The Labour Group on NAC (North Ayrshire Council) has raised concerns about the safety of road transport if radioactive waste is moved between Hunterson and Torness. Following reports that EDF has requested a licence from the Scottish Government to move radioactive waste between Hunterston and Torness in East Lothian, the Labour Group on NAC has raised concerns on the safety of road transport. Local Labour Councillor Alex Gallagher has also questioned the SNP’s policy position on the larger question of industrial development at the Hunterston site. In an exchange with SNP Councillors, Councillor Gallagher pointed out that, with the loss of Hunterston A and the planned closure of Hunterston B, the site will be left with only the radioactive waste store operational in future. He commented: “Thanks to the SNP, Hunterston has been reduced to a storage site for radioactive waste and now it is proposed to move the waste by road between nuclear sites.
Largs & Millport News 12th Aug 2014 read more »
EDF Energy is shutting down four of its nuclear power reactors as a precautionary measure after a defect was found in one of them. The temporary closures of Heysham 1 and Hartlepool account for roughly 10% of the UK’s nuclear capacity, enough to supply three million homes.
Irish Examiner 11th Aug 2014 read more »
A standard criticism of wind and solar power is that they are intermittent energy sources and depend on blowing wind or shining sun in order to produce energy. Because of this, traditional power plants like coal, gas, and nuclear are still required as baseload sources that can be relied on to generate 24 hours a day. This relationship is changing as renewable energy storage improves, baseload renewable sources like geothermal and hydropower are further incorporated, and smart grid technology enhances deployment. In the U.K. this week the tables have temporarily turned as wind power is replacing an unanticipated lack of nuclear generation from the nation’s grid.
Climate Progress 12th Aug 2014 read more »
The NuGen consortium is continuing apace with investigations to test whether land at Moorside, Sellafield, is suitable for a nuclear power plant. NuGen has an option to build three reactors there in what would be the biggest private-sector investment programme Cumbria has ever seen. Over the next two years, experts will analyse the site to make sure no seismic activity is likely to occur. They will drill around 100 boreholes to obtain geological samples. Thierry Robot, head of environment at NuGen, said: “After faults are measured we will assess if they are likely to be active. If they have not been active for 250,000 years, they are unlikely to be active soon.
Cumberland 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Letter Ed Lyman: The 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan led to the evacuation of some 150,000 people, and most of them may never return to their homes. This disruption of so many lives is undoubtedly having profound psychosocial effects. Yet in the United States, when evaluating new nuclear reactor safety requirements, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers only the direct monetary costs of such disasters — like the value of condemned land and the cost of decontamination — and ignores the social costs of a large population of permanently displaced people. The nuclear commission should enhance public safety by broadening its definition of the cost of such human tragedies.
New York Times 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Eon posted a 20 per cent fall in profit on Wednesday as the expansion of renewable energy in its home market squeezed wholesale power prices. Germany’s biggest utility by market value reported that underlying net income, the measure it uses to calculate dividend, fell from 1.9bn in the first half of 2013 to 1.5bn in the first half of this year. The utility said the expansion of clean energy in Germany was the primary cause of a decline in the price for German baseload power. However, there were some bright spots for investors. A cost savings programme that included trimming layers of management had a positive effect on earnings, as did higher production from the Skarv gas condensate and oilfield in the North Sea.
FT 13th Aug 2014 read more »
One of Britain’s biggest energy companies is under renewed pressure to cut household bills after profits at its oil, gas and power division soared by more than a third. E.ON, the German-owned company which supplies 4.8 million households in the UK, benefited from higher oil prices as profits from its upstream division over the six months to June 30 rose to £208 million from £159 million. Tony Cocker, the chief executive of E.ON UK, said that income from supplying electricity and gas to households fell after people turned down their central heating during the mild winter. Profits for both divisions fell by 8 per cent to £396 million. However, consumer groups said that a fall in profits from its retail division did not justify the company’s refusal to pass on a recent slump in wholesale gas prices to consumers by cutting household bills.
