Plans for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk have moved a step closer. EDF Enegry said it will start a public consultation over their latest designs for Sizewell C. The power company and its Chinese partners want to build two new reactors on the site. Public exhibitions begin on November 23.
ITV 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Ipswich Star 9th Nov 2016 read more »
East Anglian Daily Times 9th Nov 2016 read more »
More contaminated soil and rubble will remain at the sites of Britain’s old nuclear power plants rather than going to a dedicated dump, under government-backed proposals. But officials said that the sites would not be left in a hazardous state because international radiological standards would still be upheld. They argued the changes would mean former nuclear sites could be cleaned up more quickly, less waste would need to be moved around the country, and decommissioning would be cheaper than under today’s regime. Experts were split over the proposals. Some said that it showed the UK did not know what to do with its nuclear waste, but others welcomed it as a way of saving money. The government said a change to the Nuclear Installations Act 1965, outlined in a discussion paper last week, is needed now because several sites will reach the final stage of cleanup in the early 2020s, such as Winfrith in Dorset and Dounreay in Caithness. Under the proposed changes, former sites would no longer be considered “nuclear” at the end of their cleanup, and therefore no longer the responsibility of the ONR. Regulation would fall instead to the Health and Safety Executive and environment agencies. “What the government is suggesting is, they’re turning off the liability but they’re not turning off the risk or hazard,” said John Large, a nuclear consultant who has advised the UK government on nuclear issues.
Guardian 10th Nov 2016 read more »
An officially convened 350-strong Citizens’ Jury has decisively rejected South Australia’s plans to import over half a million tonnes of high and intermediate level nuclear waste for long term storage, writes Jim Green. This has dealt a powerful blow against the project from which it is unlikely to ever recover, and represents a major victory for campaigners, indigenous Australians and economic sanity.
Cumbria Trust 10th Nov 2016 read more »
On Sunday November 6, two-thirds of the 350 members of a South Australian government-initiated Citizens’ Juryrejected “under any circumstances” the government’s plan to import 138,000 tonnes of high-level nuclear waste and 390,000 cubic metres of intermediate-level nuclear waste as a money-making venture.
Ecologist 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The UK Government has reinforced its commitment to upgrade the UK’s energy infrastructure, outlining plans to provide £290m support for renewable energy projects and phase out unabated coal power generation by 2025. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has today (9 November) confirmed that the second Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction, taking place in April 2017, will produce enough renewable electricity to power around one million homes and reduce carbon emissions by around 2.5 million tonnes per year from 2021/22 onwards. The next allocation round is for technologies such as offshore wind, anaerobic digestion (AD), combined heat and power (CHP), and wave, tidal stream and geothermal projects. The Government expects the auction to deliver cheap green energy for investors. The maximum price for offshore wind projects, for instance, is now 25% lower than was set for the last auction, and a competitive auction could further reduce that cost. The announcement arrives as the Government issues a consultation phase out electricity generation from unabated coal-fired power stations within the next decade. University College London (UCL) professor of international energy and climate change policy Michael Grubb said: “Outlining how and when coal plants will cease to operate will pave the way for new investment, including gas. Coal is already struggling economically and removing coal clarifies the market space for gas during the 2020s.
Edie 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The government’s next Autumn Statement needs to provide more clarity in its low carbon policies. That’s the call from the nuclear and renewable industry regarding the Tory Administration’s Spending Review to be announced later this month. The Nuclear Industry Association’s (NIA) CEO Tom Greatrex told ELN what the sector expects Theresa May’s government to clarify. Speaking at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London last week he said: “What we want from the Autumn Statement is some clarity on where the government stands in relation to some big important things: carbon price floor, what happens with the Levy Control Framework beyond 2021 which will affect the entire sector and also the government’s previous intention in relation to small modular reactors and what they want to do about that. James Court, Head of Policy at the Renewable Energy Association (REA) said the sector wants to know the government’s plans for renewables.
