and the costs of building it have trebled – something EDF’s board would not want to repeat. Two reactor projects of the same design in China are also thought to be over-running while Europe’s only other one, in Finland, will soon be ten years overdue. In France, the decision has become a political one, with commentators and politicians calling for EDF to backtrack and reports in Paris claiming EDF’s board was ‘panicking’ over the issue.

Western Daily Press 25th Jan 2016 read more »

IT could herald the beginning the Burnham and Highbridge boom. This week EDF are set to announce the start of the massive investment at Hinkley C with a corresponding investment in businesses across Somerset. Hinkley Point officials remain guarded about reports that the Final Investment Decision (FID) is to be made at a board meeting of EDF directors on January 27. Reports in the French media and the trade press suggest that an announcement of giving the project the green light will be made soon after the get-together although officially the company will only say the FID will be made “soon.” Hinkley have insisted the plan is on track with a number of steps that needed to be completed following the investment decision was taken in last autumn and nothing had changed. That view has also been challenged by the main opposition group to the Hinkley C. Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: “I’ll believe it when I see it. This is the ninth time EDF has said a final investment decision is imminent. Just last October the chairman of EDF, Jean-Bernard Levy, said work would be starting before the end of 2015. It would be completely reckless of the Board to give the go-ahead to this £25 billion project when the Company is in such a parlous state.”

This is the West Country 25th Jan 2016 read more »

The starting gun for Hinkley C could be fired this week. In a ‘make up our minds’ meeting this week Then the biggest business bonanza in Bridgwater’s history will finally begin.

This is the West Country 25th Jan 2016 read more »

These photographs around the area of Hinkley Point were taken by Jacob Dear from Burnham who is studying photography at degree level at Weston College.

This is the West Country 25th Jan 2016 read more »

PLYMOUTH businesses are invited to a major summit to learn how they can benefit from the construction of the proposed £18billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. Devon Chamber of Commerce will host the event on Tuesday, February 2, at Plymouth Science Park. Speakers will highlight the opportunities the planned Hinkley Point C offers to the Devon economy, and update those present on the project. Construction of the Somerset power station will be led by French firm EDF, with one-third of the investment cash coming from China.

Plymouth Herald 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Bradwell

AN MP has visited the site of a proposed new nuclear power station. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport John Whittingdale was shown the possible site for Bradwell B along with MEP Vicky Ford. Power company EDF Energy signed the heads of terms with China General Nuclear Power Corporation for the new power station last October. The Chinese company will provide two thirds of the development costs and hope to begin construction by 2023. The pair also visited the current Bradwell power station which is being decommissioned.

Essex Gazette 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Energy Supplies

Tens of billions of pounds worth of investment in power stations, wind farms and other critical energy projects needed to guarantee reliable electricity supplies are in jeopardy because of a failure by ministers to reach key policy decisions, the CBI has warned. In a letter released today by the business lobby group, and seen in advance by The Times, it argues that Britain is facing the threat of a supply crunch because of a shortage of investment and uncertainty around the future subsidies available for low carbon power. The letter, released a day before Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general, meets Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, tomorrow to discuss a looming power generation crunch, calls for stronger leadership, faster decision-making and an end to unnecessary and burdensome red tape to prevent a collapse in investment. “UK industrial firms already pay higher electricity costs than EU competitors, and spare capacity on our grid is getting squeezed out as we phase out older power stations,” says the letter, which is co-signed by 18 executives from some of Britain’s biggest companies, including ScottishPower, Ineos, Tata Steel and BOC. “Getting the investment we need to address this requires clear leadership and stable policy from government. We need more of this in 2016.” The open letter to the government, which suggests that ministers have been dragging their heels on key decisions, comes as a study published separately today by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers reveals the scale of Britain’s impending energy shortage. It suggests that by 2025 the UK could be facing an electricity supply gap of up to 55 per cent because of the planned closure of ageing coal and nuclear plants.

Times 26th Jan 2016 read more »

CBI Letter: The way we power our economy is being transformed. Building on the ambition of the recent Paris Agreement, much more of our energy will come from renewable and other lower-carbon sources. New technologies will also change how we store and use the power they provide. This transition is being led by businesses, who have increased the UK’s use of renewable energy for our electricity supply from 11% to 25% in just three years. Companies are also investing to improve their energy efficiency, and to help consumers manage their electricity costs and reduce overall energy demand – installing smart meters in millions of homes across the UK. But for business and household bill-payers, we need to make this transition while keeping costs affordable and our energy supply secure. UK industrial firms already pay higher electricity costs than EU competitors, and spare capacity on our grid is getting squeezed as we phase out older power stations.

