Daily News Roundup

27 February 2012

Hinkley

This is the second film made about the occupation of Langborough Farm on the proposed site of Hinkley C – one of the new wave of nuclear power stations the coalition Government have given the go ahead for. It is a video diary made by one of the protestors, Theo Simon, and spans the first two weeks of the farm occupation. It includes visits from Mr Hurry, the man responsible for an emergency nuclear response, Tessa Munt, MP for Wells and Glastonbury, and an inordinate number of files delivered for EDF to the camp by Squire and Sanders, their corporate lawyers.

You Tube 25th Feb 2012 more >>

BBC 21st Feb 2012 more >>

Supply Chain

British companies will struggle to win the bulk of the £60bn expected to be spent building the next generation of nuclear plants, the Prime Minister has been told. David Cameron made it clear when he signed an energy alliance deal with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, that he wanted to see the “vast majority” of the content “constructed, manufactured and engineered” by British companies. He has been given no firm assurances on a “buy British” commitment by either President Sarkozy or EDF, the French state-controlled energy group in line to build the first new plants. With the heart of the new power stations based on French designs and technology, Mr Cameron has been warned there is little prospect of achieving his aim.

Telegraph 26th Feb 2012 more >>

Fuel Poverty

More than nine million households will be living in fuel poverty within four years unless the Government directs £4bn a year from carbon taxes to families in greatest need, campaigners warn. More Britons die every year from living in a cold home than on the roads, they said, with the situation expected to worsen sharply because of soaring utility bills. A new study has revealed that there are a million more households already living in fuel poverty compared with previous estimates, taking the total to 6.4 million. The study, by energy efficiency experts Camco, suggests that the total will hit 9.1 million by 2016. Mike O’Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus, said: “It is a harsh truth that an effective strategy to transform the energy efficiency of our homes and to tackle growing numbers in fuel poverty will need far greater ambition and resources. Billions of pounds will go directly from our energy bills to the Exchequer as part of schemes to cut carbon emissions. That money could reap a double benefit if it was directed to reduce massively our wasteful consumption of energy.” The campaign, called the Energy Bill Revolution, was created by Transform UK, a not-for-profit organisation.

Independent 27th Feb 2012 more >>

Energy Bill Revolution 26th Feb 2012 more >>

India

India is betting heavily on nuclear power to meet its surging energy needs. While India currently has six nuclear power plants (NPPs) with 20 reactors generating 4,780 megawatts, seven other reactors are under construction and are expected to generate an additional 5,300 megawatts. This current rate of nuclear power generation pales into insignificance with New Delhi’s future plans, as on 22 February Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told a seminar at the India International Nuclear Symposium, “India plans to have a total installed nuclear capacity of 63,000 megawatts by the year 2032, using both indigenous technology and imported reactors.

Oil Price 26th Feb 2012 more >>

Thorium

Norway holds a resource of 170,000 tonnes of thorium, which amounts to 15% of the world’s total of 1.2 million tonnes. There is far more thorium than that within the earth’s crust all told, averaging 8 ppm compared with around 2.8 ppm for uranium, but the above figures refer to richer ores, most commonly monazite sand which contains up to 12% of thorium. There is some opinion that thorium nuclear power might be a better environmental/energy-strategy for Norway than relying on carbon-capture which many consider to be uneconomic. However, the matter of thorium reactors is not straightforward. Professor Egil Lillestol of Bergen University has been pushing thorium for some years now, and thinks that Norway should set the trend in building a prototype accelerator-driven reactor.

Oil Price 26th Feb 2012 more >>

Renewables

Billions of pounds’ worth of investment in Britain’s energy infrastructure is on hold or uncertain because of concerns over the government’s commitment to wind energy. In an exclusive survey, the heads of some of the world’s biggest wind companies, which have been considering setting up factories, research facilities and other developments in the UK, have told the Guardian they are reviewing their investments or seeking clarification and reassurances from ministers on future energy policy in the wake of growing political opposition to wind energy that culminated in this month’s unprecedented attack on the government’s policies in a letter signed by more than 100 Tory MPs. Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer at Scottish Power, contrasted the situation with that in Scotland, where top politicians, the media and the public tend to advocate more wind power. Much of the company’s planned £1bn investment will go to Scotland.

Guardian 26th Feb 2012 more >>

Tory high command may be hedging on coalition’s renewable energy policy by quietly encouraging opposition to windfarms. Whatever happened in this case, there are good reasons why David Cameron and George Osborne may have been happy to see the letter make headlines. It is prudent to have a confident rightwing asserting itself, to counter suggestions that the Lib Dems have undue influence on government policies, despite being the minor coalition partner. More pertinently, with regular headlines – fair and unfair – about the cost of the government’s energy and climate policies being added to electricity and gas bills, there must be concern among senior ministers about subsidies for wind and other renewables. Add to that the frustration that a large proportion of wind turbine investment and jobs seems to be going overseas when the British economy is struggling, and it is helpful to have ground prepared for a possible policy shift.

Guardian 26th Feb 2012 more >>

Share

Published: 27 February 2012
Last updated: 18 October 2012