EDF HAS postponed building Hinkley C creating a massive economic uncertainty across Somerset and Bridgwater and Highbridge in particular, according to reports. And James Heappey MP for Wells and Burnham said: “News that EDF have kicked the Hinkley can down the road again is unwelcome and is understandably causing concern for local businesses and residents. I understand that EDF are now to make the Final Investment Decision in mid-February to coincide with the publication of their annual results. Despite the doubters there’s still confidence in Hinkley C from Sedgemoor District Council. The leader Cllr Duncan McGinty said: “With a project of this size, the largest engineering project in Europe, one would expect delays along the road to completion. Sedgemoor remains optimistic that the final investment decision to proceed will come soon. We are seeing increased activity on the ground, we are in contact with Tier 1 contractors and we are gearing ourselves up to play our part in delivering this project to achieve the maximum benefit for the local community and economy.”
Bridgwater Mercury 2nd Feb 2016 read more »
County Councillor Leigh Redman was concerned. He said: “The further delay in announcing the final investment decision for Hinkley C is once again causing further concern in the communities in and around Bridgwater. It makes recent comments about a northern bypass look even more irrelevant, with political leaders saying that the bypass should have been actioned, but pointing fingers of blame for it not happening towards the government and EDF.” Stop Hinkley Spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: “By our reckoning this is the ninth time EDF has said a final investment decision is imminent, and then nothing has happened. With all the problems that EDF has – the need to spend €55bn upgrading old French reactors; find €1.4bn to buy Areva and increasing waste disposal costs, I really can’t see how the situation will be any different by 16th February”. “Problems with the construction of other EPRs at Flamanville in France, Olkiluoto in Finland and Taishan in China continue to mount up. It is now looking increasingly likely that Hinkley Point C is dead in the water.”
Bridgwater Mercury 2nd Feb 2016 read more »
There will be no impact on jobs at Barnwood as a result of Gloucester headquartered energy giant EDF’s plans to open a major new nuclear office in Bristol, the company insists. News sneaked out through these pages last year that after months of placing the city headquarters at the heart of the new generation of nuclear power stations operations for that sector would actually be elsewhere. It also put a question mark over jobs. All the talk of Hinkley Point C in Somerset put EDF at the centre of attention and, we all thought, Barnwood too. And with near neighbours Horizon Nuclear Power at Gloucester Business Park it looked like Gloucester could become something of a hub of talent for the industry. EDF has now confirmed one half of the speculation – and announced a new nuclear-focused office in Bristol as Bridgewater House, a near namesake of Bridgwater near to Hinkley Point. But the French-owned firm moved to quell any fears about the impact on jobs at its Gloucester headquarters.
South West Business 2nd Feb 2016 read more »
EDF has appointed a new project director for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station project after Chris Bakken left to take up a new role in the US. Philippe Bordarier, chief nuclear officer at EDF Energy Generation, will take up the position having been at the French company for two years.
Insider Media 4th Feb 2016 read more »
Letter: I WONDER if the postponement/cancellation of the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station to be built by EDF has anything to do with the problems that Chernobyl and the Fukishima plants presented to the world last year. At Sellafield we still do not have a solution to the problem of its and other UK nuclear plants’ waste. It seems incredible that any government is even contemplating the building of any more of these toxic monoliths, particularly on such a small island as this.
Bolton News 4th Feb 2016 read more »
France can’t build its own new nuclear power stations, let alone ours. My man with big binoculars in the Bridgwater Bay nature reserve tells me he’s seeing plenty of lorry movements on the nuclear site, but signals from EDF of France — which has a two-thirds interest in this £18 billion project, alongside Chinese investors — are very worrying. Analysts still expect EDF to go ahead, but the plant that should provide up to 7 per cent of future UK electricity needs can’t possibly come on stream before 2025. And the travails of Hinkley are reported to have ‘spooked’ Hitachi of Japan, which is in negotiations for another nuclear station at Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey.
Spectator 6th Feb 2016 read more »
Hinkley Point nuclear power station lurched into another crisis after the director of the £18bn project quit. EDF’s executive director of nuclear new build Chris Bakken will leave his post to take up a role with American power firm Entergy Corporation. His resignation comes just days after EDF delayed giving approval to construction of Hinkley Point C as it struggles to find the billions of pounds to finance the deal.
This is Money 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Western Daily Press 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Somerset County Gazette 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
BBC 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Officials at EDF Energy say they fully expect the Sizewell C nuclear power station to go ahead and expect the trigger for the next stage of its development to take place soon.
East Anglian Daily Times 4th Feb 2016 read more »
COUNCILS in west Cumbria will keep all business rates resulting from the nuclear new-build at Moorside, Sellafield. Ministers were proposing that Whitehall should keep all the rates received from Moorside, where NuGen plans to build the UK’s biggest nuclear power plant. This would have amounted to many millions of pounds. Sellafield’s annual rates bill is £32m. But Sue Hayman, Labour MP for Workington, asked Prime Minister David Cameron about the issue during PM’s Questions last week. She has now received a letter confirming that local authorities will retain all business rates resulting from the nuclear new-build.
