Electricity Market Reform
SLOW progress on electricity reforms are doing little to help decision-making for some of the biggest projects in the renewables sector, it has been claimed. The Energy Bill passed into law last month with the promise of driving the £110 billion of investment needed to replace polluting power plants while heading off the risk of blackouts. The Act’s lengthy passage – 54 weeks through the House of Commons and the House of Lords – was not helped by the on-going furore over household utility bills, nor the subsequent wrangle over the cost of government green initiatives. Nevertheless, Energy Secretary Ed Davey, declared: “We have driven the Energy Bill through parliament on time to send out a clear signal to investors and industry. We have delivered the certainty they need and confirmed Britain’s position as one of the most attractive countries in the world to invest in energy generation.” Though clean energy producers have been guaranteed a minimum price for their electricity, assurances on other crucial matters are less clear. Industry sources say these ambiguities are continuing to hold up investment decisions. One major Scottish project that has seen little progress is the £125 million wind turbine factory due to be built in Leith by Spanish renewable group Gamesa.
Scotland on Sunday 12th Jan 2014 read more »
Radiation levels around the boundary of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have risen to eight times the government standard of 1 millisievert per year, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The Nuclear Regulation Authority is scheduled to hold a meeting Jan. 10 to discuss countermeasures for a southern area on the plant site that has long been a source of problems. A level of 8 millisieverts per year was estimated as of December near an area with many storage tanks containing highly radioactive water, company officials said.
Asahi Shimbun 10th Jan 2014 read more »
Power production from brown coal and hard coal rose last year, But consumption of brown coal was actually down – more power was made from less coal. Throw in the steep drop in natural gas consumption for power production, and it begins to look like carbon emissions from the power sector might be down.
Renewables International 9th Jan 2014 read more »
US nuclear launch officers in charge of the “big red button” that could wipe out entire cities are being investigated for drug use. The US Air Force probe has expanded to include 10 officers at a UK airbase and five others in America. Two nuclear launch control officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana are under investigation, along with nine lieutenants and one captain, for illegal possession of recreational drugs.
Independent 11th Jan 2014 read more »
Airports, power stations, key road and rail links, nuclear bases and the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh headquarters are all at risk of flooding, according to maps compiled by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Other vital facilities under threat are the Faslane nuclear submarine base on the Clyde, the Rosyth naval base on the Forth, the vast petrochemical complex at Grangemouth, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Seafield sewage works in Leith and Saughton prison in Edinburgh.
Sunday Herald 12th Jan 2014 read more »
Renewables – Intermittency
You’ve probably heard the intermittency myth before. The wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, so we can’t rely on renewables to meet our energy needs. It may have even made you think twice about the UK’s renewable transition. But the intermittency myth is just that, a myth. It overstates the basic ‘problem’, overlooks the reality that renewables are already deployed in large numbers, and ignores the innovations that mean we can get close to 100% renewables in the future. So whilst the variability of the wind and sun may pose challenges, it’s certainly no barrier to a renewable energy future.
Abundance Generation 10th Jan 2014 read more »
Renewables – Ireland
A growing anti-wind movement that has come late to Ireland. Some 176 wind farms, totalling more than 1,100 turbines, have already been put up around the country, often in beautiful areas, with very little protest. It is only as they are spreading into the lowlands – in pursuit of a national target of generating no less than 40 per cent of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2020 – that resistance is growing. This is partly because they are coming close to people’s homes, partly because the turbines have to be very big to generate enough electricity from the weaker winds there. And nowhere is this more so than in the Irish midland counties of Meath, Westmeath, Offaly, Laois and Kildare where another 1,100 turbines are planned – some even bigger than at Finuge – to generate electricity for export to the UK.
Telegraph 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Alan Simpson: The current ‘energy debate’ is in danger of descending into little more than an unsavoury slanging match. Ed Miliband’s price freeze proposal was a brilliant opening ploy. But in the vacuum that followed, it looked more like a policy space the Party didn’t know how to fill. The moment called out for a radically different plan of what tomorrow’s energy market must look like. All it triggered, however, is a debate dominated by the political crazies. Egged on by the Tabloid Tories, David Cameron’s resurgent Right are blaming everything on ‘Green’ taxes, and demanding their repeal. Behind a rallying cry of “Only pollution can save the poor”, Cameron’s crazies are calling for the deregulation of everything that might make a dirty industry clean up its act. The sad thing is they are getting away with it: decarbonisation targets are being abandoned, zero-carbon homes are off the agenda, renewable energy is under attack, ‘Warm Home’ grants are replaced by Mickey Mouse/Green Deal loans … And now, they even want to abandon their legal duty to end fuel poverty.
Renewables International 10th Jan 2014 read more »
A £35m investment to explore for shale gas in the East Midlands by the French energy giant Total could deliver enough gas to supply the entire UK for six months, senior industry sources have said. Engineers have reported that there are up to 13 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under the two licensing areas near Gainsborough, Lincs. Shale explorers estimate that, by a conservative reckoning, 10pc of the gas is recoverable using fracking, whereby high pressure water and sand is pumped into the rocks.
Telegraph 11th Jan 2014 read more »
Michael Fallon: It is vital that we win fight with EU over red tape on Fracking.
Sunday Sun 12th Jan 2014 read more »