MALDON District Council is hoping to secure a new grant to boost tourism in the Dengie to make up for the loss of jobs from the decommissioning of Bradwell power station. The council has applied for the Coastal Communities Fund which could deliver £50,000 upwards to develop a Dengie tourism brand and promote Burnham as an access point for the RSPB Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project. The council hopes to address the job losses from Bradwell, due to be decommissioned in 2015, by creating more tourism in the Dengie and providing more jobs.
Essex Chronicle 29th April 2014 read more »
The nuclear firm behind Wylfa Newydd has announced the recruitment of another 15 workers. With activity increasing at the site on Anglesey, Horizon Nuclear Power has revealed a number of new, local staff appointments. In addition to the 100 full-time staff and contractors already based at the Anglesey office, Horizon will welcome three experienced project engineers and a new G4S security team of 12 to the Wylfa Newydd site.
Daily Post 29th April 2014 read more »
CAITHNESS should “grab with open arms” the opportunities renewable energy offers the county as it tries to replace the jobs being lost at Dounreay. That was said by Kevin Coyne, the national officer for the Unite union, during a visit to the far north this week with Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex. Mr Coyne, who last visited Caithness two years ago, said the area is well placed to capitalise on the offshore renewable energy opportunities.
John O Groat Journal 30th April 2014 read more »
Greenpeace submission to European Commission on Hinkley subsidies.
Greenpeace 7th April 2014 read more »
Green energy sources such as wind farms and nuclear reactors are expensive and the government should admit it, Vince Cable, the business secretary has said. The senior Liberal Democrat said there was “no point just berating the energy industry” over rising prices because trying to balance consumer interests and the drive for costly green investment was a “horrendously difficult problem”. His comments stand in contrast to the usual rhetoric of the energy department, led by fellow Lib Dem Ed Davey, which typically focuses on arguing that going green will be cheaper than the alternatives, and has been critical of recent price rises. Dr Cable said it was “totally fair” to say that the Government “should just be honest about the fact a lot of the new energy is relatively high cost”. “The cost of new nuclear is a hell of a lot more than the long-term marginal cost of bringing in new gas and coal [power plants]. Offshore wind is three times the current price of gas [-fired generation],” he told an Edelman event on trust in the energy sector.
Telegraph 30th April 2014 read more »
Britain’s progression towards a low-carbon economy is being hampered by political uncertainties surrounding recent energy price hikes, the impact of the recession and on-going concerns about energy security. That’s according to a new report from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), which identifies the various obstacles facing the nation’s low-carbon ambitions. The Report, entitled ‘UK Energy Strategies Under Uncertainty’, features contributions from over 30 of Britain’s leading academic experts on energy. “For the last decade, energy policy in the UK has been an increasingly delicate balancing act between reducing emissions, security and affordability,” said Professor Jim Watson, the UKERC’s research director.
Edie 30th April 2014 read more »
Today’s entry reports on whether the ‘energy crunch’ is getting nearer or receding.One and two years ago I looked at whether new electricity generation was coming on stream fast enough to match a combination of increased demand and old generation being switched off. What does the picture look like now? From the available evidence the energy crunch has advanced somewhat over the last year, which is something that needs to be addressed.
BDB 30th April 2014 read more »
Since 2010, UK household energy bills have risen by 40%, a trend that is likely to continue under the government’s current energy policies focusing on shale gas. “North Sea gas has depleted far faster than was bargained for in the early 1990s, and Norwegian supplies are also under severe pressure,” said Meadway. The concern that continued dependence on fossil fuels could derail the economy is supported by a report from the UK Energy Research Centre released yesterday. The report states that the government’s apparent insistence on “scaling back the UK’s low carbon ambitions” would prolong “the exposure of consumers and the UK economy to the potential impacts of high fossil fuel prices.”
Guardian 1st May 2014 read more »
Support for renewable energy across the UK is almost twice that of nuclear power, a new survey has revealed. According to a study carried out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), a whopping 80% of people across the UK have said they supported the use of renewable energy to provide electricity against only 42% who said they back nuclear. According to the study, which surveyed 2040 people between March 26th and March 30th, more people back renewables than support nuclear and fracking combined. The figures are contained in the newly published DECC Public Attitudes Tracker survey, and also reveal only 29% of those asked said they backed the use of fracking.
