Today in Keswick 90% of the people we spoke to were opposed to new nuclear build in Cumbria. This does not tally with what NuGen are saying which is that “Cumbria wants new nuclear build.” A recent poll in the Evening Mail indicated that 85% of those voting do not want new nuclear build in Cumbria. Tourists said they would think twice about coming to Cumbria if dangerous new nuclear reactors were built here.
Radiation Free Lakeland 31st May 2016 read more »
Shortlisted ideas for the landscape design of the Moorside nuclear power station design have been released after nuclear company NuGen invited designers from across the globe for their ideas.
Horticulture Week 31st May 2016 read more »
The government has denied claims that it is keeping arrangements for dealing with radioactive waste at the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station a secret “for national security”. The claim was made in the Guardian newspaper this week.The Guardian said a “furious row” had broken out after the Department of Energy and Climate Change refused to disclose the arrangement with French energy giant EDF for dealing with radioactive waste at the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “Taxpayers won’t have to pick up the bill for the safe disposal of waste produced by new power stations.”Developers will have to prove that they can meet their waste and decommissioning costs in the future and there are publicly available documents setting out how this will happen.” She declined to comment on the record about the disputed FoI inquiry and national security claims.
Plymouth Herald 31st May 2016 read more »
GMB Scotland – one of the major trade unions represented in the UK energy sector – has warned that Scots will pay higher energy bills even if the proposed new Anglo-Franco-Sino new nuclear power station is built at Hinkley Point C. The UK government have offered a guaranteed strike price of £92 per mw-hour for the 35 year lifetime of the proposed new atom plant to the mostly-state-owned French nuclear generator, EDF. But EDF delayed the final investment decision on the project in April in order to consult with its unions. But Jean-Luc Magnaval, Secretary of the Central Works Committee has said that the trade unions are unlikely to give their blessing to the project in its current state. Gary Smith, Secretary, GMB Scotland, said: “We know the French union CGT well. We have worked with them in the nuclear sector for years. We understand CGT have concerns over Hinkley but the whole of the UK desperately needs this project to go ahead. “This decision will have profound implications for Scotland. If EDF can’t get the project off the ground, the only show in town will be China’s. “We will be dependent on them to pay for the project which means Chinese reactors with a Chinese supply chain and little to no chance for Scottish companies to compete as they would have with EDF. “Very significantly, all Scots will pay higher energy bills to pay for a Chinese reactor. The UK won’t negotiate with China over price, they will be had over a barrel and that will end up on every bill on the UK. “The Scottish political class has been dishonest with the Scottish people over the hard choices we have on energy. The idea that renewables will meet all our needs for electricity is laughable.” Meanwhile, GMB Scotland also want the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to be re-designated as the Nuclear Development Authority and take over responsibility for the project.
Scottish Energy News 1st June 2016 read more »
British authorities underestimate the risk posed by malicious cyber-attacks, spy drones and data breaches to UK nuclear facilities and systems of transit, expert analysis suggests. A hard-hitting briefing, published by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) on Sunday, outlined key security concerns relating to UK nuclear policy. Risks flagged in the report include inside attacks on nuclear sites, the loss or theft of sensitive data relating to nuclear plants, cyber-attacks on nuclear facilities, malicious targeting of nuclear material in transit and the use of drones for adversarial means. The research was carried out by the NFLA and Dr. David Lowry, a senior research fellow with the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in Cambridge, USA. It was dispatched to government officials, local authorities, nuclear regulatory agencies, British emergency services and the broader nuclear sector for review.
Russia Today 1st June 2016 read more »
Express 31st May 2016 read more »
UK authorities are underestimating the risks of devastating terrorist attacks on nuclear plants and shipments of radioactive material, according to an expert report. A new analysis for the 40-strong group of Nuclear-Free Local Authorities (NFLA) highlights the vulnerability of Scottish nuclear facilities at Hunterston, Torness and Dounreay to mass drone strikes, sophisticated cyber attacks and terrorist infiltrators. Regular transports of nuclear materials by road, rail, sea and air are also potential targets, the report warns. Governments and regulatory agencies are struggling to keep up with evolving threats, it says, and demands urgent action from ministers.
Ferret 31st May 2016 read more »
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today a carefully researched and considered analysis of the UK and international nuclear security and concludes that authorities may be underestimating the scale of the threat to nuclear facilities and transports. It calls for urgent consideration by government, nuclear regulators and the nuclear industry to some of the concerns that emerge from the report.
NFLA Press Release 29th May 2016 read more »
Britain could face increased risk of blackouts in coming winters if ministers are too heavy handed in their attempts to curb diesel generation, KPMG has warned. Ministers and energy regulator Ofgem are currently examining options to try to prevent the continued growth of highly polluting small diesel generators through a consumer-funded subsidy scheme. But KPMG warns that moves to prevent more diesel engines gaining subsidies in future could jeopardise the construction of diesel and less polluting gas generators that have already been awarded subsidies and are due to be built in coming years. This could result in “a greater chance of blackouts” at a time when Britain’s electricity system is already stretched, it concludes in a report commissioned by UK Power Reserve, which builds small gas generators.
