Eletricity Market Reforms
Environmental reforms to the energy market, to be unveiled this week, will result in huge gas and electricity price increases over the next ten years. Under the changes, householders will have to pay an extra £500 a year by 2020 effectively to subsidise the cost of new nuclear power plants and wind energy. The Government has been forced into the reforms by claims from energy companies that unless there are more incentives, green investment will not happen and Britain will miss tough climate change targets. On Thursday, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne will unveil a White Paper outlining plans for a ‘carbon floor price’, and propose capacity payments for low-carbon electricity generation to reward companies for making their electricity generation capacity available to the grid, even if it is just as a back-up. It is also expected to stop the building of new coal-fired power stations unless they are equipped with carbon-capture technology.
Mail on Sunday 12th Dec 2010 more >>
BUSINESSES are facing a “perfect storm” from 2012 when they will be hit by a doubling in their energy bills at the same time as the UK government’s controversial “carbon tax”. Carbon Masters, a spin-out company from the University of Edinburgh, has calculated that most UK firms will be see their gas and electricity bills soar by 100 per cent between 2012 and 2016 while they will also be saddled with a carbon tax bill of at least £42,000 under the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme.
Scotland on Sunday 12th Dec 2010 more >>
“No subsidy for nuclear”: That’s the wording that permitted the Lib Dems to go along with the Tories’ pro-nuclear stance. That’s the wording that turned Chris Huhne from “serious sceptic” to compliant enthusiast.It sounds so simple, doesn’t it – “no subsidy”. Which bit of that do you not understand? But if the Trades’ Description Act applied to political pronouncements, Chris Huhne would find himself subject to prosecution for outright deception.To justify that assertion, let me just spell out what Chris Huhne himself has said to explain what he means by ‘no subsidy’. “This means that there will be no levy, direct payments or market support for electricity, supplies or capacity provided by a private sector new nuclear operator, unless similar support is also made available more widely to other types of generation”. In other words, nuclear will be eligible for any form of subsidy that applies to renewables or other low-carbon generation through tools such as carbon pricing or emissions trading. You’ve got to hand it to the nuclear lobby – both in DECC and in the energy companies. Far from the ‘no subsidy’ claim being a barrier to new nuclear, it simply provides a brilliant screen for devising all sorts of clever tricks to guarantee massive, continuing subsidy of the kind that the industry has always depended on. And always will depend on in the future.So the test for Chris Huhne here is a test of his own probity: stop using the phrase ‘no subsidy’ unless you are prepared to spell out in the same breath the full extent of the direct and indirect subsidies that the nuclear industry will receive.
24 Dash 10th Dec 2010 more >>
Areva on Saturday approved a 900-million-euro (1.17 billion dollars) capital hike under which the Kuwait Investment Authority will hold nearly five percent stake in the French nuclear giant. The recapitalisation values the strategically important Areva at 11.5 billion euros, of which the Kuwaiti fund (KIA) will now control 4.8 percent.
AFP 11th Dec 2010 more >>
Expatica 10th Dec 2010 more >>
Yahoo 11th Dec 2010 more >>
Britain’s second-largest electricity distribution network could change hands within a month after Eon, its owner, granted a consortium of foreign bidders exclusive rights to make an offer. It would be the latest in a string of big-ticket deals that have seen key pieces of UK infrastructure fall to buyers from abroad.
Sunday Times 12th Dec 2010 more >>
When asked whether Hartlepool was ready to welcome a new power plant, Hendry said: “It is an appropriate site. It has an enthusiastic and available workforce.” But it was not just the nuclear industry in which Hartlepool could have a strong future, he said. “What is encouraging is that Hartlepool is looking at the whole range of energy opportunities,” he added. “There are opportunities for the offshore wind sector and we are putting more resources into developing tidal technology.”
Hartlepool Mail 10th Dec 2010 more >>
A federal court decided to move forward Friday with lawsuits questioning whether the Department of Energy has the authority to scrap plans to make Yucca Mountain, Nev., a national repository for nuclear waste. The lawsuits had been on hold while the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals waited for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decide whether DOE had the authority to withdraw its license application for Yucca Mountain. In June, an NRC legal panel ruled that DOE must move forward with the license, but the NRC commissioners have not issued a required decision since then.
News Tribune 12th Dec 2010 more >>
A nuclear-powered submarine which ran aground off the Isle of Skye in October has had to return to port because of a defect, the Ministry of Defence says. HMS Astute returned to its base in Faslane after breaking down last week on what was its first day back at sea, the Mail on Sunday reported.
BBC 12th Dec 2010 more >>
A leaked US diplomatic memo contains claims by a former KGB officer that Russian officials had known about individuals moving radioactive substances into London before the dissident spy was killed, in 2006. The disclosure, the latest cable to released by Wikileaks, could reignite the deep diplomatic row that followed the assassination.
Telegraph 12th Dec 2010 more >>
One of Britain’s best known eco-campaigners, Jonathon Porritt, has attacked other green activists, accusing them of failing to challenge the mantra of “economic growth”, which he sees as the underlying cause of most environmental destruction. He believes that most of Britain’s green groups, including the National Trust (NT) and the RSPB, which have nearly 5m members between them plus others such as WWF, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace have become so conservative that they no longer dare campaign strongly on such issues. Instead, he suggests, they have become too focused on creating “islands of conservation”, such as nature reserves, which cannot survive in a world of warming, habitat destruction and pollution.
Porritt, a former government adviser, will expand on his views in a lecture tomorrow at the Royal Society in London entitled The Growth Fetish and the Death of Environmentalism.
Sunday Times 12th Dec 2010 more >>
The West is being left in the shade as Beijing throws billions at its solar panel industry and other alternative-energy companies.
Sunday Times 12th Dec 2010 more >>