A mystery Mary Celeste yacht found floating close to a nuclear plant has sparked an international police alert. The empty 28ft-long vessel was discovered drifting just six miles from the heavily guarded Sizewell plant on the Suffolk coast, where security has been extra-tight during the Olympics. The yacht was towed to nearby Orford Quay where a UK Border Force investigation began. After initial fears that the vessel was part of a terrorist plot, officials now say it is more likely to have been used to smuggle drugs or illegal immigrants into Britain.
Daily Mail 11th Aug 2012 more >>
The governments programme to promote the building of ten new nuclear power stations providing 16gw of power by 2025 is now on its knees, and serious questions need to be asked about how so much has been done, with so much disruption of other energy programmes such as renewable energy in order to achieve what looks like so little. This is now but the ambition ,and the plan that subsidies should be smuggled into the programme under the guise of new low carbon underwriting, began with high hopes on the day of the signing of the coalition agreement immediately after the last election.
Alan Whitehead MP July 2012 more >>
The ambition to generate 100% of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020 could be within reach, a report suggests. Industry body Scottish Renewables has launched an online portal which pulls together figures from a range of sources into a single report. Scotland’s Renewable Energy Sector In Numbers shows figures on energy capacity, output, jobs and investment, and emissions which were buried away in dense government reports. The Scottish Government wants to meet the existing level of demand for electricity with renewable sources by 2020. Actual demand may be higher or lower at that point. The portal demonstrates that current generators, with a total capacity of 4.9 gigawatts (GW), generated 13,735 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2011. It suggests a further 12GW could be generated by projects that are already in the pipeline, although the majority of them are stuck in the planning stage.
Power Engineering 10th Aug 2012 more >>
Herald 11th Aug 2012 more >>
Scotland’s renewable energy industry has released figures indicating it has attracted funding worth £2.8bn since 2009. Trade body Scottish Renewables said 57% of the total was investment in onshore wind power. A further 21% was for offshore wind developments with solar, biofuel, wave and tidal power making up the rest. The industry claimed it has been “bucking the economic trend” since the start of the financial crisis. Niall Stuart, the chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “During the downturn our industry has delivered some £2.8bn of much needed capital investment in our economy.
BBC 11th Aug 2012 more >>
SOLAR energy is becoming a more attractive solution for consumers trying to save money on energy bills – and Scotland is already ahead of the game, according to energy experts. New research from uSwitch.com shows the average consumer can save more than £1,000 a year on household bills by having solar panels installed. And soaring energy bills make solar a more attractive proposition than ever – even north of the Border. People who have already fitted solar panels are saving an average of £82.50 a month or £1,000 a year on their household energy bills.
Scotsman 11th Aug 2012 more >>
Germany’s national infrastructure bank KfW has this week confirmed it has cranked up its investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, revealing that it now plans to provide 100bn of finance to the country’s green economy over the next five years. As part of the bank’s half yearly update KfW revealed 41 per cent of its promotional business volume went to support projects involved in “environmental and climate protection”, totalling 12.1bn of loans.
Business Green 10th Aug 2012 more >>
The NRC this week voted unanimously to delay final approval of licenses for new nuclear plants, or renewing the licenses of existing facilities, until the agency responds with a more complete ruling and addresses the dilemma of long-term nuclear waste storage across the country.The 24 environmental groups that petitioned NRC to respond to the court are acting like they actually stopped all action on nuclear licensing (Marketwatch NRC Ruling). While no final decisions will be made in issuing licenses, the process for licensing new and existing plants will continue as before, the NRC said, which means the impact to the industry will be minimal.
Forbes 11th Aug 2012 more >>
The United States said Friday it had “eyes” and “visibility” inside Iran’s nuclear program and would know if Tehran had made a “breakout” move toward acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Middle East Online 11th Aug 2012 more >>
Belgium has notified other countries using nuclear power of a possible hairline crack found in a steel tank that contains the reactor at one of its plants, the European Union has confirmed. The possible flaw was discovered while the plant was shut for annual maintenance. Plant officials have said there is no threat to health but the possible problem will keep the facility offline until the end of August.
Western Morning News 11th Aug 2012 more >>
Take the phrase “non-nuclear weapons states”. On the face of it, the words bear only a single interpretation: countries without nukes. According to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey are just such paragons. It is, after all, a well-known fact: these are staunch Nato allies who never make the lists of nuclear club members. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t have piles of nuclear bombs lying around, ready for use. Nor does it mean that their pilots are not trained in the delivery of such devices. The Germans send their aircrew to the United States for that very purpose. This is what Nato likes to call “nuclear sharing”. So the question arises: are Scotland’s Nationalists prepared to “dip their hands in the blood”? For members of Nato, it’s not optional. Anyone who says we can claim a seat in the organisation after independence and inoculate ourselves against moral responsibility misrepresents reality. Above all, they misrepresent Nato. Yet that is exactly what is going on as the SNP leadership prepares to discard still another principle.
Herald 12th Aug 2012 more >>
This week’s Micro Power News; including news of Green Deal Finance: Co-operative Energy; Wrexham’s 3,000 solar properties; the largest solar PV operator in the UK? Sainsburys
Microgen Scotland 10th Aug 2012 more >>
IAIN BANKS, the bestselling author, has spoken of his bizarre and unjust treatment by Ofgem, the energy regulator, after he installed solar panels on the roof of his Scottish home. The novelist who penned The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road splashed out £8,000 on the energy-saving devices for his North Queensferry property earlier this year. He was told he could expect to earn 21p for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of green energy generated under a government scheme that aims to encourage solar installation. Banks was dismayed, however, when Ofgem rejected his application due to a minor administrative error and put him on a tariff of 9p per kWh. Banks has lodged an appeal with Ofgem, arguing the mistake was not his and could lose him thousands of pounds in revenue over the 25-year lifetime of his solar panels.
Sunday Times 12th Aug 2012 more >>