The renewable energy industry has slammed the findings of a forthcoming report that suggests the UK could save £34bn by ditching plans for a massive expansion in wind power capacity. The preliminary findings of a report by KMPG, previewed in the Sunday Times yesterday, claimed Britain could meet its 2020 carbon reduction targets more cost effectively by building nuclear and gas-fired power stations instead of wind farms.
Business Green 7th Nov 2011 more >>
Your Industry News 7th Nov 2011 more >>
A new report by analysts at KPMG has found that Britain could save £34bn and still meet those EU 2020 carbon reduction targets if it dramatically scaled back on ambitious plans for offshore wind farms. The report’s authors have told BBC Panorama that a speedy move from coal to cleaner gas-fired energy generation would still allow the UK to meet EU emissions commitments and save consumers money at a time when home heating bills are at record highs. Peter Atherton, head of European utilities research for Citigroup, said given those high household energy bills and a sluggish economy, the government needs to reconsider the size and scope of its commitment to offshore wind generation.
BBC 7th Nov 2011 more >>
Tonight’s Panorama includes a claim that Britain could save £34 billion if it ditched plans for offshore wind energy. It’s a figure from a report by accountants KPMG that’s making waves in the papers and on TV. It hasn’t been released yet but our energy experts have had a look at the claims and are concerned that KPMG’s numbers don’t quite add up.
FoE 7th Nov 2011 more >>
KPMG responded by telling us that the Sunday Times story was based on “preliminary findings” and “…the full report itself is still being written”. They added cheerily that they would let us know when they had a clearer idea of timing, and “hopefully we’re not too far off!” This is strange because according to RenewableUK, the Guardian, and, er, the KPMG press release, the report will be out tomorrow.
Carbon Brief 7th Nov 2011 more >>
The cost of green taxes should be included on home energy bills to ensure a “rational debate” on paying for new low-carbon energy infrastructure in the UK, according to the influential head of the commons energy and climate change select committee. The Conservative MP Tim Yeo also told the Guardian the tensions within government over its ambition to be the greenest ever risks losing economic opportunities for the UK and blames “special pleading” by heavy energy users. Green levies add £80 a year (6%) to the average gas and electricity bill of £1,335, according to the regulator Ofgem’s latest figures. Most of this money supports schemes to increase energy efficiency and decrease fuel poverty, with about £20 supporting the development of renewable energy, including windfarms and solar panels.
Guardian 7th Nov 2011 more >>
The owners of land at Bridgwater, Somerset, have lost a High Court challenge against works which could see the site used for workers’ accommodation during the construction of the Hinkley Point C power plant nearby.
Planning 7th Nov 2011 more >>
On Friday, judgment was given in the first judicial review (JR) directly relating to the Planning Act 2008 regime. The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) was being judicially reviewed over its decision to grant the NNB Generation Company Ltd (80% EDF Energy and 20% Centrica) permission to survey land that was intended for workers’ accommodation as part of its application for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, which it eventually made last week. The JR, made by the owner of the land Innovia Cellophane Ltd, was on three grounds: since dwellings can’t be part of an application, the promoter shouldn’t have been granted permission to survey something that couldn’t be in an application; the landowner was still willing to negotate and so the power wasn’t being used as a last resort, as recommended in government guidance; and the conditions that were part of the permission to enter the land were unenforceable. The judgment can be found here. The judge, Mr Justice Cranston, dismissed all three grounds (as he would have to for the IPC to win).
Bircham Dyson & Bell 7th Nov 2011 more >>
A £2.6bn project to demolish Dounreay should be completed in the lifetime of the engineers who built and ran it, one of the project’s leaders has suggested. Mike Brown said retired employees’ knowledge of the nuclear plant was crucial when records did not reflect what contractors were encountering.
BBC 7th Nov 2011 more >>
A new bank report has backed Scotland’s green energy policy, just days after a major finance company warned Scottish independence would clash with its developers’ green energy plans north of the border. Citigroup last week published a report urging “extreme caution” over inversting in Scotland’s renewables energy sector, on the grounds the Scottish National Party’s plans for a referendum on independence would create huge uncertainty at the same time as major decisions on green projects are needed. But Altium Securities then slammed Citi’s findings as “alarmist” in its own analysis published late last week. It predicted investment in Scotland’s renewable energy sector would continue, whatever Scotland’s constitutional future, including under independence.