Times 26th Jan 2016 read more »

The UK is facing an unprecedented “energy gap” in a decade’s time, according to engineers, with demand for electricity likely to outstrip supply by more than 40%, which could lead to black outs. New policies to stop unabated coal-fired power generation by 2025, and the phasing out of ageing nuclear reactors without plans in place to build a new fleet of gas-fired electricity plants, will combine to create a supply crunch, according to a new study. “Under current [government] policy, it is almost impossible for UK electricity demand to be met by 2025,” said Jenifer Baxter , head of energy and environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which published the report, entitled Engineering th e UK’s Electricity Gap, on Tuesday. As many as 30 new gas-fired power stations are likely to be needed to make up the supply deficit, according to the report, but these are not being built. Reforms to the electricity market brought in under the previous coalition government are also not helping to encourage construction. Attempts to encourage energy efficiency, such as the “green deal” to insulate houses, which was scrapped, have not been enough. Although a new nuclear reactor could be built at Hinkley Point by 2025, there is little chance of any more being constructed by that date. In addition, the government has slashed subsidies for onshore wind and solar power, making future growth in those energy sources doubtful. The government has also abandoned plans for pioneering carbon capture and storage technology, which could have given an extension to some coal-fired power plants.

Guardian 26th Jan 2016 read more »

DAVID Cameron’s decision to close coal-fired electricity stations and scale back nuclear investment will lead to massive power shortages and hike energy bills over the next decade, industry leaders have warned. Growing electricity demand will leave the UK facing a 40 per cent to 55 per cent electricity supply gap, according to a new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Northern Echo 26th Jan 2016 read more »

Express & Star 26th Jan 2016 read more »

Energy Voice 26th Jan 2016 read more »

Energy Live News 26th Jan 2016 read more »

Radwaste – WIPP

Settlement agreements worth $74 million have been finalized by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors, resolving claims related to incidents at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in 2014. Operations are now expected to restart at WIPP in December 2016.

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Cybersecurity

Letter Ed Lyman: The Nuclear Threat Initiative’s security index rightly criticizes other countries for failing to address the threat of cyberattack against their nuclear facilities but overlooks the failings of our own country. The report assigns the United States a perfect cybersecurity score, although the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not require nuclear fuel production facilities, some possessing bomb-usable materials, to have comprehensive programs to protect against cyberattack. The N.R.C. is working on such a rule, but it may not be in place for years. The Nuclear Energy Institute, the United States nuclear industry’s chief trade association, questions the need for such a requirement, maintaining that voluntary industry efforts will suffice. The institute has also petitioned the N.R.C. to weaken cybersecurity rules already on the books for nuclear power plants. The fourth Nuclear Security Summit, whose goal is to prevent nuclear terrorism, will be held in Washington this spring. To improve its chances, the United States should not just lecture other countries but also set an example.

New York Times 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Letter: Stimson Center’s Managing Across Boundaries Initiative; Ms. Rauhut a nonresident fellow in Vienna, and Ms. Decker senior adviser.The lack of cybersecurity regulations is in fact a small piece of a larger problem that the initiative notes. There are no internationally binding standards or related regulations at all in nuclear security. Cyber is the tip of an iceberg that is melting fast. Nuclear facilities are exposed to risks — from hackers to ISIS — that were not in our lexicon when many facilities were built. This lack of understanding of new and emerging threats and corresponding underspending in security are pervasive. While cybersecurity is one area that needs addressing, we need an integrated approach that considers all aspects of nuclear security and facility operations. Overreliance on governments or intergovernmental institutions to solve these problems will fall short. Industry — from operators to suppliers to insurers and financiers — must be part of the solution.

New York Times 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Terror

Former NATO expert Hamish de Bretton Gordon warned blueprints for the complex components could fall into the hands of ISIS and North Korea. Rogue nations and terrorists could build parts for a nuclear bomb using 3D printers, a leading weapons expert has warned. Information for the complex components needed for a nuclear weapon could fall into the hands of ISIS and North Korea. The sale of items such as centrifuges, which separate uranium into the different parts needed to create a nuclear weapon, are tightly controlled by the International Atomic Energy Commission. But experts fear such technology could spread across the globe as blueprints needed to print specialist parts are shared between rogue states, criminal gangs or terrorists, becoming impossible to regulate.

Mirror 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Nearly 200 officers will be made redundant over the next four years as the Government decommissions nuclear facilities. Andrea Leadsom, minister of state at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, announced that the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) will face a 16 per cent reduction in officer numbers. The change will see its establishment of officers fall from 1,113 to 931. However, she said it was a temporary measure that will reverse as “new nuclear facilities come on line”.