Carlisle News and Star 4th Feb 2016 read more »
Dungeness Power Station has apologised after a loud bang heard last weekend disturbed nearby neighbours. The noise was caused by a diesel generator backfiring on Sunday, January 31. Many concerned residents took to Facebook asking if everyone else had heard the bang.
Folkestone Herald 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Interview with Lisa Nandy. On nuclear power: “I think [it] is important as part of the energy mix. I think it’s particularly important when you look at how we’re going to meet the commitments we made in Paris.” On the Hinkley deal: “In terms of getting a good deal for bill payers and for the taxpayer, it seems to me that the worst possible way that you could go about a negotiation is to, essentially, box yourself into a position where you have to make the deal work before you’ve actually finished.”
Carbon Brief 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
French Nuclear Industry
While the French government and EDF are preparing to refloat the Areva holding a virtual bankruptcy, employees, taxpayers and users are asked to pay for restructuring at several billion euros of the French nuclear industry. Meanwhile, faced with an unprecedented internal sling, EDF has once again postponed the final decision to build two new EPR reactors in the UK at Hinkley Point – a project that seems more and more like a headlong rush with incalculable consequences . From France to China, Britain to India, the clouds gather for the French nuclear industry. On Wednesday, January 27th, the Council of Ministers approved the principle of a recapitalization of Areva amounting to EUR 5 billion to enable it to overcome the profound industrial and financial crisis through which it passes. While she struggles with the takeover of Areva and its problems of nuclear safety at Flamanville and EDF also finds parallel faces the moment of truth for its other flagship project, the construction of two EPR reactors at Hinkley Point , south-west of Britain. The board of French energy giant had planned to take last week’s final investment decision – last step before the point of no return – constantly postponed for many months. Finally, due to the accumulation of difficulties, this decision was again postponed. EDF, which probably did not need to take on the problems of Areva, now seems to operate on the edge of financial disaster, nuclear proselytism of France abroad no longer seems very advantageous, if it ever was, for French citizens themselves.
Observatoire des Multinationales 2nd Feb 2016 read more »
French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots (CDC) could buy a stake in EDF power grid unit RTE, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. “Infrastructure and network investors such as Caisse des Depots (CDC) could take part in the opening of the capital of RTE,” Macron was quoted as saying in an interview with French daily Le Figaro, published on its website. French state-controlled utility EDF owns 100 percent of its high-voltage transmission grid unit RTE, which operates independently of its parent company under EU unbundling rules that do not allow utilities control over their networks. Markets have long speculated about a partial sale of RTE which is valued at 6 to 7 billion euros in EDF’s accounts and whose 100,000 km high-voltage network is Europe’s biggest. A partial sale could be used to fund EDF’s capital-hungry nuclear projects, including an 18 billion pound plan to build two nuclear reactors in Britain and a 55 billion euro plan to upgrade its ageing French nuclear fleet.
Reuters 2nd Feb 2016 read more »
Tidal Lagoon Power, Orthios Eco Park and Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station have all been in the news amid questions about how projects should be funded.
BBC 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Challenging the ICRP dose model with Chris Busby – Nuclear Test Veterans Court Update.
European Weekly News 4th Feb 2016 read more »
Spain’s Nuclear Safety Council could decide “within days” whether to order the shutdown of the 2 GW Almaraz nuclear plant amid problems in the cooling mechanism, a person familiar with situation told Montel Wednesday. The person confirmed reports in the Spanish media warning about the lack of “necessary guarantees” the cooling system would operate properly in the case of an accident. The board of the nuclear regulator was reviewing information provided by Almaraz representatives in response to the safety concerns before making its decision regarding a shutdown, said the source.
Montel 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
An organisation that opposes the arms trade is calling for £200m to be invested in the west of Scotland to make the region a global leader in green energy. A new report by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) claims to be a blueprint for a greener Scotland, arguing that boosting green industries in the Clyde area such as wave and tidal power could create more jobs than if the same cash was invested in defence.
Ferret 2nd Feb 2016 read more »
In December, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the state’s regulators to come up with a plan to reach 50 percent renewables by 2030. Early last week, the New York Department of Public Service (NYDPS) released its proposed plan to do just that. The “50 by 30” Clean Energy Standard (CES) builds on New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding, providing a necessary target and enforcement mechanism to achieve state policy objectives. New York is in good company with other states looking to increase their renewables and fight climate change. Several states including Hawaii, California, Vermont, and Oregon are leading the way with major increases in the past year in their clean energy targets. And with a series of executive announcements and regulatory activities over the past two months, New York is staying firmly at the head of the pack.
Renew Economy 4th Feb 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
A wind farm powering more than a million homes is to be built off the East Yorkshire coast. Developer Dong Energy said it had made the final investment decision to build the Hornsea Project One.
