Sir Robert Smith has been appointed as temporary chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, after Tim Yeo stepped down pending an investigation into allegations he breached parliamentary rules by advising a subsidiary of one of the companies that employs him. The Lib Dem deputy chair of the committee was unanimously selected to act as interim chair of the committee as Yeo fights to clear his name.
Guardian 11th June 2013 read more »
Suffolk Wildlife Trust fears that Sizewell C’s development could lead to a wide variety of adverse impacts, from bats and reptiles being affected to water levels being changed in sensitive habitats and coastal processes being disrupted.
East Anglian Daily Times 10th June 2013 read more »
Nuclear power and fossil fuels work out more expensive than solar power, according to the head of a community energy firm who has launched a blistering attack on subsidies for the rival forms of energy. Agamemnon Otoro (pictured), chief executive of community energy firm Repowering claimed in an interview “creative accounting” from energy firms meant they seemed cheaper than renewables. At the launch of co-operative Brixton Energy’s latest solar power scheme, he told ELN: “Solar is expensive in only one way: on sheets of paper talking about EU dumping regulations. When it comes down to it, for instance when you talk about Hinkley, you’re talking about £14.5billion being invested which would effectively power 300,000 homes – you could just give each person £1.5million each”.
Energy Live 11th June 2013 read more »
Endecom have appealed against the Cumbria County Council’s unaminous rejection of what would be the UK’s first purpose build low level radioactive waste dump at Keekle head. The Public Inquiry will be held at County Offices, Busher Walk, KENDAL, Cumbria, LA9 4RQ; commencing on Tuesday 25 June 2013 at 10.00am.
Radiation Free Lakeland 8th June 2013 read more »
Tetronics International, the global leader in the supply of Direct Current (DC) plasma plants for hazardous waste treatment and metal recovery, is delighted to announce that together with its lead partner Costain it has been successful in winning a grant in a UK government funded competition to design and build a prototype plasma system for nuclear waste vitrification. The competition is led by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, and co-funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. In collaboration, Costain and Tetronics will develop a plasma waste vitrification system, which will both reduce the volume and significantly enhance the stability of the final waste product to be stored, with the ultimate goal of reducing the overall cost of managing nuclear waste.
Edie 11th June 2013 read more »
Ofgem has today published final proposals that will give independent energy suppliers a more level playing field to compete against their larger rivals. They will also increase competition between the big six who, together with the two largest independent power generators will be required to trade fairly with independent power suppliers.
Ofgem 12th June 2013 read more »
The energy regulator Ofgem has set out plans to “break the stranglehold of the big six energy suppliers”. The measures require large suppliers and generators to trade fairly with smaller players or face cash penalties. Centrica (British Gas), E.ON, SSE, Npower, EDF and ScottishPower will also have to post the prices at which they will buy and sell electricity up to two years in advance.
BBC 12th June 2013 read more »
Edison International (EIX)’s decision to abandon its San Onofre nuclear plant in California is the latest blow for an industry already facing questions about its long-term survival. Edison, based in Rosemead, California, announced June 7 it will permanently shut the plant’s two reactors, trimming total U.S. operating units to 100 from 104 at the beginning of the year and 110 at the peak in 1996. The announcement brings to four the number of units permanently removed from service this year, the most in any year since the nation embraced nuclear power. The San Onofre nuclear plant was taken offline in January 2012 after a radioactive leak and unusual wear on steam generator tubes was discovered. Other facilities are nearing the end of their projected lifespans and may need costly renovations while cheap natural gas has siphoned off market share. Potentially expensive regulations to bolster safety in response to a triple meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in 2011 have raised the concerns of investors. “The decision to shut down San Onofre is another sign that the economics of nuclear are under pressure given the low cost of alternative sources,” Travis Miller, a Chicago-based analyst for Morningstar Inc. (MORN), said in a phone interview. “Just five years ago, nuclear power plants looked like a gold mine.”
Bloomberg 10th June 2013 read more »
A couple of big solar records were set in Q1 2013 in the US. For one, 49% of all new US electricity generation capacity came form solar, the most ever for a first quarter. Secondly, 723 MW of solar power capacity were installed and put online, again a Q1 record for the US. Let’s run down a bunch more of the facts and highlights from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) and GTM Research’s latest US Solar Market Insight quarterly report.
Renew Economy 12th June 2013 read more »
Fukushima Crisis 7th to 10th May. TEPCO and Japan’s central government said this week that they plan to begin the process of moving melted fuel from reactors #1 and #2 at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant earlier than expected, although they still believe that decommissioning the facility could take 40 years.
