The cost of solar and wind energy will continue their stunning falls over the next decade, and by 2027 will be cheaper than existing coal and gas plants in most countries in the world, according to a major new report by leading global analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In its annual New Energy Outlook, NEO2016, BNEF says solar energy costs, which have already fallen by 80 per cent since 2008, will fall another 60 per cent to an average cost of $40/MWh around the world by 2040. In some countries, that cost has already been beaten. This “precipitous” fall, as BNEF describes it, means that solar will account for nearly half of all new capacity installed around the world in the coming decades. One third of this will be on rooftops, and it will be accompanied by huge growth in battery storage. By 2040, solar will supply 15 per cent of all electricity demand. Wind energy costs will also fall another 40 per cent, mostly driven by improving capacity factors that will rise to 33 per cent in 2030 and 41 per cent in 2040. It will account for more than 20 per cent of all new additions.
Renew Economy 14th June 2016 read more »
A stunning new forecast on “peak fossil fuels for electricity” by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) concludes that “coal and gas will begin their terminal decline in less than a decade.” It’s been clear for a while that coal demand is plateauing, if it hasn’t already peaked. But BNEF explains that of the “eight massive shifts coming soon to power markets,” #1 is “There Will Be No Golden Age of Gas.” By 2040, zero-emission energy sources will make up 60% of installed capacity. Wind and solar will account for 64% of the 8.6TW of new power generating capacity added worldwide over the next 25 years, and for almost 60% of the $11.4 trillion invested.
Climate Progress 13th June 2016 read more »
West Cumbrian MP Jamie Reed has secured a Westminster Hall Debate to raise the issue of Plutonium Disposition with Government. The United Kingdom currently stores around 140 tonnes of civil plutonium at the Sellafield site in Jamie Reed’s constituency. This is the largest civil reactor grade plutonium stockpile anywhere in the world. The debate will take place tomorrow (Tuesday 14th June) at 11am and Jamie Reed MP, who is a Member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, and a Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear, will call on Government to commit to establishing a timeline whereby the plutonium stores at Sellafield can be utilised as a nuclear fuel. “I have approximately 140 tonnes of plutonium sitting in my constituency and there’s no plan for it. It’s not a waste, it’s an asset and the longer we leave it, the harder it becomes to do anything with. ”By ulilising the stockpile as a fuel rather than waste, we will help to meet our non-proliferation objectives, secure our energy supplies, and fight climate change”.
RAAI 13th June 2016 read more »
Of all the EU regulations to shape UK policies, environmental directives have been some of the most controversial. Three of the most significant are those on green energy, recycling and air quality – all of which pose a challenge for the UK. What might Brexit mean for the UK in these policy areas? 1. Green energy. What EU green energy targets does the UK have to meet? It’s the bete noire of anti-wind farm campaigners: the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The directive requires the UK to generate 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 – up from just three per cent when the directive was adopted in 2009. That’s not just electricity but also energy used in heating and transport. To hit the overall binding target, the UK is expected to need to generate 30 per cent of its electricity a nd 12 per cent of its heating energy from renewable sources. It is also bound by a sub-target for transport, requiring 10 per cent to come from renewable sources.
Telegraph 13th June 2016 read more »
Craig Bennett: Climate has barely been mentioned during the EU campaign. But there will be grim tangible consequences for our air, sea and wildlife if we vote to exit. It is perhaps the one area where the evidence is close to being unequivocal: the EU has benefited the UK’s nature and environment, and leaving poses a significant risk. Yet analysis by Loughborough University found that as a proportion of issues dominating the referendum coverage, the environment has received 0% of coverage from television, and 1.7% in the press.
Guardian 13th June 2016 read more »
In April 2014, Governor Cuomo of New York kicked off the New York Reforming the Energy Vision (NY REV). This encompasses multiple dimensions of regulated administrated programs, regulatory reform and new institutions – all of which work together to create an enabling environment for a transition to a sustainable energy future for New York State (NYS). The administered programs include support for renewable energy (including solar in particular), for energy efficiency, for vulnerable customers and energy affordability, for electric vehicles and so on. The new institutions includes a Green Investment Bank.
IGov 13th June 2016 read more »
Households could be forced to pick up the tab for reimbursing customers left out of pocket if an energy supplier goes bust, under plans from Ofgem. The energy regulator has been reviewing procedures to cope with a supplier going out of business as an influx of new start-ups join the market offering cheap gas and electricity deals that some fear may prove to be unsustainable. Although the regulator already has plans to ensure households’ supplies are not cut off if their energy company goes under, there are no guarantees that customers who may be hundreds of pounds in credit with the supplier will get their money back.