Newsnet Scotland 30th April 2014 read more »
A new computer-based tool designed to help find the best sites for nuclear-waste repositories and to win public confidence in them has been developed by researchers in Germany. The €3m VIRTUS virtual underground laboratory will allow scientists to explore the behaviour of highly radioactive materials inside specific rock formations, with the aim of making it cheaper to develop and build repositories. Critics, however, argue that the new software will do little to improve safety and might disrupt real laboratory studies of nuclear waste. Johan Swahn of Swedish nuclear-repository watchdog MKG believes that the new software has little or nothing to contribute to research on radioactive-waste disposal. He says that experiments carried out in underground laboratories continue to provide “a lot of surprises”. For example, new uncertainties have emerged regarding how copper canisters designed to hold Sweden’s spent fuel behave in low-oxygen environments, and as a result the licence application for the proposed national repository may not be approved. “Creating a generic safety case with a nice visualization will in my opinion only enhance a dangerous belief in modelling, creating a false impression that we have understood more than we actually have,” he says.
Environmental Research Web 30th April 2014 read more »
An independent Scotland would be greener, cleaner and “lead the world in tackling climate change”, the country’s Environment Minister has claimed. Richard Lochhead said last night that enshrining protection for the environment in the written constitution of Scotland would be one of five “big green gains” that would result should this year’s independence referendum return a “yes” vote. Scotland would also become nuclear-free, ensure a fairer share of EU funding is targeted at environmental schemes, leverage its direct representation in Europe to drive the green policy agenda, and show international leadership in tackling climate change and championing climate justice.
Business Green 1st May 2014 read more »
The United States and German governments have been in talks for the past three years over a proposal to send shiploads of highly radioactive nuclear waste from a German reactor to the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, according to government documents revealed Tuesday. The U.S. Department of Energy offered to evaluate accepting waste from the German prototype reactor, according to a 2011 U.S. Department of Energy letter obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The State 30th April 2014 read more »
Additional shipments of waste at SRS has drawn opposition from environmentalist Tom Clements, director of watchdog group SRS Watch. SRS already has its own challenges disposing of large amounts of high-level waste existing at the facility, he said. “The proposal to import highly radioactive spent fuel from Germany to SRS is simply nuclear dumping dressed up as nuclear non-proliferation,” Clements said. “Germany’s challenging dilemma with what to do with its nuclear waste must not become a waste management problem for the Savannah River Site.” The graphite-based fuel for the German reactor contains U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium. Returning it to the U.S. would remove it from potential use in a nuclear weapon, Giusti said.
Augusta Chronicle 30th April 2014 read more »
France must decide in the next few years whether it wants to continue its nuclear-driven energy policy at a cost of up to 300 billion euros ($415 billion) or if it wants to embark on an equally costly route towards using other fuels.Most of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors were built during a short period in the 1980s, and about half will reach their designed age limits of 40 in the 2020s, pushing France towards what industry calls “the nuclear cliff.” Public support in France for nuclear power has traditionally been strong but is looking shakier since the 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima facility following a massive earthquake and tsunami.And French President Francois Hollande has said he wanted to cut the share of atomic energy in France’s electricity mix to 50 percent from 75 percent by 2025, reduce oil and gas consumption and boost renewable energy.
Reuters 30th April 2014 read more »
Nuclear weapons have not been detonated in violent conflict since 1945. The decades since then are commonly perceived – particularly in those countries that possess nuclear weapons – as an era of successful nuclear non-use and a vindication of the framework of nuclear deterrence. In this narrative, the fear of massive retaliation and a shared understanding and set of behaviours are believed to have prevented the use of nuclear weapons. Yet the decades since 1945 have been punctuated by a series of disturbing close calls. Evidence from many declassified documents, testimonies and interviews suggests that the world has, indeed, been lucky, given the number of instances in which nuclear weapons were nearly used inadvertently as a result of miscalculation or error.