Energy Live News 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Energy Policy – Scotland
The call from Scotland’s Renewable Future Forum (SRFF) for a ‘joined up’, system-wide approach to inform the government’s new Scottish Energy Strategy has been agreed by the Scottish government. As a result, the Scottish Energy Strategy will include detailed proposals for de-carbonising the heating and transport sectors when the draft is published for public consultation by Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Energy Minister in Spring 2017. This top-level broad policy overview of the new strategy was confirmed at a THRIVE for Energy meeting by high-level Scot-Govt officials in Edinburgh. Wheelhouse told MSPs yesterday that his Scottish Energy Strategy will be launched in tandem with a public consultation on onshore oil and gas exploration as well as the Scot-Govt’s draft new environment bill which will set out proposed new targets to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Minister’s senior officials later confirmed that the ‘whole system’ Scottish Energy Strategy would also look at ‘carrots and sticks’ to increase take-up of energy-efficiency measures in the private rented housing sector. At the same time, new nuclear power stations – big or small – will be specifically excluded from the new Scottish Energy Strategy because of the minority-led SNP-Government’s ‘no nuclear’ policy.
Scottish Energy News 10th Nov 2016 read more »
New Reactor Types
Institutional and cultural changes are needed if advanced nuclear reactor designs are to progress from development to deployment by 2030, the Global Nexus Initiative (GNI) has said in a report to policymakers. The GNI has put forward ten policy recommendations to enable these changes. According to the GNI – a joint project of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the Partnership for Global Security – advanced nuclear reactors have “the potential to be a more easily deployable and operationally flexible alternative to the large light water reactors that are dominant around the world today”. On 3 November, the GNI released a report – titled A Framework for Advanced Nuclear Reactor Deployment: Policy and Issues – based on discussions of its working group at its February 2016 workshop held in Washington, DC.
World Nuclear News 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Unfortunately, multiple U.S. administrations have failed in their efforts to stop or stall North Korea’s nuclear ambitions – and I think it’s now likely that our next president will face a North Korea with the capability to strike the United States with nuclear weapons.
NTI 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
The incoming chief executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, Professor Ian Chapman, outlines his vision for a future energy supply based on the clean and virtually inexhaustible nuclear fusion principle currently under research at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.
Engineering & Technology 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Nearly a third of France’s nuclear reactors have been shut down by industry regulators as revelations emerge about the supply of sub-standard parts. As investigations into falsified documents and excess quantities of carbon in steel continue, more closures are expected. This is not yet a full-blown crisis for the nuclear industry, but it is putting serious strain on the finances of French nuclear giant EDF and causing electricity price rises across western Europe. It is also very bad news for the climate. France is reopening mothballed coal plants and burning more coal than it has for 32 years. Neighbours, including Germany, which normally take cheap nuclear power from the French, are also powering up old fossil fuel plants and exporting the electricity to France at premium prices.
Climate News Network 9th Nov 2016 read more »
French state-controlled utility EDF is ready to take part in a tender offer for nuclear plants in South Africa, an EDF official said on Wednesday. South Africa wants to build 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity by 2030, but the government has delayed tendering for new nuclear power stations after requests for consultation and discussions made it impossible to start the process by the end of September as initially planned.
Africa Middle East 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Donald Trump’s election as president raises the prospect the United States will pull out of the nuclear pact it signed last year with Iran, alienating Washington from its allies and potentially freeing Iran to act on its ambitions. Outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration touted the deal, a legacy foreign policy achievement, as a way to suspend Tehran’s suspected drive to develop atomic weapons. In return Obama, a Democrat, agreed to a lifting of most sanctions. The deal, harshly opposed by Republicans in Congress, was reached as a political commitment rather than a treaty ratified by lawmakers, making it vulnerable to a new U.S. president, such as Trump, who might disagree with its terms.
Reuters 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Iran’s nuclear deal restricts the amount of certain sensitive materials the country can have at any one time. But according to a report by the UN atomic watchdog, it has exceeded one of the soft limits agreed with six major world powers. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the country has 130.1 metric tonnes of heavy water, when it should not have more than 130 according to the deal signed in 2015.
Independent 10th Nov 2016 read more »
The Vietnamese government has decided to scrap plans to build nuclear power plants with Japanese and Russian assistance, a Vietnam Electricity official said on Wednesday. The decision to withdraw the contracts to build the nuclear power reactors in Ninh Thuan province will be a blow to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, which sees Japan’s export of nuclear power technology as a pillar of his economic growth strategy. The country’s ruling Communist Party instructed government authorities in October to revise the plans due to tight state finances, party and government sources said earlier. Japan was awarded contracts to build the two reactors at the Ninh Thuan 2 Nuclear Power Plant, while Russia was scheduled to build the other two at the Ninh Thuan 1 Nuclear Power Plant. The first plant was originally slated to become operational in 2020 but was subsequently delayed until 2028, followed by 2029 for the second plant.
