Controversial UK nuclear power station Hinkley point looks set still to be built, despite making no economic or environmental sense. But what’s so bad about nuclear? We spoke to Greenpeace activist and campaigner Kate Blagojevic. They don’t have a plan for Hinkley. Nuclear waste is highly toxic and lasts for centuries. They need to have a good plan to deal with it safely. Hinkley doesn’t make economic or environmental sense and we don’t want to reach a point in the UK where the only thing we can do is build more. There’s so much new technology which means that renewable energy platforms are actually readily available and could create a whole new industry, that’s what we should be investing in. For example the UK is really well equipped for offshore wind because we’ve got a really windy coastline, so we should look into making that a possibility.
Huck Magazine 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Letter: Timely as it is to be reminded by the deputy leader of Somerset County Council that Hinkley C is of national importance and that it will have a huge impact on the county, the South West and beyond, it would also behove everyone to remember (and occasionally actually acknowledge) the overwhelming contribution made to this project by West Somerset Council and its residents. Not only are all the Hinkley power plants, including Hinkley C, located in West Somerset, but without the permission for the site preparation works being given by this council in 2011, the whole new build project may not have been able to proceed. As host authority, West Somerset’s planning team also played a major part in negotiating the terms and conditions of the Development Consent Order, assisted by the county council and neighbouring authorities. More importantly, it must not be forgotten that it is Stogursey parish and the residents of Shurton in particular who are paying the true price for the privilege of keeping the lights on for the rest of the country. On a daily basis they live with the noise, dust and general disturbance from the largest construction site in Europe on their doorstep and the prospect of a 50-bed hostel just beyond their back gardens. They also have to endure all the traffic for the new build – the lorries, buses and delivery vehicles plus all the traffic for the other two Hinkley stations passing through the parish on the C182. Added to this the local roads are plagued by an increase of minibus traffic bringing HPC workers to the site. These residents are indeed the “collateral damage” as recognised by one of the senior civil servants from DECC when he met with local residents on several occasions when this project was first mooted. So please forgive me for being rather unsympathetic when residents of neighbouring towns complain of the traffic increases which they are experiencing as a result of HPC – just spare a thought for the community of Shurton.
West Somerset 9th Oct 2016 read more »
The Hinkley nuclear power plant to be built in Somerset is the way forward for the UK. That’s the view of Angela Knight, Chair at the Office for Tax Simplification and former CEO of Energy UK, who told ELN it is good the nation is starting to redevelop the nuclear industry. Ms Knight said: “All that I ever see is how much the wind piece costs or the sun piece costs. I never see added in how much this backup that’s only going to run for 60% or 70% of the time [will cost]. That seems to be ignored out of the calculation. Doing the sums properly, being honest about the costs is vitally important just as we have to shift the grid if we’re going to go for renewables. There are no cheap options.
Energy Live News 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Cyber risk presents a “unique concern” in the energy sector because an attack on energy infrastructure has the potential “to cross from the cyber realm to the physical world”, says a new report by The World Energy Council. The report – titled The road to resilience: Managing cyber risks – says a cyber-attack could cause, for instance, a “massive operational failure of an energy asset”. “Large centralised infrastructures are especially at risk due to the potential ‘domino effect’ damage that an attack on a nuclear, coal, or oil plant could cause,” according to the report. It gives two examples of cyber-attacks on the nuclear power industry – ‘Slammer’ in the USA in 2003 and hacking in South Korea in 2014-2015. The fastest computer worm in history, Slammer infected the computer systems at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant near Oak Harbor, Ohio, disabling a safety monitoring system for five hours. The reactor had been offline for nearly a year before its Slammer infection. Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company suffered a series of hacking attacks aimed at causing nuclear reactors to malfunction, the report says. The attacks only succeeded in leaking non-classified documents, it added.
World Nuclear News 5th Oct 2016 read more »
Radiation Free Lakeland took the Stop Moorside message to the beautiful setting of the Wasdale Show yesterday. At our stall, well stocked with information, a quiz and friendly faces, people stopped to chat and sign the Stop Moorside petition which now is nearing 11,ooo signatures. Of all the people we spoke to NOT ONE said they were in favour of new nuclear build next to Sellafield. This is remarkable given that this area is being bigged up as a “Nuclear Heartland” by Tom Samson the Chief Executive of Nugen (60% Toshiba and 40% Engie).
