News

Nuclear Terror

The greatest challenge to global security is the nuclear threat from rogue states, led by North Korea and Iran. There will be no progress in ensuring global nuclear stability without cooperation between the United States and Russia. This should be a major priority for Presidents Trump and Putin. Much has been made of states trying to secure their borders against terrorist threats. While it is essential that borders are secured, terrorism is tackled and hatred confronted, we cannot ignore the greatest contemporary threat of all, nuclear attacks. It feels remote and unlikely, but is a very clear and present danger.

Washington Times 23rd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Energy Costs

Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, has accused the government of failing consumers and the environment over energy policy. The accusation follows new projections from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which estimate that onshore wind and solar will be as cheap or cheaper than gas by 2020 [1]. BEIS now acknowledge an increased role for renewables, particularly due to potential improvements in battery storage. Molly Scott Cato said: “Having hammered the renewables sector for ideological reasons, the government now discovers that wind and solar are set to become the cheapest ways to generate electricity. Government energy policy supposedly seeks to deliver secure, affordable and low carbon energy. They have failed on all three counts. But in particular we now see that by failing to pursue a transition to renewable energy they have missed the opportunity to provide electricity for the consumer at the lowest cost.”

Green Party 23rd March 2017 read more »

A long-awaited report exploring the complex cost implications of different energy technologies has finally been released, offering a series of recommendations on how government should manage a grid that is transitioning to cleaner sources of power. The report from consultancy Frontier Economics was originally commissioned by former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey in response to a wide-ranging debate about whether the government was accounting for the full cost of renewable energy technologies.

Business Green 24th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Energy Policy

In the latest Government forward energy projections the Government implicitly admits that reductions in contracts to be awarded for renewable energy are to be replaced by more generation from natural gas plant. You can see an analysis by Carbon Brief of the Government’s latest projections. The Government recognise that the costs of renewables have continued to fall but for reasons that Carbon Brief has been unable to find out (from Government) the Government have cut back its previous projected growth in renewable energy. Well, I can tell you why the Government has cut back its projections of renewable energy even though onshore wind and onshore solar have become the cheapest electricity supply sources: the Government prefer more expensive, carbon emitting natural gas for political reasons. They much prefer seeing UK natural gas reserves run down to having windfarms and solar farms built.

Dave Toke’s Blog 24th March 2017 read more »

The Committee on Climate Change was established by the 2008 Climate Change Act to act as the climate policy equivalent of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee. Ministers and Parliament are required by law to rely on its advice. Arguably this role gives the committee more influence over Britain’s long-term prosperity than anyone else. A public body, funded by the taxpayer to the tune of £3.8m a year, discharging such a crucial role requires competence, honesty and objectivity. The committee’s recent report on energy prices is deficient in all three, instead displaying similar ethical standards to Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth. Yes, low carbon electricity is more expensive than burning fossil fuels, the report conceded, but overall, low carbon policies were making people better off because energy efficiency policies meant that people were consuming less electricity.

Telegraph 23rd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Brexit

Last year, in advance of the referendum, UKERC published a policy paper predicting that a vote to leave the EU on 23 June would lead to a period of uncertainty of at least two years for the UK energy sector. Now Article 50 is set to be triggered on 29 March, what might that mean for our future energy relationship with the EU?

UKERC 20th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Japan

Six years after Fukushima, much of Japan has lost faith in nuclear power. The Japanese government should consider a fundamental change in its current nuclear energy policy if it wants to recover the public’s trust in nuclear power, writes Tatsujiro Suzuki, Director of the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition at Nagasaki University. According to Suzuki, staying on the current path will undermine Japan’s economic and political security.

Energy Post 22nd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Nuclear Weapons

Civilian staff at the Faslane and Coulport naval bases have begun a series of strikes in a dispute over workers’ rights. Members of the Unite union – who work in roles involving radiation monitoring, weapons support, cleaning, logistics, maintenance and repairs – are taking action over what they claim is a “systematic campaign to undermine workers” by employer Babcock Marine.

Scotsman 24th March 2017 read more »

Morning Star 25th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Renewables – solar

New reports from SolarPower Europe show that solar power had a very good year last year. Worldwide, installed solar power capacity grew by an amazing 50 percent in 2016, with a the largest growth occurring in the U.S. and China. The total amount of solar capacity added last year was more than 76 gigawatts (GW), while 2015 saw 50 GW installed. The total global solar power capacity is now about 305 GW, a major leap from the 50 GW installed worldwide a mere 7 years ago. The U.S. and China both doubled the amount of solar power they added in 2015, leading all other countries in solar growth. China added 34.2 GW and the U.S. added 14 GW. Europe, however, saw a 20 percent downturn in growth compared to the previous year, but there was still progress. Europe has now passed its goal of 100 GW of installed power, reaching 104 GW.

Tree Hugger 13th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Transport

Electrification of Britain’s railway lines should be scaled back in favour of cheaper alternatives such as battery-powered trains, the boss of Network Rail has said. Mark Carne insisted that electrifying lines was “not necessarily the best way” to improve punctuality, cut delays and boost capacity. In an interview with The Times, he said that technology was advancing at such a pace that better reliability could be achieved without the construction of unsightly overhead cables.

Times 25th March 2017 read more »

Posted: 25 March 2017

Sizewell

The development of a new Sizewell C power station on the Suffolk coast could bring hundreds of new jobs to Ipswich, it has emerged. But the town could have to fight off interest from both Colchester and Chelmsford to become home to a new administration centre for both Sizewell and another power station at Bradwell, near Maldon, in Essex.

Ipswich Star 22nd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 24 March 2017

Sizewell B

The first cask containing used nuclear fuel from the Sizewell B pressurised water reactor has been placed within the unit’s new dry fuel store. The milestone marks the first use of dry used fuel storage technology in the UK.

World Nuclear News 23rd March 2017 read more »

Posted: 24 March 2017