Telegraph 1st June 2016 read more »
British energy policy (and its institutions) is way too complacent about the health of the GB energy industry, and its future. IGov argues for greater linkage between the CCC – which sets out in broad terms the GHG emission reduction needed by a certain time – and energy policy and the energy industry. It seems to us that there is a major mitigation-size gap in the current institutional framework – no one institution actually seems to take responsibility for energy practice change that will meet the challenges of climate change. Yes, GB has a climate change policy – but policies are cheap. GB needs a framework which leads to practice change capable of meeting GB goals, and it needs an institutional process to ensure that. GB has a number of challenges that its energy system has to meet: it has to deliver a more or less 100% renewable electricity system by 2030 in order to be on track for an overall GHG emission reduction of 80% by 2050; it has to ensure its energy infrastructure enables more variable renewables and ‘smarter’ customer interactions; it has to attract investment for the low carbon resources which have to become the basis of our energy system; and it has to do this as cheaply as possible.
IGov 31st May 2016 read more »
China – AP1000
Westinghouse Electric has completed the cold hydrostatic test (CHT) at the Sanmen unit one in Zhejiang Province in China. Claimed to be the world’s first AP1000 nuclear power plant, Sanmen is expected to be commissioned for operations, as the test has confirmed that the reactor systems meet design pressures under operating and accident conditions.
Energy Business Review 30th May 2016 read more »
The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) board is expected to vote in June to close the 478MW Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska at the end of the year, 17 years before its license expires as the reactor becomes another victim of low natural gas prices.
Argus Media 31st May 2016 read more »
Nigeria wants to develop nuclear power to diversify its energy mix beyond the current mix dominated by fossil and hydro, Franklin Osaisai, head of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, told the AtomExpo conference in Moscow today. He wants Nigerian people to share ownership and management responsibility in a future program based on ‘safety, security and respect’.
World Nuclear News 31st May 2016 read more »
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has hammered out a deal with state premiers on the latest reform to Germany’s renewable energy law aimed at curbing the costs and controlling the speed of the roll-out of green power sources. After a meeting with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states that stretched into the early hours of Wednesday, the government agreed to cap the expansion of onshore wind power at 2.8 gigawatts in capacity per year. In addition only a certain amount of new capacity will be permitted in north Germany to avoid overburdening the electricity grid.
Guardian 1st June 2016 read more »
The German Cabinet plans to approve a draft law on Aug. 3 that will require its utilities to pay billions of euros into a state fund to help cover the cost of nuclear storage, according to an Economy Ministry timetable seen by Reuters on Monday. A commission recommended in April that Germany’s “big four” power firms — E.ON, RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall — pay a total €23.3 billion ($26 billion) to remove unwanted long-term liability for the storage of nuclear waste. The commission asked utilities to transfer provisions set aside for storage sooner than expected, starting with a first instalment totalling €17.2 billion no later than early 2017. The government is widely expected to adopt the commission’s proposals.
Japan Times 31st May 2016 read more »
Encourage investment in district heating through regulation, industry groups and politicians urge Scottish government. The new Scottish government should bring in regulations to encourage investment in district heating, a group of businesses, politicians and civil society groups said today. The minority SNP government should take advantage of the opportunity of the Warm Homes Act’s cross-party support to promote district heating, according to the groups, which include Environmental group WWF Scotland, the University of Edinburgh, heatpump manufacturer Star Renewable Energy and cross-party MSPs. The call follows a report published in March by government advisers that recommended local authorities should be required to develop and publish a strategic plan for developing district heating in their area. The report said a deployment of dist rict heating “would make a significant contribution to implementation [….] of the Scottish government’s key priorities in carbon reduction, fuel poverty, energy efficiency and economic development”. Dr Sam Gardner, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said while just one per cent of Scotland’s heat demand is currently supplied by district heating, research suggests this needs to jump to 40 per cent by 2030 in order for Scotland to meet its climate targets.
Business Green 31st May 2016 read more »
Scottish Housing News 31st May 2016 read more »
Eighty two per cent of people in the UK have never heard of district heating. Almost two-thirds have never heard of heat pumps. And more than a quarter have never heard of renewable heat at all. The Department of Energy & Climate Change’s (DECC) latest survey of 2,105 Britons, released last month (26 April), makes sobering reading for anyone involved in the renewable heat sector. A day earlier, the same department closed its consultation into the future of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Reading the stark figures, it would be easy to wonder why they’re bothering. But decarbonising our heat sector is crucial. More than half the energy we use is in the form of heat. While keeping warm has always been important, doing so in a low-carbon, sustainable way has never been more so. The heat pump sector alone already employs 3,100 people in Scotland. All that could start to unravel, however, if cuts and changes to the RHI are carried out in the way the UK government is currently proposing. RHI tariff rates and structures look set to change – with some sectors hit harder than others. Solar thermal, for example, could see itself out in the cold: DECC wants to remove it from the RHI altogether. The particular strengths of solar thermal include that it has negligible running costs, can be added to existing heating systems and its performance does not depend on investing in a highly-insulated house, making it particularly well suited to homes in fuel poverty.
