Japanese and Korean companies are willing to build nuclear reactors in Britain for a level of subsidy lower than France’s EDF has so far accepted, Ed Davey, the energy secretary, has said. Mr Davey’s comments are likely to be intepreted as a reference to Japan’s Hitachi, which last year bought the Horizon nuclear venture to build reactors on Anglesey and in Gloucestershire. Ministers are locked in negotiations with EDF over subsidies for its proposed £14bn Hinkley Point plant in Somerset, in the form of a long-term contract guaranteeing a “strike price” for the electricity it will generate. Mr Davey told The Guardian that EDF was aware of the strike price that he would agree to and that he was “not going to budge an inch”. Hitachi’s reactor design is still several years away from being approved by UK regulators. The timescale for EDF’s project – once targeted for late 2017 – is unclear, however. Mr Davey told MPs this week that a new nuclear plant could be running by 2020, but industry sources suggest this is highly unlikely.
Telegraph 6th July 2013 read more »
For the past decade, Washington has known how to dispose of excess U.S. plutonium at a cost estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars less than what the Energy Department is spending on a South Carolina factory meant to transform plutonium into fuel for nuclear reactors. Instead of burning the plutonium, the cheaper alternative mixes it with glass or ceramics and some other materials, so it can be buried deep underground. The government — until now — has rejected that option. But after spending $3.7 billion on the still-incomplete fuel factory, the Obama administration is giving the immobilization alternative a closer look. And independent scientists who formerly supported the so-called Mixed-Oxide (MOX) plant are now arguing that the alternative, called “immobilization,” seems the wiser choice.
Tuscon Sentinel 5th July 2013 read more »
Calls have been made for residents to receive compensation following proposals for nuclear waste storage in Bradwell. The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) has raised concerns that proposed nuclear waste storage at Bradwell power station may be “indefinite”, contrary to suggestions from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The fears follow revelations of money-saving proposals to store waste from both Sizewell and Dungeness power stations at Bradwell until a geological disposal facility has been constructed, which may not be until 2040.
Essex County Standard 6th July 2013 read more »
Cumbria should not become the UK’s nuclear dumping ground it has been claimed. Findings from a public inquiry into a proposed dump for low level radioactive waste in west Cumbria will be submitted to the Secretary of State by next month. The two-week investigation was concluded yesterday by Jonathan King, the planning inspector who chaired the inquiry, and he said he will have completed his report in about a month. However, he said it was uncertain how long it would take Eric Pickles, the local government minister at Westminster, to reach his final decision.
Carlisle News and Star 6th July 2013 read more »
As we run down our conventional power sources through the closure of coal-fired power stations and our ageing nuclear reactors, the gap between our electricity supplies and the 60 gigawatts (GW) required at times of peak demand has become dangerously narrow. But the Government knows that the National Grid is quietly building up a hidden array of new power sources quite sufficient to keep our lights on and our computer-dependent economy running. There are three legs to this answer to the Government’s prayers. The first lies in the fact that there are thousands of hospitals and commercial and industrial concerns, such as banks, data centres and water companies, that have their own back-up generating facilities, largely powered by diesel. For some time, the grid has been signing up these operations to a scheme known as STOR (Short Term Operating Reserve), which, thanks to smart computer management, will enable it to call on them at very short notice to feed power into the grid. Just when we are already facing a doubling of our electricity bills through “carbon taxes”, subsidies to renewables and the “strike price” demanded by energy companies as their price for building new nuclear power stations, we are now looking at another huge spike in our bills to pay for the electricity the Government plans to call on to cover that fast-looming gap in our energy supplies — created by the way its policy has been so disastrously skewed by our politicians’ obsession with global warming, and their fond belief that the earth’s climate could somehow be affected by Britain reducing its “carbon emissions” by four-fifths. The final irony, of course, is that we not only pay for their dreams through a further hike in our energy bills, but also those diesel generators emit almost as much CO2 as the coal-fired power stations the politicians would like to see eliminated. Not only will we be bankrupted by their idiocy. It won’t even help to “save the planet”, either.