Chatham House 30th April 2014 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn: The UN Humanitarian Effects of War conference held in Oslo last year was boycotted by the five weapons states as was its successor in Mexico in February. In December Austria will convene a successor. So far the British Government has refused to confirm or otherwise its attendance. Labour, at the very least, should be demanding attendance and as a gesture send Party representatives to discuss the real environmental, health and economic effects of nuclear weapons. Whilst the last Government did support the NPT process it also forced through a vote in 2007 to start the process of renewing Trident. 100 Labour MP’s voted against and opposition to nuclear weapons is growing. In 2016 the “main gate” decision will be taken and commit Britain to £100bn over twenty five years. Are Labour MP’s seriously to be asked to spend this money when the demands on housing, education, transport and jobs are so overwhelming.
Labour List 29th April 2014 read more »
Nuclear fusion research powers ahead with switch-on of new €1B German reactor.
Science Business 30th April 2014 read more »
Renewables – General
The UK is on track to meet the government’s target of 30% renewable electricity by 2020 following average annual increases of 20.3% per year since 2009, according to new analysis from the Renewable Energy Association. But the REA analysis shows that the growth in the renewable sector so far has been due to contributions from wind, biomass, solar power and energy from waste, while renewable heat generation has failed to keep pace. The report shows that although renewable heat has “grown steadily” at an average of 11.3% per year from 2009 to 2013, the rate of deployment will need to increase to an average of 18% per year between 2013 to 2020 to reach the government target of 12% renewable heat by the end of the next decade.
Utility Week 30th April 2014 read more »
Renewables – AD
Farmers across the country are now able to apply for a loan of up to £400,000 to build small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plants on their land, as part of a £3m initiative from Defra and WRAP. The On-farm AD Loan Fund, launched last October, is designed to support farmers that are struggling to obtain the finance to build AD plants which, in practice, generate less than 250kW of energy and utilise farm waste such as manures and slurries.
Edie 29th April 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
The solar industry has this morning responded angrily to fresh reports the government is planning to “slash” subsidies for solar farms. As BusinesssGreen reported yesterday, the government is planning to launch a review of solar subsidies designed to support its recently launched Solar Strategy, which aims to favour large scale rooftop installations over ground-mounted solar farms. Sources confirmed that a review was imminent and hinted that it was likely to curb support for solar farms following a flurry of new developments in recent months. But they refused to be drawn on the precise scale, nature and timing of any changes to current solar subsidy regimes. However, the Daily Mail has today reported that the proposed review will mean that “huge solar farms which blight the countryside are to have their funding slashed by the government”.
Business Green 30th April 2014 read more »
Guardian 30th April 2014 read more »
Sub-Saharan Africa’s lack of electricity is hindering development but this can be reversed if countries turn to ambitious, large-scale renewable energy projects, an environmental thinktank suggests. The region – home to 41% of the world’s energy-poor people, with 65% of primary schools and 30% of health centres having no access to electricity – faces an energy crisis that development models are not addressing, according to a report by the Green Alliance. Laura Taylor, head of advocacy at Christian Aid, said: “Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from an acute energy crisis, with 70% of the population lacking access to electricity. Low-carbon, off-grid energy can address this faster and cheaper than high-carbon options – alleviating poverty in the process. This approach also provides an important opportunity for British businesses, which are well placed to provide low-carbon solutions and help Africa’s emergent green economy to grow.”
Guardian 30th April 2014 read more »
A new study by ACEEE outlines how energy efficiency could be used in an upcoming standard by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce CO2 levels with no net cost to the economy. The standard, currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget and likely to be released in early June, would set a CO2 emissions limit for existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The study shows how the Environmental Protection Agency could use four common energy efficiency policies to set a carbon pollution standard that reduces emissions to 26% below 2012 levels. In 2030, these policies would save 600 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, save over 925 million MWh of electricity, reduce electricity demand by 25%, and avoid the need for 494 power plants.
Amercian Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy 30th Aprl 2014 read more »
Payments of thousands of pounds will be available to UK householders who install energy-saving measures such as insulation and new boilers from June, in a move designed to breathe new life into the government’s flagship energy efficiency scheme. The green deal, which launched in January 2013, was hailed by ministers as”transformational” and the “biggest home improvement programme since the second world war”. But the scheme was dogged by administrative problems and even energy secretary, Ed Davey, conceded earlier this year that the financing that had been at the heart of the initiative was ‘disappointing.’ The Guardian can reveal that ministers will announce a bold new package of measures on Tuesday, known as the green deal home improvement fund, in a bid to revive the scheme.
Guardian 1st May 2014 read more »