Bankok Post 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The signing of the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement between Japan and India, will not save Westinghouse/Toshiba’s failing nuclear business, nor will it deliver safe energy for the people of India. Instead, it will increase the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation in Asia, Greenpeace Japan and Greenpeace India warned today in a joint statement. The bipartite agreement, due to be signed tomorrow, is intended to open the Indian market to overseas reactor suppliers. It appears to be a desperate effort to secure new contracts for Westinghouse/Toshiba’s AP1000 reactor design, which has had a poor track record globally. While there have been few sales, those projects that are already under construction have overshot their budget and are years behind schedule.
Greenpeace 10th Nov 2016 read more »
There are several points still up for discussion before the India-Japan nuclear accord becomes a reality, including Japanese apprehensions on India misusing nuclear technology. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming two-day visit to Japan takes place at a time when Asia’s second largest and third largest economies are increasingly finding common strategic ground. The November 11-12 meeting will be the third annual summit between Modi and Shinzo Abe, his Japanese counterpart. A long-anticipated nuclear civilian energy deal is the likely headline to emerge. The nuclear treaty will not only pave the way for Japan to export nuclear technology to India’s vast market, it is also a necessity for enabling India’s nuclear deals with the US, France and other countries. Key elements of nuclear reactors, including safety components and the domes of nuclear power plants, are a near-Japanese monopoly. Any deal would be significant for firms like GE-Hitachi, Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Company and Mitsubishi-Areva.
The Wire 8th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
The Danish Government published the lowest bid in the Kriegers Flak tendering procedure today. The lowest bid came from Vattenfall Vindkraft A/S, who will establish 600 MW in the Baltic Sea at a tender price of 37.2 øre/kWh. This is an extremely low tender price – the world’s lowest ever for offshore wind turbines. The final decision on the tendering procedure will be clarified once Treaty-compatible financing has been found under the current Public Service Obligation (PSO) negotiations.
Danish Energy Agency 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Vattenfall has this week provided further evidence the cost of offshore wind power is falling fast, confirming it has won the tender to build a 600MW Danish project with a bid of €49.9/MWh. The Kriegers Flak project in the Baltic Sea is expected to deliver enough power for 600,000 Danish households and is on track to become one of the lowest cost offshore wind farms in the world. The move also underlines the steep reductions in offshore wind costs the industry has delivered in recent years. The sector has previously routinely delivered projects at costs well in excess of £100/MWh, but the most recent wave of projects has seen significant costs reductions.
Business Green 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – wave
The EU is proposing to spend hundreds of millions of euros to help the budding ocean energy industry to provide a tenth of the bloc’s power by 2050. The boost would take the form of a €250m investment fund, with an additional €70m set aside for insurance, loans and guarantees, according to the roadmap for channelling the potential of wave and tidal energy. The money would be supplied by the EU and its member states and should work as a buffer for companies that are attempting to cross the “valley of death” between demonstration projects and the energy market. In further good news for the sector, Carnegie Wave Energy in Cornwall announced that it had secured £9.6m of EU funding that would enable it to connect England’s first commercial-scale wave power project to the grid. A 15MW array at Cornwall’s wave hub centre should now be commissioned in 2018, before commercial deployment in 2021. The local MP and former environment minister George Eustice, who campaigned for Brexit, said that the news showed that Cornwall was “well positioned to play a significant role in securing the UK’s continued reputation as a market leader in offshore renewables.” Later this year, Atlantis Resources will complete the first phase of a 6MW MeyGen project in Scotland, which will be ramped up to 86MW before reaching a full generating capacity of 398MW in 2025.
Guardian 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewable energy may play a huge part in helping to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, now in force and under discussion at COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh, writes Steffen Böhm. But it can never be the whole story, and nor does it relieve the need for deeper changes in how the world works.
Ecologist 7th Nov 2016 read more »
Shares in the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines plunged amid fears that a Donald Trump presidency will be disastrous for the renewable energy industry. Danish firm Vestas fell as much as 14 per cent before regaining some losses to trade 6.6 per cent lower at 440.20 kroner (£52.60). Vestas shares had already lost ground as the race tightened in the days before the vote. Wind turbines are given generous subsidies in the US, as the world’s biggest per-capita polluter attempts to reduce its carbon output. However, Mr Trump’s aggressively pro-business, anti-government stance puts any government assistance under threat. Mr Trump’s manifesto promises an “energy revolution ” which he will bring about by unleashing “America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves”.