Radiation Free Lakeland 9th Oct 2016 read more »
While people ‘Stand Up to Cancer’, the Department of Health has released its Review of Childhood Cancer Incidence near Sellafield and Dounreay. In the Eighties, the families of 19 children living within 20 miles of Sellafield took the site operators to court. The children all had leukaemia. They lost their case, the judge ruling that the radiation dose to the public from the plant was too low to have caused luekaemia. The Government subscribes to the 1988 Leo Kinlen theory, which suggests that exposure to a common unidentified infection through population mixing results in childhood leukaemia. Prof Kinlen said: “This exposure is greater when people from urban areas mix with rural communities eg when construction workers and nuclear staff move into the Sellafield area.” History is about to repeat itself. The Government plans to parachute into Cumbria 4,000 temporoary workers to work at Beckermet (population 1,600), site of the proposed “biggest new nuclear development in Europe.”
Radiation Free Lakeland 7th Oct 2016 read more »
Renewables – Scotland
Producing half of Scotland’s energy needs using renewable technology by 2030 is an achievable goal, according to a new report. Actions required to meet that target have been set out in a study for WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and RSPB Scotland. The environmental groups have now called on the Scottish government to bring forward the necessary policies. Ministers said the report was a “useful contribution” to the energy debate. The report, based on independent analysis by Ricardo Energy and Environment, is called “The Energy of Scotland: Heating, moving and powering our lives from now to 2030”. It sets out how Scotland’s climate targets could be met in “the most cost-effective way”. It found that to achieve these goals, half of all the country’s energy will need to come from renewables by the end of the next decade. The report suggested that by 2030: Two-fifths of Scotland’s homes should be heated from renewable sources, with a Warm Homes Act helping ensure access to cleaner, more affordable heat; A national energy efficiency programme should help reduce energy use in homes by 30%, with millions of homes across the country insulated; One in three cars, and half of all buses, should be electric. It said other benefits would include the “creation of new jobs; warmer, healthier homes; and cleaner air helping reduce the burden on the NHS”. The Scottish government will publish its third climate change plan in the new year, setting out how it intends to meet emissions targets between now and 2032, and work towards a long-term reduction of 80% on 1990 levels by 2050. It will also publish a new energy strategy looking at the transition to a low-carbon economy.
BBC 10th Oct 2016 read more »
STV 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Renews 10th Oct 2016 read more »
The National 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Scotland is in the enviable position of having fantastic renewable energy potential. Successfully unlocking this will not only secure our climate goals but provide the means to deliver economic opportunities across Scotland, bring social benefits and improve public health. Much has been achieved already. At last count Scotland generated the equivalent of 57% of its electricity consumption from renewables and had reduced climate emissions by 39.5% since 1990. This is a tremendous achievement, but there are no grounds for complacency. This report sets out the scale of development that Scotland must embrace if it is to retain its place in the global vanguard of the energy transition, and in the process create a thriving, healthy, economically-active low-carbon society.
WWF Scotland 10th Oct 2016 read more »
The Energy of Scotland: Heating, Moving and Powering our lives from now to 2030.
WWF Scotland 10th Oct 2016 read more »
ERP has produced a report on the challenge of reducing GHG emissions caused by heating buildings. The report focuses on fabric energy efficiency for reducing heat demand, exploring why this opportunity is not being fully exploited. The report highlights the potential of leading practice in fabric energy efficiency for new-build and for retrofitting existing buildings, and explores why this leading practice is rarely attempted (the “uptake gap”). The report also highlights why heating performance in practice often differs from the expected levels: firstly due to unrealistic expectations (the “prediction gap”), and secondly due to incorrect implementation (the “performance gap”). The report recommends steps to provide ambition and certainty in regulations for the building industry, new approaches to increase the appeal of retrofit to leverage customer interest, research to improve understanding of heat use in buildings, and better quality control and enforcement to deliver high performance in practice.
