EDF Energy has published the timetable for the second stage of formal public consultation for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk. The public consultation will start on 23 November and close on 3 February 2017 and includes a number of exhibitions across east Suffolk. The first stage of public consultation for the Sizewell C project ran from November 2012 to February 2013 and we engaged with over 4,000 local people at over 100 events in Suffolk, including exhibitions, meetings and parish council presentations. Following feedback from the Stage 1 consultation and ongoing technical and environmental studies, for Stage 2 we have developed a preferred position on some of the key elements of our proposals, whilst other parts of our plans remain as options. There will also be a further stage of consultation, with dates to be confirmed, before EDF Energy submits its detailed proposals to the Planning Inspectorate.
EDF Energy 9th Nov 2016 read more »
EAST Yorkshire off site specialist Premier Modular has landed a major contract to provide 1,000 site office modules for the Hinkley Point C construction project. The complex will deliver offices and site welfare facilities required for the construction phase of the new nuclear power station in Somerset. The accommodation project will provide 38,000 sq m of office space to house all the management and technical personnel required during the construction stage of the plant. Part of the buildings will be converted after the construction cycle to remain as offices for the permanent site. Almost 1000 steel framed modules will be constructed off site at Premier’s manufacturing facility in East Yorkshire, before being transported to the Hinkley Point C site for final assembly and fitting out – a process that will take 16 months from manufacture to hand over. EDF Energy predicts that an estimated 25,000 job opportunities will be created over the construction of the new power station, including up to 1,000 apprenticeships.
Business Desk 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Building 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Cumbria twinned with Fukushima: The Whitehaven News tells us that: “The company charged with cleaning up the devastated Fukushima nuclear site in Japan has taken a fact-finding trip to Copeland. Yoshiyuki Ishizaki, from the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), visited the area last week to look at how the nuclear industry and the surrounding communities engage with one another. This is not just a fluffy feel good piece of propaganda. It is cynical psychological warfare with an intent to force people back into radioactively contaminated areas in Fukushima , and placate Cumbrians into accepting ever more danger from the nuclear industry. Three former executives at a Japanese power giant have been formally charged with negligence over the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The trio, formerly of Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), will be the first to go to court over the incident. A citizen’s panel ruled that they should face trial, forcing prosecutors to pursue the case.
Radiation Free Lakeland 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Environment agencies could get earlier role in nuclear decommissioning. Responsibility for the final cleanup of nuclear sites earmarked for decommissioning may be handed over to the EA, SEPA and NRW.
ENDS 8th Nov 2016 read more »
The government is investing £5 million in innovative manufacturing and materials technologies for the civil nuclear sector. Businesses can now apply for a share of BEIS’ funding which is part of the UK’s nuclear manufacturing and materials research programme. The competition aims to improve the economic prospects of nuclear power technologies. Applications must be under one of the following five themes: structural materials; mechanisation and automation of component manufacture; large-scale component manufacture and assembly; development and verification of pre-fabricated modules; design codes and standards. The government expects to invest up to £250 million in nuclear innovation in the next four years.
Energy Live News 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
Producing half of all of Scotland’s energy from renewables by 2030 is achievable, a report published in October claims. Based on independent analysis by leading global technical consultancy Ricardo Energy & Environment, the report The Energy of Scotland: Heating, moving and powering our lives from now to 2030 sets out how Scotland’s climate targets could be met in the most cost-effective way and finds that, to do so, 50 per cent of all the country’s energy will need to come from renewables by the end of next decade. Colin McNaught, managing consultant at Ricardo Energy & Environment, said, “Our analysis provides the most sophisticated model yet for what Scotland’s energy system will look like in 2030 if climate targets are to be met in the most cost-effective way. A major transformation across all the energy sectors will need to take place, but the technologies are already available and Scotland has the renewable resources to supply them.”
Offshore Wind Journal 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Turkey expects the first unit of its planned $20 billion (16 billion pound) Akkuyu nuclear power plant to be online by the end of 2023, according to the text of a presentation by energy minister Berat Albayrak on Tuesday.