Business Green 8th Nov 2011 more >>
Plans to extract gas using a controversial method linked to an increase in earthquakes have been given the go-ahead in Scotland for the first time. The practice of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into shale rock, to release the gas it holds. An independent geological report recently found that fracking had triggered two minor earthquakes on the Lancashire coast earlier this year. The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has granted a licence to Greenpark Energy to extract gas trapped in coal near the mining village of Canonbie in Dumfries and Galloway.
Independent 8th Nov 2011 more >>
ARTISTS from far and wide are being invited to take part in Rock Solid? Expo, an exhibition and series of events pencilled in for spring 2012 at Kendal Museum. Running from March 24 until May 19, the project is being coordinated by Marianne Birkby.
Westmorland Gazette 5th Nov 2011 more >>
A disturbingly respectful meeting took place on 3rd November in Egremont on the “gentle” steps to sell Cumbria down the radioactive river. Over a prawn vol-au-vent (thank you taxpayer!) the Partnership ‘facilitators’ again tried to persuade Radiation Free Lakeland to join in this ever so respectful game of “steps towards” a geological nuclear dump. The purpose of the meeting was to endorse another CONsultation document. The document admits that there is opposition – but then dismisses that opposition by giving itself a tick in the box “no significant criticism.” Really? No significant Criticism ?
Radiation Free Lakeland 7th Nov 2011 more >>
Extract from the excellent, myth busting book: Contesting the future of nuclear power Benjamin K Sovacool, World Scientific, 2011. “In one of its most intractable problems, that of nuclear waste, the industry has outright manipulated data and limited true public participation to get its way. Some studies of consumer attitudes and public opinions have shown that public groups will support nuclear power expansion if assurances of safe waste disposal are provided, but will not if the waste problem is not resolved. Thus, nuclear power proponents – trade groups, vendors, and utilities – have shifted from a technical discourse, which is full of uncertainty, to a public discourse of inclusive and respectful public consultation about siting as well as criterions of acceptability and safety. Yet, one study of such efforts in Canada found that they do not involve true consultation or participation, whereby citizens have the chance to influence eventual decisions, and are instead public relations exercises used to reinvent the industry. Nuclear groups employ public consultation sessions to demonstrate consent and approval when they do get it, or construct the public as having fragmented values and opinions that will never be overcome when they do not get it, telling regulators they should ultimately defer to the nuclear industry. This situation does not bode well for democracy, the study concluded, as the public is co-opted either way. Public consultation is converted from a means to inform public policy into an end justifying nuclear expansion”.
101 uses for a nuclear power station 7th Nov 2011 more >>
A major launch event for a new nuclear research centre will take place this week at The University of Manchester. More than 120 delegates from industry, commerce and academia will attend the launch of the Research Centre for Radwaste and Decommissioning (RCRD) on Wednesday.
Manchester University 7th Nov 2011 more >>
TWO north west firms have formed joint ventures with continental partners as they look to capitalise on the the UK’s nuclear new build programme.Warrington-based Nuvia has signed a partnership agreement with Cammell Laird in Birkenhead and Italian technology group Ansaldo Nucleare to win business from the programme. Meanwhile Boulting Group, also based in Warrington, has teamed up with the Marseille-based Groupe SNEF to form S&B Nuclear Services, which will bid for multi-million pound electrical and instrumentation contracts in the UK.
Manchester Evening News 8th Nov 2011 more >>
A proposal by the French socialists to cut Frances reliance on nuclear energy for its electricity supply to 50 per cent within the next two decades would cost about 60bn ($82bn) to deliver, according to an influential industry lobby group representing EDF and GDF Suez. The report from the Union Française de lElectricité is the first time the industry has put a cost on a reduction in nuclear power and represents an opening shot in what is shaping up to be an intense lobbying battle for EDF, the worlds largest nuclear supplier.
FT 7th Nov 2011 more >>
An ominous new report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog showing that Iran is closer than ever to becoming a nuclear weapons state will trigger fresh debate among Western governments about how to respond. But it is unlikely on its own to prompt new international sanctions, diplomats said yesterday.
Independent 8th Nov 2011 more >>
A landmark report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will detail how specialists from Pakistan and North Korea have also helped to take the Islamic regime to the threshold of full nuclear capability.
