30 March 2013

Nuclear Costs

As we continue to await news on negotiations between the government and EDF on the price of Nuclear now is as bad a time as any to look back at what the government thought it was getting into when it first embarked on the nuclear new build programme. In its 2006 document The Energy Challenge the (then) Department of Trade and Industry the government outlined its view of the future cost of nuclear (and gas). “The cost of new nuclear power generation is assumed to be around £38/MWh, as a central case. However, we have also considered a high case of (£44/MWh) and a low case of (£30/MWh).

Energy Desk 28th March 2013 read more »

Beyond Nuclear

American campaigners from a campaign group from Washington DC are coming to visit Glastonbury next week to speak about their work as part of the environmental and advocacy group “Beyond Nuclear”. Linda and Paul Gunter will be special guest speakers at a public meeting to be held at Glastonbury Town Hall 7.30pm Wednesday .

Journal Wells 29th March 2013 read more »

Urenco

Ministers are looking to raise up to £3bn before the end of the year through the sale of the government’s 33 per cent stake in Urenco, the uranium enrichment company, in one of the biggest privatisations in years. The deal would be a relief to the Treasury, which hopes that a series of sales will put a dent in the country’s towering debt. Urenco has risen to the top of the sell-off list following indications that the Dutch government, which owns a third of the company, is prepared to sanction a sale to private buyers. Vince Cable, business secretary, hopes to announce plans for a full or partial sale of the UK stake in April with a view to completing the privatisation before the end of the year. Mr Cable has appointed Morgan Stanley to advise on the sale. German utilities – RWE and Eon – have begun the process of selling their stakes in the Urenco, which enriches uranium for power plant fuel and is valued at about €10bn.

FT 29th March 2013 read more »

Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme owes much to expertise acquired by A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist, when he worked for Urenco in the 1970s, highlighting the proliferation concerns surrounding the industry. Yet the government believes safeguards can be placed on privatisation that would allow it to maintain oversight of the company.

FT 29th March 2013 read more »

Scotland

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published statistics showing all Scotland’s onshore wind farms had a maximum capacity of 3,808 megawatts (MW) at the end of 2012. This total was 34 per cent higher than the 2,837MW total in the last quarter of 2011. Scotland’s total capacity is now nearly double that of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. Scottish ministers yesterday welcomed the figures, saying they showed the amount of electricity generated by wind had increased 19 per cent last year to record levels.

Telegraph 29th March 2013 read more »

Journalists

Mike McCarthy: This will be my last week as Environment Editor after 15 years at The Independent. It has been a privilege to work for a newspaper which puts the environment first.

Independent 29th March 2013 read more »

Politics

Not since Caligula appointed his horse as his chief adviser has such an inappropriate appointment been made’. Those were the words of not one, but two Tory MPs, speaking to me about John Hayes being made the Prime Minister’s chief parliamentary adviser. I wouldn’t quite go that far myself, but I can understand the sentiment. One minister when told the news seriously believed it was an early April Fool. Only when he logged onto the BBC News website did he finally believe it. Most pundits were left open mouthed when he was promoted to Minister of State and moved to the Department of Energy & Climate Change. Everyone knew his non PC views on global warming, so a clash with the LibDem Secretary of State Ed Davey wasn’t difficult to predict. On a personal basis they rubbed along OK, but Davey was furious at his junior minister’s public utterances on wind farms.There is only one reason for this mini reshuffle, which sees the excellent Michael Fallon take over John Hayes’ responsibilities at DECC. It has to have been because the LibDems insisted on it. I can think of no other reason. So Hayes moved across to Number 10 and is elevated to the Privy Council. That’s how Coalition politics works at the moment. Nick Clegg says jump, and the Prime Minister obeys.

Ian Dale 29th March 2013 read more »

The Netherlands

Dutch nuclear reactor Borssele has been given permission to operate up to 2033, though the approval can still be contested, Dutch and German stakeholders said on Wednesday. Started in 1973, the 500 megawatt plant is one of the oldest reactors in Europe. It is 70 percent owned by Dutch generator Delta, in turn owned by Dutch provincial authorities, and 30 percent by German utility RWE.

CNBC 27th March 2013 read more »

Japan

A two-day Symposium on “The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident” was held at the New York Academy of Medicine on March 11 and 12, 2013. This presentation by Arnie Gundersen at the New York Symposium on March 11, 2013, is highly recommended viewing for anyone who hopes to get a better under- standing of the health and environmental impacts of the Fukushima disaster — exactly two years earlier to the day.

Fairwinds 27th March 2013 read more »

Fukushima crisis update 26th to 28th March.

Greenpeace 29th March 2013 read more »

North Korea

NORTH Korea revealed chilling plans to strike at the West yesterday as dictator Kim Jong-un threatened all-out war with nuclear weapons.

Express 30th March 2013 read more »

Mirror 30th March 2013 read more »

Microgeneration

Micro Power News we 29th March including news on Micro-CHP; and delays to the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Microgenscotland 29th March 2013 read more »

Energy Efficiency

Turning an old railway cottage into a Passivhaus may sound like something strangely futuristic that’s probably designed to sweep away the past. But for Andy and Lorna Simmonds, it was a way to create their dream energy-efficient home. In the process they’ve found themselves at the forefront of a global green movement. There’s actually very little that’s futuristic about Passivhaus, although it certainly could become a standard when it comes to properties. It’s the name for a global movement that started in Germany – hence the name, which simply translates as Passive House. The movement promotes buildings that are energy-efficient, comfortable, affordable and ecological. The benefits are many. The properties have high levels of insulation and airtightness meaning they need to use very little energy for heating and cooling. As a result, heating bills are slashed – typically by as much as 90 per cent. That can save hundreds of pounds every year as well as providing a more comfortable home. Experience shows that heating bills can be as low as £100 per year for a three-bedroom house.

Independent 29th March 2013 read more »

Fuel Poverty

In a shaming indictment of the failure of the Government and energy suppliers to tackle the rising tide of fuel poverty hitting the UK’s vulnerable people, Britain this week came bottom of a league table for western Europe.

Independent 29th March 2013 read more »

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Published: 30 March 2013