Police Professional 25th Jan 2016 read more »

ONR

The former perm sec of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has taken up a part-time post with the independent watchdog overseeing the nuclear industry. Bronwyn Hill, who stepped down as Defra perm sec in July last year, will serve as a non-executive board member at the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) on a part-time, paid basis. Announcing the appointment, the ONR said Hill would bring “a wide range of experience and expertise in the delivery of infrastructure and services” to the regulator, which is a statutory body funded by the nuclear industry but reporting to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Civil Service 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Levy Control Framework

Last July, the UK government started to roll back support for renewable energy, citing forecasts of cost overruns and the need to keep down household bills. New projections showed the Levy Control Framework (LCF) cap for low-carbon support would be breached, the government said. Yet it has never published the details of its updated calculations, despite the multi-billion pound implications for the direction of UK energy investment. Carbon Brief has pursued a long-running Freedom of Information (FOI) request in an attempt to shed light on the pivotal forecasts. DECC and the Treasury released just two emails in response to Carbon Brief’s FOI request. (We have complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office over this limited release.) Following the email release, our 5 January article contained five questions on the LCF overspend for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which has now responded (see below). Nevertheless, a series of crucial questions on the LCF remain unanswered. The LCF is interlinked with most major decisions on the UK’s energy future, giving these questions extra significance. Apart from Carbon Brief, some of the “big six” top energy suppliers, the UK energy industry’s trade association, renewable energy trade organisations, energy market analysts, opposition MPs, the National Audit Office and others have all called for greater transparency on the LCF. For example, in October 2015 major energy supplier E.On said: The evidence around cost overruns of the LCF is questionable and not transparent; publication of detailed analysis of the status of the LCF should be a priority.

Carbon Brief 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Plutonium

In a well-planned but secretive and controversial mission the world has heard little about, two armed ships left the UK to sail around the world to Japan. The purpose of this clandestine mission is to bring a consignment of plutonium to the U.S. As the world’s stockpiles of plutonium continue to increase, in the early morning hours of January 19, two armed ships, the Barrow ships Pacific Egret and Pacific Heron, moved from the Ramsden Dock nuclear terminal, headed on a round-the-world voyage to Japan. The two ships are nuclear fuel carriers fitted with naval cannon on their decks. They are operated by Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd, which ultimately is owned by the British government. On board both ships are heavily armed members of a security squad provided by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary’s Strategic Escort Group. Their mission is secretive and controversial, and with good reason. Once the ships get to Japan, they will be loading some 331 kilograms (730 pounds) of highly fissionable and toxic plutonium. The amount is small, considering that Japan has at least 47 tons of the stuff stored at the Nuclear Science Research Institute northeast of Tokyo, according to a comment in the Japan Today. Once loaded, the two ships will make their way to the U.S. port of Charleston and onwards to the Savannah River site in South Carolina, says EcoWatch. Digital Journal readers may remember the Savannah River Site was featured in a story about antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Dec. 2015. The site is owned by the Department of Energy and has been closed to the public for some time.

Digital Journal 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Emergency Planning

ISLANDERS have not been issued with anti-radiation tablets like residents near Normandy’s Flamanville nuclear power plant because only a ‘Chernobyl-sized’ disaster would affect Jersey, the Chief Minister has said. It was recently revealed that residents living within 10 km of the power plant would receive a batch of potassium iodide tablets as part of a nuclear safety programme launched by French authorities. The pills protect the thyroid glands against the effects of radiation in the event of a nuclear accident. Jersey lies just 40 km from the Flamanville and two backbench politicians, Deputy Jeremy Maçon and Deputy Mike Higgins, tabled written questions to the States asking what safety measures were in place for the Island.

Jersey Evening Post 25th Jan 2016 read more »

R&D

Innovate UK is investing up to £1.5million in technical feasibility studies to encourage new entrants to the energy sector and stimulate the adoption of disruptive technologies. Further funding of up to £500,000 is also available from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for support of relevant projects. The aim of this competition is to find radical, innovative and cost-effective solutions to long-standing challenges faced by the energy sector, either by the development of new ideas or through technology transfer from other sectors. The areas of interest for the competition include ‘taking inspection to the limit’, dealing with data’ and ‘engaging in energy’ in the areas of oil and gas, nuclear and energy systems.