Telegraph 7th Nov 2011 more >>
The UN’s nuclear watchdog will publish new details on Wednesday on alleged Iranian work on an advanced design for a nuclear warhead developed with the help of a former Soviet scientist, according to nuclear experts.
Guardian 7th Nov 2011 more >>
Russia and China have expressed growing concern about a possible American military strike against Iran over its nuclear programme. And this week the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to publish a damning report with ‘compelling evidence’ that Iran is secretly building an arsenal of nuclear warheads. Fresh details suggest that Iran could even be ‘nuclear ready’ within months. And laying bare the disturbing extent of the countrys atomic weapons programme will increase calls in the United States for pre-emptive action against the Islamic state.
Daily Mail 8th Nov 2011 more >>
The International Atomic Energy Agency is due to circulate its latest quarterly report on Iran on Wednesday. It is a confidential document distributed to member states but it is traditionally leaked within seconds. This time, because of the renewed talk of military action, particularly in Israel and Britain, it is being pre-leaked.
Guardian 7th Nov 2011 more >>
Pakistan is training 8,000 people to protect its nuclear arsenal, which some fear could be vulnerable to penetration by Islamist militants, the Pakistani military said yesterday. Reports that nuclear weapons components are transported in delivery vans to avoid detection have been denied.
Scotsman 8th Nov 2011 more >>
Pakistans nuclear weapons, which are capable of destroying entire cities, are reportedly transported in delivery vans on congested and dangerous roads.
IFW 7th Nov 2011 more >>
In the AP report published 1 November, an International Atomic Energy Agency-based source revealed that satellite imagery over the cotton facility revealed “striking similarities” to plans for a nuclear complex that were provided to the Libyan government by Pakistani scientist AQ Khan. On 1 November 2011, an AP reporter told Jane’s that those Libyan plans have not been made publically available outside of IAEA channels.
Janes 7th Nov 2011 more >>
As efforts to end the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant drag on, it is important for the central and local governments to step up their efforts to closely examine the health conditions of people concerned and to decontaminate areas contaminated by radiation. The Fukushima prefectural government has developed a program to monitor the health of all residents in the prefecture, who number about 2 million, throughout their lifetime. It has also started examining the thyroids of some 360,000 children who are age 18 or younger. Detailed and long-term area-by-area studies should be carried out to record cancer incidences.
Japan Times 8th Nov 2011 more >>
Welcome to post-disaster Tokyo. Eight months after the earthquake and tsunami battered Japans north-east, life in the capital has largely returned to normal edged with nervousness about the continuing problems of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Workers at the plant, located 240km to the north of Tokyo, appear to be making progress in stabilising its reactors, but nobody is ready to call an end to the worlds worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. Recent readings show radiation levels around Greater Tokyo have fallen since the early days of the disaster. However, reports of highly contaminated hotspots still fuel public worries.
FT 7th Nov 2011 more >>
Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman has another good column in the NY Times today, Here Comes the Sun. He makes three key points. First, solar is rapidly coming down the cost curve Ive sprinkled a couple of the Climate Progress charts on this throughout this post. Second, fracking is over-hyped. Third, the only thing that can stop the solar revolution in this country is fossil-fuel-driven politics.
Climate Progress 7th Nov 2011 more >>
So what you need to know is that nothing you hear from these people is true. Fracking is not a dream come true; solar is now cost-effective. Here comes the sun, if were willing to let it in.
New York Times 6th Nov 2011 more >>
In the wake of the Governments formal FiT consultation, which proposed a slash in the FiT rate of over 50%, the UK solar industry has felt a great sense of injustice, stemmed from a seemingly unnecessary fast-track review which has left companies with just a six-week timeframe to either push ahead or abandon planned projects. In search of a coherent response, Jeremy Leggett, chairman of Solarcentury, has published an open letter to David Cameron, urging him to step in and reconsider what many believe to be the death knell for the UK solar industry.
Solar Power Portal 7th Nov 2011 more >>
Letter from a large number of signatories: The Governments proposal for a cut of more than 50 per cent to feed-in tariffs would destroy the UK solar industry one of the brightest hopes for green growth in the UK economy. The tariff has been very successful in the past 18 months, helping the industry to grow to 4,000 companies employing 25,000 people. The support it provides was always intended to taper away as the cost of technology falls, and we accept the need for some cuts to take place. But a cut on this scale would kill the solar sector outright.
Times 7th Nov 2011 more >>