BBC 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
The 1.2GW Hornsea project will be made up of 7MW wind turbines, the largest generally available, each more than 190m high, which is taller than the Gherkin building in the City of London. Dong is planning to have them built at a factory in Hull owned by Siemens, the German industrial giant, but it is uncertain whether all of them will come from there. The green light for the Hornsea wind farm is also a boost to three other mooted offshore wind farms that are in the offing: Neart na Gaoithe and Beatrice One in Scotland, and East Anglia One. Offshore wind has had a chequered history in the UK. It is more problematic than onshore wind because it requires bigger and more robust turbines, and has higher levels of maintenance and much greater installation costs than onshore wind Rising costs caused problems for the London Array, which was at the time the biggest offshore wind farm to be built.
Guardian 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
FT 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Edie 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Consumers are set to fork out an extra £4 billion through their energy bills to help to fund the construction of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. Map The 174-turbine Hornsea Project One, 75 miles from Grimsby, will stretch across a 400 sq km area and will be big enough to power a million homes. Each of its turbines will stand 623ft tall and will be placed in relatively shallow water depths of between 23 metres and 36 metres. The developer of the 1.2-gigawatt project, Dong Energy, an oil and gas producer 74 per cent-owned by the Danish government, gave the project final investment approval yesterday and said that it would be fully operational by 2020.
Times 4th Feb 2016 read more »
Telegraph 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Renewables – wave
Swedish wave energy developer CorPower Ocean has agreed to test its novel resonant wave energy converter at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. The move follows CorPower’s success in Wave Energy Scotland’s power-take-off call that, combined with funding from KIC InnoEnergy and the Swedish Energy Agency, completes a €6.5m funding round for dry rig testing of a half scale prototype system, to be followed by ocean deployment at the EMEC test site in Scapa Flow.
Scottish Energy News 4th Feb 2016 read more »
Energy Efficiency – Scotland
WWF Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to increase its fuel poverty spending after three Holyrood committees challenged its plans. Following news that the Scottish Government is planning to reduce overall spending on fuel poverty/energy efficiency in 2016/17 by 13 per cent, compared to the total that the Scottish Government plans to spend during the current financial year, three cross-party committees of the Scottish Parliament have questioned its plans for improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes. The economy energy and tourism committee’s Report on the Draft Budget 2016/17 said: “It is now abundantly clear that the deadline for the statutory target of ending fuel poverty ‘so far as reasonably practicable’ by November 2016 is not going to be met. Not only is it not going to be met, it is not going to be met (in the words of Energy Action Scotland) ‘by some considerable way’.” The Report on the Draft Budget 2016/17 by the infrastructure and capital investment committee added: “The committee nevertheless believes that this work [the Scottish Government’s programme of energy efficiency for existing houses] should be accelerated given the established benefits of energy efficiency for existing homes in tackling climate change, promoting energy efficiency and cutting fuel poverty.” Finally the finance committee’s Report on the Draft Budget 2016/17 said: “The [finance] committee supported calls from the EET [economy, energy and tourism] committee in its report on last year’s Draft Budget for a full cost analysis of what it will take to achieve the statutory [fuel poverty] targetâ€¦ This has not been provided and the EET committee has reiterated the need for such an analysis. The [finance] committee agrees with this recommendation and asks the Scottish Government to explain why it has not been provided.”
Scottish Housing News 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
It doesn’t always rain when you need water, so we have reservoirs – but we don’t have the same system for electricity,” says Jill Cainey, director of the UK’s Electricity Storage Network. But that may change in 2016, with industry figures predicting a breakthrough year for a technology not only seen as vital to the large-scale rollout of renewable energy, but also offering the prospect of lowering customers’ energy bills. Big batteries, whose costs are plunging, are leading the way. But a host of other technologies, from existing schemes like splitting water to create hydrogen, compressing air in underground caverns, flywheels and heated gravel pits, to longer term bets like supercapacitors and superconducting magnets, are also jostling for position. In the UK, the first plant to store electricity by squashing air into a liquid is due to open in March, while the first steps have been taken towards a virtual power station comprised of a network of home batteries.
Guardian 4th Feb 2016 read more »
Energy company SSE has said it expects to close three out of four units at its Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power plant in Cheshire by 1 April. The 45-year old plant has been loss-making for two years and was forecast to continue losing money until 2020. Renewable energy and cheap gas prices have made coal-fired power plants increasingly expensive to run. SSE has entered into consultation with staff. The closures could mean up to 213 job losses. The power plant provides two gigawatts of power, to the north-west of England, which is enough to supply around two million homes with electricity. A fourth unit at the plant will remain open as it has a contract to provide power for the National Grid next winter.
BBC 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
SSE has announced plans to shut most of its Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power plant in April, wiping 1.5 gigawatts of power capacity from the UK grid and worsening the looming energy crisis next winter. The energy giant said it intended to shut three out of four units at the loss-making Cheshire power station, reneging on a Government subsidy contract to keep them running until 2018-19 and putting 213 jobs at risk. The move, which the Telegraph revealed SSE was considering last week, was condemned as “extremely disappointing” by the Government, which sought to reassure households the lights would stay on.
Telegraph 3rd Feb 2016 read more »
Herald 4th Feb 2016 read more »