EDF’s proposed £16 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point is still in limbo, as the firm awaits the results of an investigation. The French energy company announced in October that it planned to take a final investment decision on Hinkley Point C by July, after striking a subsidy deal with government. But it is still waiting for the results of an ongoing European Commission investigation into whether the subsidies are illegal state aid before taking the final decision. A spokesman for EDF told the Mercury this week: “We hope to get EU approval by the end of the year. In the meantime phase two site preparation works are still underway to prepare the ground. “There’re only a dozen or so workers on site at the moment because there’s not much more we can do until we get the final investment decision; then there will be lots of jobs.” He added EDF is co-operating fully with the European Commission and UK Government as the investigation proceeds. It is now a year since EDF announced a cost-saving reorganisation, which saw a “significant amount” of employees being made redundant. When asked by the Mercury, the spokesman would not reveal the exact figure or the percentage of job losses.
This is the West Country 30th May 2014 read more »
Centrica needs a new kind of boss to turn it into a green energy firm. One who doesn’t worry about bonuses. Surely there must be executives in the world of business who would relish the unique and exhilarating challenge of keeping Britons warm and well-lit while building a power system fit for a low-carbon world? The Centrica three are said by some to have had enough of the criticism – unfounded in their eyes – from politicians and the public that they are personally and corporately profiteering on the back of soaring energy bills. But if the country really is to tackle the “trilemma” of rising bills, increased energy insecurity and lower carbon emissions, Centrica might need not just new management but a totally new business model. The energy company of the future needs to find a way of making profits out of selling less power, not more.
Observer 1st June 2014 read more »
At the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit held in The Hague in March, Japan agreed to turn over to Washington hundreds of kilograms of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, some of which would have been ideally suited for use in nuclear weapons. This was an important victory in global nuclear security efforts for which Japan should be commended. Unfortunately, Japan still stores 9 tonnes of separated plutonium at home and 35 tonnes in Britain and France – enough for thousands of nuclear weapons. Tokyo plans to separate more such materials even though in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster the future scale of nuclear energy production in Japan is very uncertain. Thus, Chinese experts and officials cannot help but view Japan’s plutonium stocks with considerable alarm.
Asia Times 30th May 2014 read more »
The United States now shares so many atomic secrets with Britain that many believe both countries are breaching the international treaty banning nuclear weapons proliferation, and risking the spread of warheads to other countries. The “do as we say, not as we do” element of the U.S.-U.K. atomic cooperation is emboldening other countries with nuclear weapons capabilities that want to have the same kind of freedom to share atomic technology.
Who What Why 30th May 2014 read more »
Foreign fuel imports now dominate the UK electricity market. In 2012 the UK imported over 60% of the fuel it used to generate electricity, up by 12% since 2011. At the same time UK renewables have shown tremendous growth. Our calculations show that natural sources like sun, wind and water provided over a quarter of all the UK-based power used to generate electricity in 2012. We think it’s time for a new generation where the UK makes its own renewable power. But what do you think? Do you agree with us?
Good Energy 22nd May 2014 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News: UK solar capacity now 3GW and other news.
Microgen Scotland 30th May 2014 read more »
PROPERTY and mortgage experts have been left confused over the potential impact of fracking on homeowners, as the controversial process is set to become more widespread. Last week a report by the British Geological Survey announced that there is the potential for an estimated equivalent of up to 8.6bn barrels of shale gas in Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Kent. While only a small proportion of these reserves could be exploited, it still opens the way for more fracking, which had previously been limited to the north of England and more remote areas.
Sunday Times 1st June 2014 read more »