Times 14th Aug 2014 read more »
Lower Saxony, already the number one German state for onshore wind power, wants to increase onshore wind capacity from currently 7.8 GW to 20 GW by 2050. The state is working on a wind power decree to provide further guidance. 4,000 modern turbines with an average capacity of 5 MWwere needed to reach the 20 GW goal, the Environment and Energy Ministry of Lower Saxony said, adding that roughly 1.4% its territorywere required, up fromcurrently 1%. “We are aware that wind power expansion will not be popular everywhere, but wind power is a core element of the energy transition in the electricity sector as it is a cost-efficient, well-established and climate friendly technology”,Almut Kottwitz, state secretary in the ministry said. She pointed out that the ministry was working on a wind power decree together with other ministries, involving stakeholders toidentify potential conflicts early on and find solutions. At the end of 2013, German had 34.66 GW of installed wind capacity (onshore and offshore)
German Energy Blog 13th Aug 2014 read more »
France has announced it will undertake an ambitious energy sector transformation that will see the country cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 per cent by 2030. France joins neighbours Germany and the UK, who both have their own legislation to cut energy sector emissions. If the plans come off, they will leave the EU’s three biggest economies with radically different power systems to those they’re operating today. Such transformations aren’t technoligically straightforward, and getting the public to back such ambitious schemes hasn’t always been easy. Here’s a look at the three countries’ respective plans, and the challenges they’re likely to face.
Carbon Brief 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Lightbridge, along with Lloyd’s Register Energy, has secured a contract to support the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation’s (FANR) in-house inspection team to provide constructION oversight and related technical services for nuclear power plants in the UAE. Under the multi-year contract, the team will provide quality assurance, safety and construction inspection services in support of the in-house inspection team of the independent nuclear regulatory agency, which is overseeing construction of four nuclear power plants in the UAE.
Energy Business Review 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Decades of political indecision have left the Philippines’ only nuclear power station abandoned and deteriorating. Bloomberg met the man who has been maintaining the empty shell for the best part of four decades. National Power Corporation’s Mauro Marcelo Jr explained the history of the dormant Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
Telegraph 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Moving Trident nuclear submarines out of an independent Scotland would be “very difficult but not impossible”, according to a study. The report by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) also said relocating the submarines would be far cheaper than previously assumed. But it could take a decade to build a base for the submarines elsewhere in the UK, it said. The SNP wants to remove nuclear weapons within four years of independence.
BBC 14th Aug 2014 read more »
Western Daily Press 14th Aug 2014 read more »
ITV 14th Aug 2014 read more »
ITV 14th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Norfolk crab fishermen are being forced out of an area that has been fished for hundreds of years, after an energy company took them to court to make way for work on a giant offshore wind farm. Dong Energy, which is majority-owned by the Danish Government, secured an injunction on Monday giving the fisherman until one minute past midnight on Friday to remove thousands of crab-fishing pots from the area, in The Wash about 17 miles off the North Norfolk coast. The company is preparing to carry out a seismic survey of the seabed ahead of deciding whether to build the Race Bank project, a 91-turbine offshore wind farm covering an area of 29 square miles.
Telegraph 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – tidal
Big plans are afoot to transform Swansea Bay into the world’s first tidal lagoon power station. The £850m, six-mile-long U-shaped seawall by the Swansea docks will not only generate enough electricity to power 120,000 homes for 120 years – it will also create nearly 2,000 construction jobs in the two years it takes to build; and it will leave the city with a tourist attraction drawing in up to 100,000 visitors a year. That’s what Tidal Lagoon Power, the industry’s eponymous leading player, told a gathering of locals last month as it sought to win them over. The scale of the opposition to tidal power was underlined by an attempt by Hafren Power to build an 18-mile sea wall on the Severn. Last summer the cross-party Committee on Climate Change found that the scheme was unsatisfactory for economic and environmental reasons and the proposal was rejected. But the Swansea project may just be different enough to have legs, according to Tim Yeo, the chairman of the committee. For a start, the Severn plan was for a barrage rather than a lagoon – it would have been built across the banks of an estuary, potentially causing much greater disturbance to the local wildlife.