Reuters 8th Nov 2016 read more »
France could impose power cuts this winter due to an electricity shortage, an unprecedented step in the wealthy nation which would expose the vulnerabilities of its dependence on nuclear power. The warning was issued on Tuesday by grid operator RTE, which said power supply had been hit by the closure of around a third of the country’s ageing nuclear reactors for safety checks. The country’s regulator has ordered a review of the strength of crucial steel components after the discovery of manufacturing irregularities. France relies on nuclear for three-quarters of its power, more than any other country. RTE said the amount of nuclear power available was at a record low for this time of year, around 10,000 megawatts lower than a year ago – equivalent to more than twice the consumption of Paris and Marseille combined. Power supplies are likely to be most stretched in the first three weeks of December, RTE said. With about a third of French homes heated by electricity, the country is highly sensitive to cold snaps. The discovery last year of weak spots in the steel of the EPR reactor state-backed utility EDF is building in Flamanville in northwest France led nuclear regulator ASN to take a closer look at manufacturing procedures of state-owned reactor builder Areva. In May, the ASN said the anomalies found in Flamanville had also been discovered in reactors being operated by EDF and ordered safety tests on 18 out of EDF’s 58 reactors. Unlike other nuclear countries such as the United States and China, which have used different reactor models and suppliers, all French reactors are pressurised water reactors made by the same manufacturer, a forerunner of Areva.
Reuters 8th Nov 2016 read more »
The French company chosen to build Britain’s new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point may have to switch off the lights in its home country because of safety concerns over its reactors. With 20 of the 58 nuclear reactors in France out of service, officials fear that EDF, the state-owned energy giant, will be unable to meet demand if temperatures fall this winter. To avoid a total shutdown, RTE the grid operator, has drawn up an emergency plan that could involve a series of two-hour long power cuts to homes and businesses to reduce peak demand if temperatures fall at least 3C below average this winter. The announcement is the latest blow to EDF’s credibility and comes less than two months after Theresa May approved its project to build two new generation reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset for £18 billion. The plant is designed to provide 7 per cent of Britain’s electricity. In its home country, EDF is reeling from the disclosure that Areva, its sister company in the French nuclear industry, falsified safety tests on key components for reactors.
Times 9th Nov 2016 read more »
France’s green party EELV on Monday elected MEP and former Greenpeace activist Yannick Jadot as its candidate for next year’s presidential election. Jadot, 49, won the party’s primary with 54 percent of the vote, defeating fellow MEP Michele Rivasi who took 40.75 percent. An environmentalist and humanitarian who coordinated Greenpeace campaigns in France between 2002 and 2008, Jadot was elected to the European Parliament in 2009.
France 24 7th Nov 2016 read more »
China General Nuclear Power (CGN) and Guangxi Investment Group have completed the first phase construction of 6GW Fangchenggang nuclear power plant in Guangxi, China. The project is being developed in phases by Guangxi Fangchenggang Nuclear Power, a joint venture of CGN and Guangxi Investment Group, in collaboration with Ratchaburi Electricity Generating (RATCH), a subsidiary of the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. The first phase of the nuclear plant involves construction of two units, each with 1.08GW capacity and featuring CGN’s independent gigawatt-level advanced pressurized water reactor (CPR1000) technology. The first unit entered commercial operation on 01 January 2016 while the second unit began operations on 01 October 2016.
Energy Business Review 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister of Russia, and Li Keqiang, premier of China’s State Council, today made a joint statement on the development of strategic cooperation between the two countries in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said the statement “is intended to facilitate implementation” of its major projects in China.
World Nuclear News 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – wind
Wind turbines could soon supply most of the UK’s electricity, the boss of the country’s largest windfarm operator has said, as he confirmed plans to sell its oil and gas division. Dong Energy said the sale would underpin its plan to become a “global leader in renewables”, 44 years after the company was set up to exploit Denmark’s North Sea oilfields. The chief executive pointed to the tumbling cost of green energy as evidence that wind and solar could supplant fossil fuels quicker than expected. Dong Energy is the UK’s largest windfarm operator with stakes in planned or existing projects able to produce five gigawatts (5GW), more than the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear reactors. Poulsen said technological advances in the energy industry meant wind power could end up supplying more than half of the UK’s electricity demand.
Guardian 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Dong Energy has joined the crowded market of North Sea oil and gas sellers as it confirmed plans to offload its entire fossil fuels division, which could be worth more than £1.5bn. The Danish state-controlled company also revealed that the fall in the pound post-Brexit had delayed its plans to sell a 50pc stake in the Race Bank offshore wind farm that it is building off the coast of Norfolk. Dong has transformed itself in recent years from its roots as Denmark’s national oil and gas company to become the world’s leading offshore wind developer and now plans to focus almost entirely on wind. The majority of Dong’s oil and gas production is in the Norwegian North Sea but it also has assets West of Shetland, including a 20pc stake in the £3.5bn Laggan Tormore gas field, which started production earlier this year.
Telegraph 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – Hydro
A project to harness the power of a Borders river to generate energy has secured more than £1.5m in funding. It will see a series of hydro-electric generators placed on the Gala Water in Galashiels. The people behind the project said it was an “exciting revival” of the use of the river from the times of the old textile mills. It will initially create 150kW of power although it is hoped that could rise to up to 400kW in the longer term. It could ultimately meet the needs of about 1,000 homes in the town. The funding has come from the Scottish government via the Energy Saving Trust and Local Energy Challenge Fund.