Eureka 25th Jan 2016 read more »

India

The fate of the agreements inked between French nuclear company Areva and Larsen & Tubro and between Areva and NPCIL will be discussed when leaders of India and France meet for official talks in New Delhi on Monday. It was during Prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Paris last April, Areva which had inked these agreements has since then had major financial meltdown and has now been taken over by a French utility company EDF. Due to this situation, the question that has now arisen is what is the future of the nuclear reactors that were to be built at Jaitpur, Maharashtra and will they be built by EDF? “EDF will be in the lead now, that is creating a change in the way nuclear negotiations will be conducted,” said French ambassador to India Francois Richier.

Financial Express 23rd Jan 2016 read more »

After being widely expected to announce a final deal for the construction of six new nuclear reactors today, India and France instead said the deal will be finalized within a year. The reactors would be built in Maharashtra state by French nuclear firm Areva, with work on all six to begin simultaneously in a move away from the two-at-a-time model India had previously followed when working with Russia’s Rosatom. Once completed, the reactors’ capacity is expected to total 9.9 GW. In advance of today’s announcement, analysts had suggested that a roadmap and a final deadline for construction of the Areva reactors would be forthcoming after previous delays to the project, which was first announced in 2010.

Penn Energy 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Hollande said an agreement for France’s Areva to build six nuclear reactors in India should be concluded within a year. The two sides have been wrangling over the price of power from these units for more than a year. Hollande and Modi have agreed to hasten the nuclear talks and aim for construction to begin in early 2017, they said in a joint statement.

Reuters 25th Jan 2016 read more »

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Lithuania

More than 30,000 tonnes of nuclear-related equipment have been dismantled at the Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania since decommissioning began in 2010, a statement said. This represents 23.4 percent of the total amount of equipment planned for dismantling by 2038, estimated at about 130,000 tonnes, the statement said. A large part of the dismantled material will be sold out as scrap metal after being tested for radioactive contamination, while the remainder will be stored in a temporary storage facility until transferred to a final depository. The two Soviet RBMK units at Ignalina were shut down in line with requirements for Lithuania’s membership of the EU. Ignalina-1 was shut down in December 2004 and Ignalina-2 in December 2009.

Nucnet 21st Jan 2016 read more »

US

In their pursuit of a connected nation, Americans built transcontinental railroads in the nineteenth century and the interstate highway system in the twentieth century. With a similar level of effort, the US could construct a nationwide energy infrastructure that cuts carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 80%, says a study in Nature Climate Change. This could be achieved without increasing the cost of electricity, thus providing an economic incentive to tackle the problem of climate change.

Carbon Brief 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Romania

The Romanian government has written to China General Nuclear Power (CGN) expressing its support for the Cernavoda nuclear power plant project. CGN announced its receipt of the letter – which was presented by energy minister Victor Vlad Grigorescu and signed by prime minister Dacian Julien Cioloș – on its website last week.

World Nuclear News 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Japan – radwaste

Japan’s industry ministry has launched an expert team to study disposal of highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. The study includes as potential candidate sites areas beneath the coastal seabed.

NHK 26th Jan 2016 read more »

Nuclear Weapons

Barack Obama’s administration, which began with a vision to get rid of nuclear weapons, has a trillion-dollar plan to renew them.

Economist 23rd Jan 2016 read more »

Jeremy Corbyn’s controversial vow to scrap Trident nuclear weapons supported by almost half of Britain. The 49% figure comes despite just seven members of the Labour shadow cabinet supporting his anti-nuclear views

Mirror 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Local Energy

London’s Mayor should set up a green energy company under Transport for London (TfL), according to new proposals released today by Green Party London Assembly Member Jenny Jones. The not-for-profit energy company – dubbed the London Energy Company (LEC) – would generate and purchase low-carbon energy to run the capital’s transport system and provide affordable clean energy to fuel poor Londoners.

Business Green 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Renewables – On Farm

Renewables – promoted so vigorously to the rural sector as a land of opportunity and social responsibility – have lost much of their gloss, not least because of rates for Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) for solar and onshore wind being slashed, degression across Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) rates for biomass, and the end of the Green Deal. So, is the show over for on-farm renewables? ‘No’ is the qualified answer here from Shirley Mathieson, Head of Renewables at accountants Saffery Champness, in her sector-by-sector renewables summary. Despite aggressive Government cuts there remains some opportunities for investment in the renewables sector. Support is fluid and decisions concerning the sector remain open to change. With target UK climate change obligations to meet, this could mean further opportunities arising particularly where new technologies are involved.

Scottish Energy News 26th Jan 2016 read more »

Renewables – wind

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has partnered with green energy company Ecotricity to source more than half its annual electricity needs from wind power. Work begins today to install a new 100-metre wind turbine at the charity’s headquarters in Bedfordshire. The turbine, which will be up and running in the next fortnight, is expected to deliver 1.85 million kWh per annum – more than half the charity’s annual electricity consumption.