Greenpeace 11th June 2013 read more »
Japan is set to overtake Germany as the world’s largest solar market by annual installations this year as government incentives to encourage clean energy after the Fukushima nuclear crisis attract investment. Developers may install 6.9 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts of solar in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Germany led solar installations in 2012 with 7.6 gigawatts of capacity.
Bloomberg 4th June 2013 read more »
A survey conducted by Asahi Shimbun has found that about 60% voted against Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to use nuclear energy to fuel economic growth in the country. Asahi Shimbun said it conducted the nationwide telephone survey, following the release of Abe’s growth strategy, which includes the use of nuclear power generation and resuming operations at now-idle reactors that are deemed safe. The survey found that many Japanese remain averse to the use of nuclear power more than two years after the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Energy Business Review 11th June 2013 read more »
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Iran is committed to its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and that there is no evidence for West’s claims about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
RINF 12th June 2013 read more »
Iran’s foreign ministry on Tuesday denied its Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant had suffered a malfunction, saying the process of its start-up was going ahead without a hitch. “No problem has been reported at the Bushehr plant. The Russian contractors are overseeing the ongoing and normal process there,” ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said in remarks reported by Iranian media. His remarks came after Iran’s ambassador to Moscow, Mahmoud Reza Sadjadi, said on Monday the plant had suffered a malfunction in its main generator, without giving further details.
Middle East Online 11th June 2013 read more »
Civil liability for damages from a nuclear accident in Canada will increase from the current CAD75 million ($73 million) to CAD1 billion ($978 million) under proposed changes to legislation.
World Nuclear News 11th June 2013 read more »
After Fukushima, most countries reexamined their attitude towards nuclear power. Like Japan, Taiwan’s location on the edge of the Pacific makes it vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. But with no oil and gas of its own, the island state lacks any kind of energy security. Sarah Mishkin visits a nuclear power station under construction and talks to exponents of renewable energy about the country’s energy prospects.
FT 12th June 2013 read more »
Thorium reactors, based on technology abandoned around the time of the Cold War, could provide an alternative to large nuclear reactors fuelled by solid uranium. They have many potential advantages, but the technical hurdles could also be considerable.
Engineer 10th June 2013 read more »
Contents of this month’s NIS Update newsletter from Nuclear Information Service: Atomic Weapons Establishment fined £200,000 for safety breaches; Scorecard documents “diminishing enthusiasm” for global nuclear disarmament; Construction work begins on new submarine reactor core facilities at Rolls-Royce in Derby; UK government outlines position on Fissile Materials Cut-Off Treaty; Scottish submarine berths suspended following inadequate emergency exercise performance; New Zealand Superannuation fund dumps investment in UK nuclear weapons programme; EU radiation protection review may bring changes to UK legislation; Ministry of Defence nuclear emergency guidelines updated; Trade unions raise Atomic Weapons Establishment safety concerns with regulator.
Nuclear Information Service 10th June 2013 read more »
The government has today created a new body to drive investment in the offshore wind power supply chain, but RenewableUK warns the UK could still lose out to European competitors.
Business Green 12th June 2013 read more »
Michael Fallon has announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to boost levels of inward investment and to further stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry.
DECC 12th June 2013 read more »
RenewableUK and The Crown Estate have published a report highlighting a “once in a generation” chance to attract major companies to the UK to build factories to supply the fast-growing offshore wind energy sector. However, the study warns that unless the UK seizes this unprecedented opportunity, the manufacturing advantage will be lost to our European competitors.
Renewable UK 12th June 2013 read more »
As many as 32 new factories will be needed to build the components for the fleet of British offshore windfarms envisaged under the government’s current renewable energy plans, potentially creating tens of thousands of jobs, a new report has found. So far, only 10 such factories have been built or are planned in the UK, according to Renewable UK, the trade association for wind companies.
Guardian 12th June 2013 read more »
Utilities and distributed energy: further reading.
Grist 11th June 2013 read more »
ELN reporter Vicky Ellis talks to Energy Secretary Ed Davey MP about community owned energy projects on a recent visit to Brixton and gauges his reaction to the 2013 Government decarbonisation target vote.