Telegraph 6th July 2013 read more »
ELECTRICITY giants SSE and ScottishPower are at loggerheads with their southern rivals over efforts to further delay reforms to a transmission charging system that penalises power generation north of the Border. Amid thinly veiled threats that green energy projects will be postponed or cancelled if the reforms are held up much longer, both Scottish utilities have written to regulator Ofgem demanding they be introduced by next April and not delayed until 2015 or beyond, in line with mounting industry speculation. The rules were originally supposed to have changed in April 2012, but have been held up by a combination of regulatory delays and efforts by power groups focused on the south of the UK to prolong their advantage. SSE’s letter was co-authored by 15 other companies and organisations with interests in renewable energy including wave power group Aquamarine, Orkney marine energy hub EMEC and environmental group WWF Scotland.
Sunday Herald 7th July 2013 read more »
The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives has written an open letter to Plaid Cymru’s leader asking for clarification on the huge disparities between her own stance on nuclear energy – her Anglesey candidate’s stance – and the implications for Plaid.
Your Voice 5th July 2013 read more »
Visiting South Africa last week, Barack Obama declared that the “current” that would finally bring “light where there is darkness” across Africa would be an electric current in the form of US support for a continent-wide plan of energy for all. The American President was announcing his Power Africa initiative. Its goal is to bring electricity to 20m households in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is funded to the tune of $7bn (£4.59bn) in public US investment, combined with another $9bn from the private sector. The aim is to build a new partnership with Africa based on trade, with support promised from US-based General Electric and $2.5bn from Tony Elumelu, the Nigerian banker.
Telegraph 6th July 2013 read more »
Timbuktu’s mayor, presides over a city brought to its knees by a combination of long-term security and development issues and a prolonged period of occupation by Islamist militants. The hospital has no electricity, the administration has ceased to function, and there is no bank. The availability of a reliable power supply is fundamental to restoring public services and getting Timbuktu back on its feet, says Ousmane.
Guardian 4th July 2013 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News now available.
MicrogenScotland.org. uk 5th July 2013 read more »
NEIL ECKERT, who sold his carbon permits trading platform Climate Exchange for £395m, plans to float a green energy business in London. Eckert, 51, set up Aggregated Micro Power (AMP), which installs biomass boilers and waste-to-energy generators in hospitals and industrial plants, with cash made from Climate Exchange. ICE, the futures exchange, bought AMP in 2010. He hopes to raise £40m for AMP with the listing, which would value the business at £60m. Eckert is hoping to cash in on a wave of recent listings of vehicles that group together green projects and promise a steady dividend stream.
Sunday Times 7th July 2013 read more »
Shale gas extraction could bring jobs and lower emissions. But opponents say the drillers’ claims are spurious and ‘fracking’ is simply too dangerous.Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment says “Shale gas is a fossil fuel and is therefore a carbon emitter,” he said. “However, our studies indicate that if you use shale gas to generate power rather than coal – which emits twice as much carbon per unit of electricity – then this will actually help us keep carbon emissions down in the short term.
“However, in the longer term – beyond 2030, when we will need to completely decarbonise our power industry to keep to our carbon emission targets – we will need to stop using shale gas. However, by that time, we may have built up an infrastructure for its use that will be very difficult, if not impossible, to dismantle.
Observer 7th July 2013 read more »
Mark Lappin, the European boss of Dart Energy and the public face of its plan to exploit underground gas in Scotland, has resigned. He left on Friday to take up a job with gas firm Centrica in Aberdeen, where he lives. His departure follows the stalling of Dart’s planning applications to sink 22 wells at 14 sites to extract coal-bed methane at Airth, near Falkirk. After prolonged delays by Falkirk and Stirling councils, and more than 1500 objections, Dart appealed to the Scottish Government last month for a decision. Both councils have urged ministers to hold a public inquiry.
Herald 7th July 2013 read more »
Scotland is facing more than 100 serious threats to our way of life because of rising pollution that is affecting the climate, according to a series of new assessments by the Scottish Government. As well extreme weather including floods, snow, storms and droughts, there could be plagues of pests, ravaging diseases and toxic algal blooms. Power cuts, food shortages, wildfires, mass travel disruptions and wildlife extinctions are all forecast. As if that were not enough, the list of potential problems caused by global warming also includes more sewer overflows, soil erosion and landslides. More deaths and illness are likely during heatwaves, while air and water pollution could worsen and fogs intensify. Without any announcement, Scottish ministers have released four reports with the latest analysis of the multiple threats Scotland is facing, and moves to combat them. They are part of the government’s climate adaptation programme, required under climate change legislation. Last week, the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation warned of the escalating risk to human life of wild weather spurred on by climate change.
Herald 7th July 2013 read more »