Business Green 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Renewables – hydro

For entrepreneur Lauren Dickerson, water mills are an ancient form of renewable energy that can be brought into the 21st century. Through their company Lunagen, Dickerson and her co-founders have created a system to generate electricity from slow moving water. It is an attempt to capture energy from rivers and streams where other technologies are not viable – which they say will reimagine water mills for the modern era. The Lunagen system works by placing turbines in the river, which are powered by the flow of water and generate energy which is then converted into electricity. The end result can be used to power a home or it can be fed back into the power grid.

Guardian 24th Jan 2016 read more »

Gas-to-Grid

The UK saw 23 biomethane-to-grid connections in 2015, making it the fastest growing market in the world for the technology, it has been revealed. The new connections bring the total number of installed gas-to-grid plants in the UK to 50, almost doubling the figure at the end of 2014. Biomethane-to-grid is the process whereby renewable gas is injected into the UK’s gas grid, giving a flexible and efficient source of sustainable energy made from organic material including sewage sludge and food waste. Severn Trent’s Minworth wastewater treatment works (WwTW), Northumbrian Water’s Howden WwTW and Wessex Water’s Avonmouth WwTW are among the wastewater treatment sites to have made successful connections. By mid-2016, when all completed projects are at full capacity, it is expected that there will be around 120 million therms per annum going into to grid, with annual green gas production reaching 3.5 TWh per year. This injection will replace 240,000 tonnes of natural gas that would otherwise have been imported into the country. Biomethane is also increasingly being used as a fuel for transport, known as Bio-CNG. Wessex Water’s subsidiary GenECO has used the gas to fuel vehicles and is in talks with bus companies in Bristol about supplying them with the fuel.

Utility Week 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Energy Efficiency

UK businesses are implementing energy efficiency schemes at the highest rate ever, according to a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and energy analyst firm EEVS. The latest edition of BNEF’s UK Energy Efficiency Trends report found that more than 80% of respondents authorised new efficiency programmes in Q3 of 2015, marking the highest percentage of new projects recorded in a quarter since the survey began in 2012. It also found a significant uptick in commissioning, exceeding the long term trend of around 70%. The research surveyed 67 UK-based energy and other senior managers. Efficient lighting was the most popular installation choice, with use of lighting controls seeing significant growth. This chimes with edie’s own 2015 survey of energy managers, which found that 76% of respondents were prioritising energy-efficient lighting systems this year.

Edie 25th Jan 2016 read more »

The industry has called for action on energy efficiency as the latest figures show the number of active Green Deals is beginning to tail off. The former flagship initiative has seen the number of energy efficiency plans in operation fall to the lowest level since March 2014. In November 2015, the latest month for which figures are available, there were 729 Green Deal plans installed. A total of 14,799 Green Deal plans were in operation, down from 15,138 the previous month, and from a high of 16,456 in July 2015.

Utility Week 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Transport

The cities of Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London are set to welcome an array of green vehicle technologies and innovations after winning a share of a new £40m fund from the Government to support the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) across the UK. London has been awarded £13m to create the ‘Neighbourhoods of the future’ which prioritises EV travel over conventional methods in certain London boroughs. EV charging streetlights in Hackney and a low-emission zone parking and traffic priority in Harrow are among the green innovations to be rolled out through the new funding. Meanwhile, Westminster City Council – which already provides free EV parking as a way of incentivising uptake – aims to promote the sale of 70,000 EVs by 2020. This target will be increased to 250,000 by 2025. The former European Green Capital, Bristol, will receive £7m to give EVs access to three carpool lanes as well as installing more than 80 rapid and fast charging areas. A scheme offering people a monthly lease of a plug-in car is also on offer.

Edie 25th Jan 2016 read more »

Fossil Fuels

Research on the amount of gas leaked from onshore oil and gas wells raises “serious questions” over the development of fracking in the UK, Greenpeace has said. Around a third of former onshore oil and gas wells are leaking methane gas, according to the research led by scientists at the University of Durham. But it found the leaks produced less methane than agricultural use. The industry body said the findings should reassure people.

BBC 26th Jan 2016 read more »

OVER a dozen SNP branches saw their motion to ban fracking rejected from the party’s conference agenda – creating a spat where leading environmentalists accused the party of “rigging” the debate. But party officials claim that fracking was already discussed at its October conference in Aberdeen, reducing the need for a fresh debate. CommonSpace explains the context behind the fracking dispute.

Common Space 25th Jan 2016 read more »

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Published: 26 January 2016