Hinkley Point C will “play a major role in the UK’s low carbon energy mix” and also “relaunch nuclear in Europe”, according to EDF Energy’s boss of nuclear new build. Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson said that the new reactor in Somerset, England, will “play a crucial role in the battle against climate change”. Speaking at the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual conference in London, he said that EDF and its project partners were determined that Hinkley Point would play a role in reinvigorating the nuclear engineering sector and both the local and national economy. “We are committed to making Hinkley Point C an engine for regional growth,” he stated, adding that 64 per cent of construction spend on the project would go to UK companies.
Power Engineering International 5th Dec 2016 read more »
More than 50 business leaders attended an event at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles to mark the start of EDF Energy’s patronage of Suffolk Young Chamber.
East Anglian Daily Times 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Landslide tsunamis becoming ‘more frequent’ amid fears of significant threat to UK Nuclear plants need to be protected against natural disasters occurring once every 10,000 years. “We believe the government should consider adding tsunamis to the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies,” Professor Peter Talling, a Durham University marine geologist, told the Sunday Times. Previously, tsunamis were not considered a danger to Britain as they are often caused by earthquakes, which are unusual in this country. However, the seismic sea waves can be set off by underwater landslides. These have occurred in the UK at least six times in the past 20,000 years.
IB Times 4th Dec 2016 read more »
SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie has called on the British Government to take note of the Swiss referendum on the future of Nuclear power stations in their country and allow people here to decide the future of the UK’s nuclear network. The South Down MP said, “Not only are we facing the problem that an entire generation of British nuclear facilities are coming to the end of their useful life and that no plan exists for disposing of the consequential nuclear waste, but the British Government are continuing to green light new nuclear facilities without allowing for a national conversation or consultation.
Newry Times 5th Dec 2016 read more »
A new plan aims to ensure there will be enough nuclear workers to achieve the sector’s goals going forward. The Nuclear Skills Strategic Plan (NSSP) outlines a series of steps to make sure the UK’s nuclear workforce will be large and skilled enough to cope with increased activity. It follows the UK Government, France’s EDF and China’s CGN signing the final deal for the construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset earlier this year. The plan has been launched by the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group (NSSG), an industry-led consortium of businesses, government and trade unions and has been welcomed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The 19 actions that form the plan include apprentice training, bursary schemes and other skill-building initiatives.
Energy Live News 5th Dec 2016 read more »
It has been a tough few years for Britain’s big six energy suppliers. Threatened with price caps by politicians who accuse them overcharging, while shedding customers to insurgent low-cost competitors, the large power utilities would have a compelling claim to be among the country’s most unloved companies. Yet, recent weeks have seen a turning of the tables. The collapse of GB Energy, a small gas and electricity supplier with 12 employees and 160,000 customers that was hit by soaring wholesale prices, has exposed the fragility of many new entrants in the UK energy market. Analysts and industry executives expect more small suppliers to fold and for the big six – British Gas, SSE, Scottish Power, EDF, Eon and Npower – to regain market share. This is because the large companies, with their own power-generating capacity and strong hedging policies, can cope much better with rising costs.
FT 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Ecotricity has been named as one of Britain’s ‘top 10 most disruptive companies’ in today’s 20th anniversary edition of the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100. Ecotricity was recognised for being “the world’s first green energy company’ and for developing Europe’s largest ‘electric highway’ of 300 ‘electricity pumps’ for BPVs (battery powered vehicles) at UK service stations and pioneering carbon neutral gas production”.
Scottish Energy News 6th Dec 2016 read more »
The French state electricity group at the head of the project to build Britain’s new nuclear power station received a welcome boost yesterday when it was authorised to restart seven reactors in France closed after safety fears. However, EDF was told that four other reactors would stay shut while tests continue. The decision by France’s nuclear safety authority came with the country’s atomic industry facing one of its biggest ever crises, a scandal that erupted weeks after Theresa May had approved EDF’s plans to build two new generation European Pressurised Reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset at a cost of £18 billion. French inspectors discovered what they called a significant carbon concentration in steel in 18 of France’s 58 reactors. They said that the carbon threatened to weaken the reactors and increase the risk of a nuclear accident. EDF was ordered to shut down 12 of the reactors for tests, raising the spectre of power cuts in France this winter. One of the 12 is already back up and running. The watchdog said that seven more would be able to restart by the end of the year after safety checks. EDF is hoping that the watchdog will conclude that the reactor at Flamanville is also safe. If it fails, it would have to dismantle the plant, which is almost complete, to change the reactor, a process so complex and expensive that it may kill off the project. That it turn could call into question the plant at Hinkley Point. Mr Chevet said there was no guarantee that he would approve Flamanville. “It’s a new instrument,” he said. “It must therefore function longer, at least 60 years. We must have even stronger level of certainty.”