ERP 6th Oct 2016 read more »
Green Investment Bank
Sir Richard Branson has waded into the sale of the Green Investment Bank and urged the Government to keep a stake in the “flag carrier” if it is sold to a foreign buyer. The Sunday Telegraph reported that Macquarie has emerged as the favourite to win the auction in a privatisation deal worth around £2bn. The Australian bank is understood to have made a higher offer in the final throes of a bidding process, which has also seen interest from a consortium including the Pension Protection Fund, Lloyds Bank and Sustainable Development Capital (SDC). Macquarie already owns a host of UK assets including the M6 toll road, Thames water and television mast business Arqiva. The Green Investment Bank was only founded three years ago and has already ploughed £10.5bn into green energy and efficiency projects since 2012.
Telegraph 9th Oct 2016 read more »
FT 9th Oct 2016 read more »
Philips Lighting has partnered with the Dubai Municipality to launch the “world’s most sustainable LED lamp”, which has been developed for residential and professional use across the city by 2017. Announced at the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX) in Dubai on Wednesday (5 October), the “Dubai Lamp initiative” will see two million of the world’s first commercially available 200 lumen-per-watt LED lamps installed across the city over the next 12 months. The initiative, which will increase the rollout to 10 million lamps by 2021, is expected to reduce household and enterprise energy use by up to 90%. Philips could eventually replace around 80% of the conventional bulbs in the city with the Dubai lamps – which can last up to 15 years longer.
Edie 7th Oct 2016 read more »
It has taken a while but after years of debate, protest and controversy, it seems, finally, as if the frackers are coming. A drilling rig will trundle on to a site near Blackpool next year, there will be some predictable hullaballoo and a watershed will have been crossed by the shale gas industry. Cuadrilla has been granted a permit to use hydraulic fracturing at two wells at a site at Preston New Road. The company believes that Lancashire could be as rich in shale gas as it once was in coal, opening up a new industry with huge potential. Indeed, the sector’s supporters claim that fracking could reinvigorate British manufacturing by providing an affordable new, home-produced source of fuel. British frackers probably shouldn’t get too carried away. For one thing, it hasn’t been demonstrated whether UK shale will be economic to extract. Although deposits exist, big variations exist in the cost of shale gas extraction because of the quality of the rocks and the complexity involved in exploiting them. In the US, for example, shale produced from the Marcellus and Eagle Ford deposits in Pennsylvania and Texas is much cheaper to extract than the pricier Bakken formation of the Midwest. The sheer scale of the fracking boom in the US is sometimes overlooked. In America more than 300,000 wells have been fracked, mostly in relatively empty parts of the country. In contrast, Lancashire and other parts of Britain are likely to be far tougher to develop. That’s not only because of stricter planning rules but also because they are densely populated. Cuadrilla now faces a long road executing its plans, amid intense local opposition and environmental concerns over climate change, noise, pollution, minor earthquakes and damage to local habitats. Unless things change dramatically, it’s hard to see how all of this bother is likely to amount to a compelling business model for Cuadrilla. I may be proved wrong, but I wonder if it will turn out to be cheaper and easier to follow Ineos’s example and import shale gas from the US by ship.
Times 10th Oct 2016 read more »
Slowing down construction of coal-fired power stations will be vital to hit globally agreed climate change goals, the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, said as he outlined a five-point plan to flesh out last year’s Paris agreement to reduce CO2 emissions. Speaking at a climate ministerial meeting in Washington during the bank’s annual meeting, he said there was no prospect of keeping global warming at or below 2C (3.6F) if current plans for coal-fired stations, especially those earmarked for Asia, were built. “Many countries want to move in the right direction. We can and should all help to find renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions that al low them to phase out coal,” Kim said. The World Bank president said achieving the climate change target required action in five areas. In addition to slowing down growth in coal-fired power stations, Kim said climate ambition needed to be baked into development plans for every developing country. It was important that the $90bn (Â£72bn) of planned infrastructure spending over the next 15 years was for low-CO2 and climate-resilient investment.
Guardian 9th Oct 2016 read more »