News

France

French utility EDF reduced power generation from its 900 megawatts (MW) Bugey 3 nuclear reactor on Tuesday after saying earlier that output at another nuclear power plant could be affected by weather conditions. The utility, which operates France’s 58 nuclear reactors said earlier that generation from its Chooz nuclear power plant in the northeast of the country could be restricted from Saturday Sept. 22 due to low water levels forecast for the Meuse river.

Reuters 18th Sept 2018 read more »

Narbonne: fire starts in a storage building on the Orano-Malvési site. The incident occurred this Wednesday, September 19 at 11:20 am Three people were slightly injured. When the materials stored in drums stored on the Malvési site of Orano enter the treatment process, the protocol wants a new control of the content of said drums is performed. It was during this operation that a fire started on Wednesday September 19 around 11:20 am, in a closed storage building of the Narbonne factory.

L’independent 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

US

The U.S. government will test and implement a new system to capture and destroy dangerous vapors released at the nation’s most polluted nuclear weapons production site as part of a settlement agreement reached Wednesday. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson told reporters that the agreement represents a major win for hundreds of workers who have been getting sick for years while cleaning up the nation’s nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington.

Daily Mail 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Nuclear Weapons

THE Scottish Government and a significant proportion of Scots are firmly opposed to nuclear weapons. Yet new research shows that local government pension funds, along with universities and financial institutions, together invest billions of pounds in companies that are involved in their production, maintenance and delivery systems. The new publication Working To Eliminate Nuclear Weapons Through Divestment: A Guide For Scotland, shows that nine local authority pension funds together hold shares worth nearly £300 million in 14 nuclear weapons companies. Lothian Pension Fund has the largest amount, £159m, invested in six such companies, including the world’s biggest weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Strathclyde’s has £89m invested in seven companies that undertake work related to Trident, plus four other major producers.

The National 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Hydrogen

The use of clean hydrogen technologies by transport and industry present “big opportunities” for the UK economy, but coordinated leadership from government and industry is needed to rapidly get the ball rolling on development. That is the key conclusion from a new analysis by think tank Policy Exchange to be released later today, which will argues investment in cost-effective hydrogen production technologies such as electrolysis would open up export opportunities for the UK, while also supporting the government’s Industrial Strategy and Clean Growth agenda. Hydrogen is “the most abundant element in the universe”, can be produced sustainably and only produces water vapour when burned, the report emphasises. As a fuel, it is 40 per cent more efficient than diesel, while it also has the potential to store energy or replace natural gas for heating. But today’s report, which assesses the potential of hydrogen to be used as a future energy source across a number of industries and processes, warns the UK risks missing out on H2’s green economy potential unless development and investment efforts are rapidly stepped up. It calls for increased investment to be focused on research and development (R&D) efforts to lower the cost of hydrogen production via clean methods such as electrolysis – which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using clean power sources and has the potential to provide energy flexibility and storage services to help balance intermittent renewable electricity sources. But the analysis is sceptical of the use of hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas in heating In particular, it points to Scotland and North East England as opportunities for hydrogen production hubs, offering potential to produce H2 using renewable electricity sources such as wind power, or through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

Business Green 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Birmingham University has signed a deal with Porterbrook, a privatised train leasing company, to begin testing Hydroflex – the country’s first hydrogen train, which could be ready for dummy runs next year. The university’s Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, which employs 130 academics, researchers and professional staff, says that it can produce a train that runs on hydrogen fuel cells without any need for a back-up diesel engine. It also would be able to hook up on electrified lines. Helen Simpson, of Porterbrook, said that there was interest in hydrogen because of its potential as a means of energy storage, addi ng that hydrogen power could smooth demand for electricity. The project has the backing of Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, who has struggled to deliver mainline electrification projects while promising to decarbonise the network and remove diesel trains by 2040.

Times 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Island Energy

Crofters in Lewis have had development applications for wind farms on their common grazings rejected this week by the Crofting Commission. The news was revealed in a statement by the Stornoway Trust, who welcomed the long awaited decision from the Crofting Commission, not to consent the Section 50B application submitted by the Grazing Committees of Melbost and Branahuie, Sandwick East Street, and Sandwick North Street. In the judgment issued to each applicant, who had sought consent to establish wind turbines on the site of the already consented Stornoway Wind Farm proposed development, the Commission explained that the proposed use would be detrimental to the interest of the Stornoway Trust as set out in Section 50B (2) of the 1993 Crofting Act. Crofters had hoped that approval for the go-ahead of their own wind farm project would realise much greater community benefits.