BBC 7th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – wave
A new finance ‘navigation-map’ for the European ocean energy industry to plot a path to funding for new marine energy project has been delivered to the EU Commission. The EU Commission requested the ‘map’ be drawn up by Ocean Energy Europe – which is holding its annual industry exhibition today in Brussels. The navigation map identifies the challenges facing the sector on its path to commercial readiness and puts forward four solutions to overcome them. However, Scotland will be left ‘map-less’ if it is dragged out of the EU when, or if, the UK implements the result of the referendum vote in favour of British Independence from the EU-bloc – despite having the biggest marine energy raw resource in Europe. The Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) – which is largely funded by the EU – is a world-player in the sector. But a British Brexit would pull the financial plug from this overnight, leaving the market open to EU-based rivals, such as Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Authority or French Channel ports to exploit.
Scottish Energy News 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
A new way to tackle the much-maligned unpredictability of solar energy is being deployed at a solar farm opening today in Western Australia – cloud-tracking cameras. The 1MW solar farm at Karratha airport, made possible by a $2.3m grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena), has been fitted with state-of-the-art CloudCAM cloud-tracking technology by Fulcrum3D – a technology also backed by a separate $545,000 Arena grant. Dips in power output from solar farms that occur when clouds pass over leads some solar farms to rely on backup energy storage to smooth out the output.
Guardian 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The UK government has announced a consultation on whether to give subsidies to onshore wind development in the Western and Northern Isles. The Conservatives at Westminster had pledged to end support for onshore wind. Instead, the support packages called Contracts for Difference would be earmarked for developing technologies such as wave and tidal power. The consultation will run until the end of January.
BBC 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The EU has dropped plans to force toaster-makers to improve the energy efficiency of their products over fears of the political costs of being seen to be intruding in people’s daily lives, it has emerged. But while a new EU plan to cut emissions controversially emits several appliances, the manufacturers of electric kettles, refrigerators and hand driers will have to make their future products consume less energy. Solar panels and building automation systems are among the six product ranges set to benefit from the Ecodesign package, which should help Europe meet its obligations under the Paris climate agreement. But hairdryers, hot drinks vending machines and toasters – the subject of a tabloid campaign during the Brexit referendum – will be excluded, the commission’s first vice-president, Frans Timmermans, told a Brussels press conference.
Guardian 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Scotland’s environmental regulation is not strong enough to prevent fracking causing climate pollution, an expert report for the Scottish Government has concluded. The report, one of six on fracking and other forms of unconventional oil and gas published today, was written by the UK advisory Committee on Climate Change. The current regulatory framework for controlling greenhouse gas emissions from the industry “lacks clarity over the responsibilities and roles of the various actors and may have gaps relating to regulation of emissions to air including fugitive methane emissions,” it said. Methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, that can leak from fracking wells. The committee warned that fracking on a significant scale “is not compatible with Scottish climate targets unless three tests are met”. The first was that emissions must be “strictly limited”, it said. Fossil fuel consumption must also stay in line with Scotland’s targets to cut climate pollution, and any emissions that do occur will have to be offset by reductions elsewhere in the Scottish economy. A report by Health Protection Scotland has also concluded that there were “inadequacies” in the current regulatory framework. “The evidence considered was inadequate as a basis to determine whether development of shale oil and gas or coal bed methane would pose a risk to public health, if permitted in Scotland,” it said. The four other reports published by the Scottish Government covered seismic activity, transport, decommissioning and economic impacts. The energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse promised to launch a public consultation in January with the aim of making a decision on whether or not fracking should go ahead in the second half of 2017.
Ferrett 8th Nov 2016 read more »
The government is mulling over whether to allow the controversial oil and gas extraction technique in Scotland, with a moratorium currently in force. Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs that a “precautionary, evidence-based approach” would continue. A public consultation based on newly published studies will be launched in January, before any decision is made. At the same time, the government will publish its climate change plan and commission a full strategic environmental assessment. Nicola Sturgeon’s government commissioned a series of independent research projects when it imposed a moratorium on fracking in January 2015, the conclusions of which have now been published.
BBC 8th Nov 2016 read more »
A series of new reports published by the Scottish Government have revealed damning evidence of the impacts of shale gas fracking in Scotland. The government is currently in talks over whether to allow the controversial oil and gas extraction technique to begin in Scotland, having announced a moratorium last year. An investigation into the potential health effects of fracking found there was “sufficient” evidence to suggest that a number of “air and water-born environmental hazards” would be likely to occur should the operations go ahead. Workers could also be at risk from breathing in dangerous crystalline silica during operations, the report found, a risk to health that could also affect those living near to fracking sites. However, the report – one of six to be published – found that there was “inadequate” data to determine whether the development of shale oil and gas or coal bed methane would pose a risk to public health overall. Analysing the impact fracking could have on climate change, experts from the Committee on Climate Change concluded that developing unconventional oil and gas (UOG) would make it harder for the country to meet environmental targets.