Independent 14th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
This blog discusses the implications of the UK reaching 5GW, and explains why few will be hoisting any bunting to celebrate what ought to be at least worthy of a group hug.
Solar Portal 12th Aug 2014 read more »
Renewables – local authorities
Work on the largest local authority rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system in the UK has been completed at the Northacre Resource Recovery Centre in Westbury and will save £1.5m over the next 20 years. The 1,248 panels cover an area the size of more than seven tennis courts and will generate more than 280,000KWh of electricity each year. This is expected to save Wiltshire Council more than £55,000 and reduce carbon emissions by 148 tonnes. All of the energy will be used on site to power the mechanical biological treatment process used to turn household waste form the region into solid recovered fuel, thus diverting it from landfill. Solarsense commercial manager David Snape, the company responsible for the design and installation of the system said: “The Northacre RRC project is a great example of how solar PV can significantly reduce consumption and deliver long-term cost savings for industrial processes. As the developer of the largest Local Authority rooftop PV installation in the UK, Wiltshire Council is making a very clear long-term commitment to carbon reduction and sustainability, as well as a very sound investment which will benefit the county.”
Edie 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Passivhaus is known as the world’s leading energy efficiency standard for buildings. It drives building energy consumption down as much as 90%. This means paying very close attention to how a building is designed, detailed and constructed to ensure energy is used efficiently and not wasted. It means undertaking very detailed energy and performance modeling during the design process. This can all seem a bit complicated and geeky, so why not leave it to the geeks who love this kind of thing? And only Treehuggers are so into saving energy aren’t they? Actually, no. Here are three reasons why you should care about Passivhaus: Climate Change, EU legislation, and because you can make a difference.
Specified By 11th Aug 2014 read more »
How much extra does it cost to fit out your office with all the latest green technologies? Environmentally friendly insulation, low flush toilets and even onsite renewable energy generation may seem like they have a high financial cost, but a new report from green building certification body BREEAM, aims to show that in fact the opposite is true.
Business Green 12th Aug 2014 read more »
Natalie Bennett:To meet the agreed target, we need a 31 per cent cut in emissions from the 2013 level, the Committee on Climate Change reports, but current policies will, at best, reach 23 per cent. And this as the government is putting in further pushes towards fracking for gas in Britain – even while they gave the game away about the reality of the procedure by promising to protect national parks and Sites of Outstanding National Beauty from it.
Business Green 13th Aug 2014 read more »
A decade into North America’s fracking boom, the impact on wildlife and the environment remains largely unknown, according to a new study. “We’re conducting a giant experiment without even collecting the important data on the water, air, land or wildlife impacts,” said Sara Souther, an ecologist at the University of Wisconsin, one of the co-authors of the peer-reviewed research examining the environmental impacts of shale gas development in the US and Canada. Although the technique of hydraulic fracturing shale has been used for at least 20 years, there is “surprisingly little research” on impacts, found the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
Guardian 13th Aug 2014 read more »
Robert Howarth and his team at Cornell University in the United States controversially kicked off this debate in their paper, stating that, over a 100 year timeframe, shale gas is about as polluting as coal because of the amount of methane leaked from both the fracking process and the transport of gas to where it is used. This is partly because of the high global warming potential (GWP) of methane: when leaked directly into the atmosphere, its climate change impact is at least 25 times that of carbon dioxide over a period of 100 years. There is no debate about this figure in the scientific community. In fact, if Howarth were to run his numbers again based on up-to-date emissions factors, the picture would be even worse. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change increased the estimate of the impact of methane from 25 times that of carbon dioxide to 28 times; and stated that when the ‘climate-carbon feedback’ impact of the gas is incorporated, the GWP increases to 34 times that of carbon dioxide.
Huffington Post 11th Aug 2014 read more »