Scotsman 31st May 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
Tomorrow the Financial Times stages a conference on strategies for the revolution unfolding in global energy markets. I am on a panel discussing the role of innovation. I have a thrilling example to recount based on the work of Solarcentury’s innovation team. In the limited time I have available, I will struggle to do their accomplishments justice, so I plan to try and do so in this blog. Their’s is a story of belief and design brilliance in the face of adversity and doubt. It offers an inspirational microcosm of the potential for fast deployment of clean energy in the future, with all the social good that entails. It creates a talisman for the widespread underestimation of the transformative power of solar energy that persists across society. A few years ago, the innovation team told Solarcentury’s management and board that they were aiming for a fully building-integrated solar roof system that would be comparable to a standard system bolted on to an existing roof, whilst winning accolades for aesthetics. I and others doubted such a world-first would be achievable. But their belief was solid, strongly backed up by CEO Frans van den Heuvel, and the prize if it could be realised was potentially huge: market research suggested an in-roof product price comparative with an on-roof product would be extremely popular. So the project went ahead.
Jeremy Leggett 31st May 2016 read more »
New solar, wind and hydropower sources were added in 2015 at the fastest rate the world has yet seen, a study says. Investments in renewables during the year were more than double the amount spent on new coal and gas-fired power plants, the Renewables Global Status Report found. For the first time, emerging economies spent more than the rich on renewable power and fuels. Over 8 million people are now working in renewable energy worldwide. For a number of years, the global spend on renewables has been increasing and 2015 saw that arrive at a new peak according to the report. About 147 gigawatts (GW) of capacity was added in 2015, roughly equivalent to Africa’s generating capacity from all sources. China, the US, Japan, UK and India were the countries adding on the largest share of green power, despite the fact that fossil fuel prices have fallen significantly. The costs of renewables have also fallen, say the authors.
BBC 1st June 2016 read more »
Guardian 25th May 2016 read more »
Investment in renewable energy was higher in the world’s poorest countries than the richest ones for the first time last year, according to a major new report. A total of about £196.5bn was spent renewable power and fuels globally in what was a record year for investment in the sector, according to the Renewables 2016 report by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (Ren21). But more than £107bn of that total, which doesn’t include large hydropower schemes and heating and cooling technologies, took place in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil. Friends of the Earth said it was “shameful” that the UK was being outspent by “much poorer countries” and attacked the Government for failing to create the right environment for investors in renewables.
Independent 31st May 2016 read more »
A SMALL community in Lochbroom is launching a fundraising bid to build its own hydro scheme – and give the profits back to projects in the area. BroomPower aims to raise £900,000 through a community share issue to finance building a hydro scheme at Lael, just south of Ullapool. If successful, the volunteers who run the scheme hope the hydro will be built and generating power by the end of next year. They plan to convert any surplus income from it to support community projects in the area. A ‘Hydro Hoolie’ has just raised £25,000 towards the target. The event welcomed more than a hundred guests to a dinner and ceilidh with a piper and local school children cutting a cake to open the evening. It triggers the start of a campaign to attract individuals and organisations to take a unique opportunity and invest in a scheme with environmental an d social rewards.
Scotsman 31st May 2016 read more »
Domestic energy storage company Powervault has extended its crowdfunding investment campaign by two weeks despite already amassing £500,000 more than its original target. Powervault had initially been seeking an investment total of £750,000, but on the funding campaign’s original end date it had reached £1.2 million.
Utility Week 31st May 2016 read more »
The Scottish Parliament is to debate a ban on fracking as part of a Holyrood environment and land reform debate. New Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is to lead a debate calling for a “sustainable low-carbon economy”. Scottish Labour has tabled an amendment calling for a full ban on fracking, while the Greens have another speaking against it. The Scottish government currently has a moratorium on the controversial method of oil and gas extraction. The SNP’s manifesto for the Holyrood election committed to there being no fracking in Scotland “unless it can be proven beyond doubt that there is no risk to health, communities or the environment”. Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens favour an immediate and outright ban, while Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “highly sceptical” about the technique. Ms Cunningham’s motion for Wednesday’s debate asks parliament to a gree that “Scotland’s stunning natural environment is one of its most precious assets”, and says that “wise and productive use of the country’s natural capital is at the heart of a strong, sustainable, low-carbon economy”. Labour MSP Claudia Beamish put forward an amendment asking parliament to “recognise that, to meet Scotland’s climate change goals and protect the environment, there must be an outright ban on fracking in Scotland”.
BBC 1st June 2016 read more »