Sellafield Workers Campaign Letter in Westmorland Gazette: while mass tourism may be the key economic driver for Lakeland, it is not for West Cumbria. We have been a heavy industrial community for as long as heavy industry has been around – which by the way is longer than mass tourism has been around. Iron ore, coal and now nuclear – that is our history. Given the world’s need for low-carbon energy – something which should attract any Friend of the Earth -we believe nuclear has a long future too. We have been working away at Sellafield since shortly after the Second World War. Back then, mass tourism hardly existed. So throughout the time of your key industry’s growth, we have been here, working. We want to get with our work, quietly. We want to dispose of our wastes differently than coal and gas and oil; we don’t want to use the planet’s atmosphere as our waste dump, causing climate change and – quite probably -serious flooding all over our country and our county.
Radiation Free Lakeland 13th Jan 2013 more »
Mycle Schneider: Many countries rethought their domestic nuclear power programs after the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. In fact, even France—which generates half of the European Union’s nuclear electricity—has a new approach to nuclear power and to energy policy. President François Hollande vowed to reduce use of nuclear power, and his administration is moving to close the country’s two oldest reactors at Fessenheim. The government also plans to sponsor a large public debate on the future of energy policy in France, and that discussion is supposed to include all major stakeholders. It remains unclear, however, whether the debate will be a democratic exercise that influences the policy-making process, or if policy will continue to be determined by the technocratic elites who have guided France’s energy and nuclear programs from their outset.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists January/February 2013 more »
This will be a challenging year for merchant nuclear generation and as many as 3,000 MW of reactors, or nearly 3% of the 101,350-MW US fleet, could be at risk of retirement, according to a UBS Securities analyst. The sector faces twin challenges of regulatory mandated investments and a low power price environment as a result of cheap natural gas, analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith said in a report released late on Tuesday, but dated January 2.
Platts 9th Jan 2013 more »
The government’s plans to bring more offshore wind power on to the grid are flawed and could lead to higher electricity prices for consumers, an influential committee of MPs has warned. Offshore windfarms require heavy-duty transmission infrastructure to carry the power to land, and the provision of the cables needed has been a serious obstacle to the growth of the wind industry, as windfarms both on and offshore have had to wait for long periods to be connected. Under the government’s current system, a licensing system allows National Grid and other providers to construct the transmission lines. But the public accounts committee has said that savings for consumers could be illusory, because of the way the licensing system has been designed. Ofgem said it was consulting on possible changes to the system that would solve the problems the MPs had identified in the first few projects.
Guardian 14th Jan 2013 more »
Consumers could see bills rise in the coming years after “generous” deals worth £17 billion were agreed with energy firms delivering wind-generated power to homes, a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned. Under a scheme agreed by Labour leader Ed Miliband during the last Labour government, but implemented by Coalition ministers, the contracts guarantee that the power firms will be paid even if they fail to deliver energy to households. Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the PAC, described the contracts as a “licence for the private sector to print money at the expense of hard-pressed consumers”.
Telegraph 14th Jan 2013 more »
Independent 13th Jan 2013 more »
Times 14th Jan 2013 more »
The UK is underestimating the amount of electricity that could be generated from tidal sources, new research says. The analysis says that estuary barrages and tidal streams could provide more than 20% of the nation’s demand for electricity. Despite high costs, experts say tidal power is more reliable than wind. The predictable nature of tides makes them an ideal renewable energy source.
BBC 14th Jan 2013 more »
The Doha climate summit agreement which delayed vital action to tackle global warming for another seven years will cost $5 trillion (£3.1trn) to remedy, according to research by one of the world’s leading climate change scientists.
Independent 13th Jan 2013 more »
Neither solar PV nor thermal will qualify for the £125 million cash back scheme the government is launching to kick-start its flagship Green Deal initiative. Both technologies are in the list of 45 energy efficiency measures qualifying under the Green Deal, but because they also receive subsidy under the feed-in tariff the government said they would be omitted from the cash back scheme. Announced in October, the first-come-first-served £125 million cash back will enable the first Green Deal participants to claim back varying amounts of money for the particular energy efficient technologies they choose to install.
Solar Portal 14th Jan 2013 more »
Energy suppliers and regulators need to do more to help those living in fuel poverty deal with rising bills, a report has said. Thousands of people contacted Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) in the 2011-12 financial year for help in making energy bill payments. The body is now calling on companies to fix prepayment meters at the cheapest tariffs, take into account the latest welfare changes that affect customers who rely on benefits and notify customers of arrears as early as possible to establish a repayment plan. CAS policy officer Sarah Beattie-Smith said: “The evidence from Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland clearly shows that the high cost of energy is causing huge problems for people across the country.
Scotsman 14th Jan 2013 more »