Left entirely unregulated, the emissions footprint of unconventional oil and gas production could be substantial,” the report warned.
Independent 8th Nov 2016 read more »
THE SNP is under pressure to introduce an immediate ban on fracking after an official report said it could damage the health of workers and local residents and even lead to explosions.
Herald 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The Scottish Government has been accused of kicking its decision on fracking into the long grass as it published a series of reports outlining its economic benefits and health risks. Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse indicate the Scottish Government would wait until the second half of next year before delivering its final verdict on the controversial method of extracting oil and gas.
Scotsman 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The Scottish government wants the public to say whether the controversial oil and gas extraction technique – known as fracking – should take place in Scotland. To help people decide, it commissioned a number of expert reports. Here is a brief overview of all six. 1.Economic impacts and scenario development (By KPMG) In the mid-range scenario it is estimated that the development of 20 well pads of 15 wells each could produce a cumulative 947 billion cubic feet of gas and 17.8 million barrels of associated liquids over a lifecycle to the year 2062.This could lead to direct expenditure of £2.2b in Scotland over the period, which could give supply chain benefits and other induced economic benefits of an additional £1.2bn over the period and be responsible for the creation of up to 1,400 jobs at its peak in the Scottish economy. 2.Decommissioning, site restoration and aftercare – obligations and treatment of financial liabilities (By AECOM). 3.Climate change impacts (By the Committee on Climate Change) 4.Understanding and monitoring induced seismic activity (By the British Geological Survey) 5.Health Impact Assessment (By Health Protection Scotland) 6. Understanding and mitigating community level impacts from transportation (By Ricardo)
BBC 8th Nov 2016 read more »
A TOTAL ban on fracking was a step closer last night after experts warned it would punch a hole in climate targets. New research for the SNP Government also suggests the industry might not even be economically worthwhile if oil and gas prices stay historically low. And an NHS report on public health raised concerns of potential hazards to workers and people living near drilling sites. In total, six reports were published yesterday as Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse ordered a public consultation over the controversial mining technology. Opponents said the lukewarm research findings and tough environmental challenges mean fracking is “doomed”.
Daily Record 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The SNP administration has delayed a decision on the future of fracking for at least another 12 months after the publication of six independent studies about the industry’s potential. Environmentalists welcomed the research, which also looked at the possible impact of fracking on the environment and public health. Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth, said the reports were “damning”. She added: “Fracking is bad for the climate, bad for public health and won’t do much good for the economy.” Willie Rennie, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said that the new research suggested the SNP government was setting off “on the long road to no”. Mark Ruskell, the Scottish Green MSP, said: “On the basis of what’s been published today, it seems clear that fracking is doomed.”
Times 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Indecisive SNP government does the public and economy no favours by dithering about an urgent energy issue that could be key to keeping the lights on. It is not clear why the Scottish government needs a further period of consultation before it reaches a decision on fracking. The research it commissioned back in 2015 has been delivered, the detail about costs, environmental impact, economic benefits and jobs are all there in KPMG’s 64-page report, published yesterday. This is the kind of information most ministers would require in order to reach a decision. What is holding them back?
Times 9th Nov 2016 read more »
FRACKING in Scotland is “doomed”, according to one MSP, while another said it was clear the Scottish Government “is on a long journey to saying no”, to the controversial process. The comments from Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell and LibDem leader Willie Rennie came after Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse published a series of reports on the technique, and said a public consultation would get under way early in 2017 with MSPs expected to vote on the process later in the year.
The National 9th Nov 2016 read more »
More than 150 jobs could be created if plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) directly to the Port of Roysth get the green light. The project would also help to cut energy costs for homes and businesses that are not connected to the national gas network, according to joint venture partners Flogas Britain, an LNG supplier, and Norwegian transport and storage group Stolt-Nielsen LNG Holdings. Scotland’s off-grid natural gas is currently delivered by road tanker from Kent, in the south-east of England, adding to transportation costs and forcing many firms to use oil to power their industrial processes. However, the plans announced today would see Stolt-Nielsen shipping in LNG via small-scale carriers for storage at the Fife port, which is owned by Edinburgh-based Forth Ports, before being distributed by Flogas across Scotland by road tanker, mainly to industria l customers.
Scotsman 9th Nov 2016 read more »