Times 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3 percent to a five-year low in the financial year through March due to lower power demand, growing renewable energy and the restart of nuclear power plants, government figures showed on Tuesday.
Reuters 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Blundering worker accidentally TURNS OFF reactor cooler at Fukushima nuclear plant for an hour when he bumps against a switch
Daily Mail 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
More than 160 leading green businesses including Sainsbury’s, Ikea and Kingfisher have today (5 December) called upon Chancellor Philip Hammond to scrap scheduled tax increases on solar PV. A letter penned by the Solar Trade Association (STA) and signed by a diverse group of businesses, NGOs, politicians and academics expresses concern for the changes to business rates paid on ‘self-consumed’ solar, due to be enforced in April 2017. The letter, addressed to Hammond, calls for the reconsideration of these “uneconomic” penalties that the signatories claim could potentially hinder other small business contributions to renewable energy and climate targets.
Edie 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Business Green 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Renewables – pumped storage
UK energy company SSE has joined calls for the government to change its pricing regime for “pumped storage” hydro power stations, saying a new approach could unlock hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and support use of renewables. The unusual intervention by SSE, which is generally reluctant to take public positions on potentially controversial policy issues, will increase pressure on regulators to take another look at pumped storage. Such schemes use cheap or excess power from the grid to pump water into raised reservoirs, from where it can be released to generate electricity when needed. SSE has planning permission for an £800m pumped storage scheme at Coire Glas in the Scottish Highlands, but has not proceeded with it because of concerns about the high upfront costs and uncertain long-term returns. Oliver McMillen, head of public affairs at SSE, said the Perth-based company expected that the adoption of a “cap and floor” pricing regime would work for pumped storage. Under cap and floor, utilities are guaranteed a minimum price for output but a maximum price is also set, limiting the potential cost to consumers. Cap and floor pricing is already used for “interconnectors” that link the UK to overseas grids and which, like pumped storage plants, can smooth out power surpluses and shortages. “It is currently there for interconnectors. We’re suggesting widening it out to different technologies which can provide bulk flexibility,” Mr McMillen said. Details would have to be worked out, but “in principle” a cap and floor approach could open the way for SSE to go ahead with its Coire Glas project, he said. Coire Glas would allow storage of enough water to provide 30GWh of electricity to the grid, more than doubling the total volume of current pumped storage capacity in the UK. ScottishPower, the other big Scotland-based utility, has already called for the UK to consider cap and floor pricing for pumped storage, saying it would open the way for it to start work on a £400m plan to expand capacity at its existing plant at Cruachan.
FT 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Boosting investment in energy efficiency could create up to 9,000 jobs a year, business leaders have told the Scottish Government. More than 20 businesses in the sector have written a joint letter to economy secretary Keith Brown urging him to “set out a clear direction of travel” for the “growing industry”. While the firms already employ thousands of workers, they believe taking a “long-term, infrastructure approach to tackling poor housing as a cause of fuel poverty” could create 8,000 to 9,000 jobs a year. The business men and women said: “Winter has closed in and we are reminded how important it is that we all have affordable, sustainable ways of keeping our homes warm. “Now is the time for the Scottish Government to be ambitious about ensuring that everyone in Scotland can do that.”
Scotsman 6th Dec 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 6th Dec 2016 read more »
The letter also calls for a national target on the amount of heat generated from renewable energy sources. Not only would this tackle fuel poverty, it would also create up to 9,000 jobs a year and create confidence in the sector, according to the business men and women. This sort of initiative is exactly what the Scottish Government should be aiming for, because it succeeds on two fronts. Scotland has already delivered a 45 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, placing it way ahead of its 2020 target, so there is much to be proud of. But our leaders must be doing everything possible to make sure Scotland climbs even further up the league tables for reducing its carbon footprint and improving green energy use. There is also a moral imperative to the reduce shocking levels of fuel poverty. We have witnessed pursuit of contradictory policies, such as reducing air passenger duty while at the same time attempting to reduce carbon emissions, but if the Scottish Government could create jobs by improving energy efficiency, then this strategy looks far more coherent.
Scotsman 6th Dec 2016 read more »
EMERGING BUSINESSES and environmental charities have urged the Scottish Government to embark on a radical path of electrical upgrading of transport and infrastructure. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Scotland have said that Scotland would have to follow the example of Norway and increase electric cars and buses if it is to cut its emissions by 2030. Scottish manufacturers of electric buses, cars and engines also claimed that such a move would boost growth and jobs in the economy. WWF Scotland’s climate and energy policy officer Fabrice Leveque said: “Scottish companies are already involved in manufacturing electric buses and batteries, installing charge points and operating low emissions vehicles, reflecting growing global momentum behind the move to electric. “The fact that in Norway today almost one-third of new car sales are electric vehicles (EVs) shows it can be done.
Commonspace 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Dundee Courier 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Herald 5th Dec 2016 read more »
Times 6th Dec 2016 read more »