Independent 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The British government has confirmed that it will hold an auction for contracts worth a total of £290 million to bidders of ‘less established’ renewable energy schemes. At the same time, the government also announced that would hold a public consultation to provide a comprehensive answer as to whether onshore wind projects on ‘remote’ islands should be treated differently from onshore wind projects on mainland Great Britain. The Shetland, Orkney and Western Isles have more than 800MW of large scale renewable energy projects that have been consented and are ready to deliver:
Scottish Energy News 10th Nov 2016 read more »
The UK government has announced a consultation on whether to give subsidies to onshore wind development in the Western and Northern Isles. The Conservatives at Westminster had pledged to end the support. The UK government has also announced support packages for offshore wind and marine energy projects. Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil and Scottish Renewables have criticised the government for not allowing developers of islands wind farms to bid for funds. Scotland’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, said he was “extremely disappointed” and “angered” by the UK government’s handling of a “vitally important issue”. The UK government said the consultation showed that it had listened to representations from Scotland and the renewable energy industry on the matter of subsidies. The consultation forms part of the UK government’s wider announcement “to reaffirm” an earlier commitment to spend £730m of annual support to renewable electricity projects over the current term of this parliament.
BBC 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Wind energy projects on Scotland’s islands and the country’s wave and tidal sectors have been left in the cold by the UK government, claims a trade organisation. Scottish Renewables said that onshore wind developers on remote Scottish islands would be “bitterly disappointed” that the government has put off a decision on funding. The energy department has announced details of an auction that will allow companies to compete for £290 million of long-term renewable energy supply contracts for difference.
Times 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
The host of the global climate talks has emerged as a pioneer in renewables and funding. Until this year the Moroccan town of Ouarzazate was best known for its ancient-looking kasbah façades, used as an exotic backdrop in many Hollywood movies. But now it has a very 21st century landmark: the world’s largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant. With 500,000 parabolic mirrors, the plant — Noor 1 — has a generating capacity of 160 megawatts — equivalent to that of a conventional single gas turbine power station. It is the first of three CSP plants at the site that will eventually be capable of generating more than 500MW at peak output.
FT 10th Nov 2016 read more »
The election of Donald Trump as the nation’s next president spurred celebration in some quarters and dismay in others, including among those concerned about the steady warming of the planet. The unrestrained emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases have altered the Earth’s climate, raising sea levels, impacting ecosystems, and increasingly the likelihood of extreme weather. In terms of numbers, the world’s temperature has risen by more than 1°F since 1900 and 2016 is expected to be the hottest year on record.
Renew Economy 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Nuclear energy is secure but expensive; renewable energy is increasingly affordable but less secure. Furthermore, nuclear production is not dispatchable, so is unable to respond when renewable production is low. By introducing flexibility into the system, storage may offer a solution to the energy trilemma and many companies are now looking at it as a major growth area. However, as is so often the case, the regulation has been slow to catch up with technological developments. There are a number of barriers which prevent the mass uptake of storage. The current regulatory framework was not designed with widespread and integrated storage deployment in mind and one of the biggest obstacles facing companies looking to invest in storage is the lack of any distinct definition of storage within it. When the current framework was being designed, storage was an insignificant part of the energy landscape. A small amount of pumped hydro did exist but given its ability to compete with generation in the provision of bulk energy and balancing services, it was convenient to simply treat it as a form of generation. However the characteristics of pumped hydro are very different from more modern storage technologies which offer a far wider range of services. In ignoring this and in ignoring the fact the storage does not create net positive flows of electricity, the inclusion of storage within the generation definition is no longer appropriate.
Energy Voice 10th Nov 2016 read more »
Plans to close all coal-fired power stations by the end of 2025 were published today by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The plans, which are open for consultation until 1 February 2017, would meet a commitment made in the run up to the Paris climate talks last year. The options being considered include applying emissions limits to existing coal plants in 2025 and setting a limit on running hours or emissions from 2023. Carbon Brief runs through the details.
Carbon Brief 9th Nov 2016 read more »
The last coal power station in Britain will be forced to close in 2025, the government said as it laid out its plan to phase-out the polluting fossil fuel. Ministers promised last year that the UK would close coal power within a decade and replace it with gas and other sources to meet its climate change commitments. But in a delayed consultation on the phase-out, published on Wednesday, officials admitted that the last coal power station was likely to shutter in 2022 even without government intervention, prompting calls from campaigners to bring forward the cut-off year.
Guardian 9th Nov 2016 read more »
Telegraph 9th Nov 2016 read more »