Stornoway Gazette 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Renewables – offshore wind

Orsted has cashed in on a lucratively subsidised contract to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm in British waters, selling half of the project to an infrastructure fund for £4.5 billion. The “bumper” price paid by Global Infrastructure Partners for the stake in Hornsea One, 75 miles off the coast of Grimsby, was a third more than expected, RBC Capital Markets said. Orsted, formerly known as Dong Energy, has already started building the 174-turbine project capable of powering more than a million homes. It should be completed by 2020.

Times 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Telegraph 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Energy Efficiency

Around one in eight Scots leave a light on as a nightlight while they sleep, racking up a potential total energy bill of £1.8 million a year. A further 8 per cent leaves lights on in empty rooms for a pet, while a quarter leaves lights blazing due to “security”, according to Smart Energy GB, the body promoting the smart meter roll out. People in Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders and Stirling are most likely to leave a light on in an empty room such as a hallway at night – with 15 per cent of householders in those areas saying they do so. Other reasons for people to leave lights on in empty rooms include plans that they will go back into the room later, which was a reason cited by 41 per cent of Scots; while one in three said they simply forget to turn lights off after they leave a room. Another 12 per cent say they need to leave a light on in their home in a communal or shared hallway. Norman Kerr, director of Energy Action Scotland said: “At a time when fuel bills are increasing it is important that households struggling to pay their bills receive support and advice on ways to use energy efficiently. Switching off unnecessary lights or changing to halogen bulbs are some of the ways to reduce energy use so that a household can better afford to keep warm and dry as a priority.” Iagan MacNeil, head of policy and communications Scotland for Smart Energy GB, which surveyed 2,037 people in Scotland, said that using a smart meter could help people see how much money they are wasting by leaving a light on unecessarily. The organisation estimates that turning off lights when people are not using them could save £15 on annual household bills.

Scotsman 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Electric Vehicles

Congestion on the roads could more than double over the next three decades despite rising numbers of driverless cars, according to analysis. Estimates by the Department for Transport (DfT) show that up to 16 per cent of roads will be clogged up by 2050 compared with 7 per cent at present. It is expected to result in slower vehicle speeds and longer travel times, with journeys taking 20 minutes on average rather than 17 now. The study forecast that the number of vehicles on British roads will grow by as much as 51 per cent. Officials said that the increase would be driven by population change combined with a drop in vehicle running costs. Growth in the number of zero-emission electric cars would have a significant impact, with motorists no longer having to spend thousands of pounds a year on fuel. Manufacturers have face d criticism over the high purchase price of existing electric cars but this is expected to drop as the technology becomes more mainstream. The government has set a target of making sure that all new models from 2040 are emission-free. This shift would lead to a sharp drop in emissions, the study said, with roadside carbon dioxide levels falling by up to 76 per cent by 2050 and deadly nitrogen oxides declining by 95 per cent. The analysis was based on an assumption of “no further planned improvements” to the road network beyond 2025, suggesting that congestion could be cut by government spending.

Times 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Fossil Fuels

Conservative MPs are preparing to rebel against the government over its proposal to allow fracking companies to carry out exploratory drilling without planning permission. About 20 Conservative MPs are expected to vote against the proposal, which is subject to a public consultation, if ministers decide to try to push it through parliament next year. Labour has pledged to ban fracking and the government has a working majority of only 13. Cuadrilla is preparing to start the first fracking in the UK since the process of forcing water, sand and chemicals down a well to fracture rock was temporarily banned in 2011 after the company caused minor earthquakes near Blackpool. The government has given Cuadrilla final approval for the fracking of two wells at Preston New Road in Lancashire. Ministers approved the process for the first in July and the second yesterday. The threatened Tory rebellion will not prevent fracking taking place but might slow down the development of the industry, which has been hampered by local authorities taking more than a year to decide applications for test drilling to check if a site is suitable.

Times 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Local opposition is hindering a project that is essential to the nation’s energy security.

Times 20th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018

Climate

A Stop Climate Chaos Scotland protest at Holyrood demanding radical action on global warming had to be moved indoors because of climate chaos. Storm Ali ensured that the environmentalists’ lobby of MSPs calling for radical action over greenhouse gas emissions could not take place at the Scottish Parliament as a marquee could not be put up due to the strong winds. Despite the weather, 70 people from across Scotland still gathered to lobby 24 MSPs as the protest moved to the Harry Younger Hall.

Herald 19th Sept 2018 read more »

Posted: 20 September 2018