Energy Live News 7th June 2013 read more »
Plans to slash the cost of offshore wind energy to £100 per MWh through the use of innovative new technologies such as floating turbines, will receive a major boost today with the announcement of new subsidies and specially targeted new leasing programme. Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will today confirm that developers of floating offshore wind pilot projects will be eligible for a new level of subsidy under the Scottish Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme of 3.5 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) per Mwh, which will be 1.5ROCs higher than that currently received by offshore wind farms. There are also concerns across the industry that plans to commercialise new foundation and turbine technology are at risk of stalling because of a lack of demonstration sites available for testing new designs. In order to address the apparent shortage, the Crown Estate has also today unveiled a leasing programme that aims to better support the development of emerging technologies, including floating foundations. Developers are being asked to propose areas of the seabed that could be suitable for pilot projects, with a view to construction getting under way at selected demonstration sites from 2017.
Business Green 12th June 2013 read more »
New subsidies for offshore wind power projects have been welcomed by the renewables industry and environmental campaigners. The Scottish Government is introducing new support measures, with energy minister Fergus Ewing stating they would “help bring down the cost of developing offshore wind in our deeper waters”. The creation of two new bands for the Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) scheme, which provides financial support for green energy projects, is being announced by Mr Ewing at the Renewable UK conference in Manchester. One of the new subsidies is aimed at supporting the generation of electricity from offshore tests and demonstration sites using innovative new turbines. The other will provide financial support for pilot projects using floating turbines or other “non fixed generation” devices.
STV 12th June 2013 read more »
Scotsman 12th June 2013 read more »
Herald 12th June 2013 read more »
Energy Action Scotland: LAST Friday, the Scottish Government missed its 2011 climate target for the second year in a row. It only missed the target by a narrow margin, but it sent a signal that the government must up its game. It needs to meet challenging targets on climate change and on fuel poverty elimination. Emissions from housing make up a quarter of domestic emissions in Scotland. Meanwhile, more than a third of Scots live in fuel poverty. We believe that radical action is needed to tackle this twin scourge. Tackling climate change tackles fuel poverty, creates jobs in insulation and saves money on healthcare costs. This is preventative spend at its best. Scottish ministers published a draft climate plan (the Report on Proposals and Policies) in January and the final version of this plan is due to be published soon. Ministers have a crucial opportunity this week to make radical improvem ents to this plan to cut emissions when they address the subject in the Scottish Parliament. We are joining the call by WWF Scotland and others for ministers to grasp the opportunities of bold action on climate change. Cutting emissions will lift people out of fuel poverty and enable people to live in better quality housing. More specifically, as part of the Existing Homes Alliance Scotland – a coalition of environmental, fuel poverty and housing organisations – we are calling on the housing minister to bring forward minimum standards of energy efficiency in Scotland’s housing.
Scotsman 12th June 2013 read more »
Without an efficient way of storing the electricity generated by wind turbines at night, or solar panels by day, such energy could be wasted. Imagine getting up in the middle of a winter night to start the dishwasher, or staying indoors on a rare sunny day to vacuum-clean the house. Nobody would voluntarily do this – but, for generators of renewable energy, it is a big problem. Without an efficient way of storing the electricity generated by wind turbines at night, or solar panels by day, this energy can be wasted. Consumer habits are just not flexible enough to make use of unpredictable supplies of power from wind and solar farms. A competition has been organised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), offering Â£17m in support funding to be split among small engineering companies that can develop electricity storage systems. In phase one of the contest, 12 ideas have been submitted, including entries from Aston University in collaboration with Renault UK, and the Bill Gates backed US company, Energy Cache. One of the more innovative entries has come from the private company Highview Power Storage in London. At its 350KW pilot plant in Slough, Berkshire, electricity is used to cool air to its liquid state at minus 196C, which is stored in insulated containers. When power is ne eded, this liquid air can be warmed and converted back to gas to drive electricity generating turbines. Each litre of liquid air expands to 700 litres of gas. With further work done to improve efficiency, Highview be lieves its “cryogenic” storage system could provide a cheap means of smoothing wind energy supply.
FT 11th June 2013 read more »
As the shale revolution in oil and natural gas spreads beyond the US and Canada, the energy industry needs to incorporate an important lesson from the nuclear industry. For decades, “an accident anywhere is an accident everywhere” has been an aphorism that expresses the nuclear industry’s concern that one major local accident could derail the whole global atomic industry.
FT 11th June 2013 read more »
Air pollution from Europe’s 300 largest coal power stations causes 22,300 premature deaths a year and costs companies and governments billions of pounds in disease treatment and lost working days, says a major study of the health impacts of burning coal to generate electricity.
Guardian 11th June 2013 read more »