Telegraph 13th June 2016 read more »
Nuclear security has improved internationally to a great extent through President Obama’s initiative of Nuclear Security Summits, but it still has a long way to go after the NSS process comes to an end. Since the first NSS summit in Washington, many bilateral and multilateral initiatives have been launched by states to guard against the menace of nuclear terrorism. One of the important successes of the NSS process is that it has helped improve the security of fissile materials present in many non–nuclear weapons states if such materials have not been totally removed. Based on international efforts and cooperation many countries have improved their nuclear security by transforming their Design Based Threat. The NSS process has been a success primarily because it brought the agenda of nuclear security to the forefront of international policy and politically internationalized it the way more formal initiatives on nuclear and radiological security like Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and UNSCR 1540 etc. did not. However, international nuclear security regime remains uneven and weak. Nuclear security debate is not complete without the discussion on instituting transparency in both military and civilian programs.
National Interest 12th June 2016 read more »
A 30-year ban on foreign naval ships that have nuclear capacity has been dropped by New Zealand in a move that promises to restore full military relations with Britain and America. In 1985 the country’s Labour government under David Lange barred western warships from its ports if they had nuclear weapons aboard. The measure destroyed the so-called US defence umbrella but emboldened anti-nuclear campaigners. Now, timed to coincide with the New Zealand navy’s 75th anniversary celebrations in November, the government of John Key has invited the US navy to its shores.
Times 14th June 2016 read more »
There are 500 fewer nuclear warheads in the world now than a year ago. But despite this, none of the nine nuclear powers shows any signs of giving up their atomic weapons, experts have warned. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its annual report on nuclear forces data that global nuclear arsenals have been shrinking since their Cold War-peak of nearly 70,000 warheads in the mid-1980s.
The I newspaper 13th June 2016 read more »
ANTI-NUCLEAR protestors are due to campaign outside the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston today. It’s part of a month-long series of protests at the plant. “The aim is to make it as difficult as possible for the plant to continue its ongoing work assembling, refurbishing and upgrading the atomic warheads for Britain’s Trident submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles,” explained Nigel Day, from the Oxford Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Reading Chronicle 14th June 2016 read more »
Nuclear ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ Is a Real Threat to New York, but the Feds Don’t Seem to Care. An aging nuclear power plant (Indian Point) suffers a spate of mishaps, but the NRC claims it’s all good.
Alternet 12th June 2016 read more »
Last Wednesday, the German cabinet finalized the details of what will become known as the EEG 2016. An astonishingly wide range of commenters agree on one thing: it’s bad. The proposals will be voted on in the Bundestag before the summer break, at which time the bill will become law effective 1 January 2017. Technically, there is still time for changes to be made, but negotiations have already taken place with the major parties affected, and some compromises were already reached. No major changes are expected. There is widespread dismay over this outcome. The overwhelming consensus is that the German government is slowing down the energy transition and pushing back citizen energy. German blogger Kilian Rufer put together a nice overview of recent press reports and he was also surprised to find how many news outlets criticized the new legislation. I had a brief look at the German press myself online and agree with Rufer: German media generally emphasize that citizen energy is being pushed back in the name of low costs, but the plans actually increase the cost.
Renew Economy 14th June 2016 read more »
The five parties, including the coalition government, have agreed on a policy framework for long term future of the country’s energy generation, which includes the ambitious target of being 100% renewable by 2040. Since spring Swedish politicians have been locked in negotiations to come up with a suitable policy framework for the future of Swedish energy, past 2025. The agreement that has been reached has focused on scaling back the country’s nuclear program and pushing renewable energies, which is likely to make small-scale PV particularly attractive. The Swedish Energy Commission was set up in March 2015 with the purpose of coming to a general political consensus on the future of Swedish energy. Although eight parties were originally involved, it has ended up with representatives from five of the country’s political parties, including the two biggest: the Swedish Social Democrats and the Moderate Coalition Party. It is just a framework for now, but it has set out some ambitious plans for a transition to a carbon-free economy. Included in this is 100% renewable generation by 2040, while still planning to be a net exporter of power. To do so, the government plans on continuing investment in transmission capacity, demand flexibility and energy efficiency, plus it will extend the Swedish green electricity certificate system from 2020 to 2030.
Renew Economy 14th June 2016 read more »
THE family business of Scottish landowner the Duke of Buccleuch has warned that uncertainty over UK renewables policy means an “energy crisis seems inevitable”. The commercial property to land-owning group, which is aiming to develop a 24 Megawatt (MW) wind farm on the site of the former Glenmuckloch opencast coal mine, has claimed the continually shifting policy regime around renewables makes it difficult to plan projects and attract investors.
Herald 14th June 2016 read more »
Thousands of energy professionals across the UK are worried about the threats to their industry from ongoing uncertainty caused by frequent changes to British Govt. energy policy. And despite the euphoria surrounding the Paris Climate Change Agreement, they also express scepticism about the signatories’ ability to meet the targets set last December. In the second of the Energy Institute (EI)’s Energy Barometer annual surveys – being launched in London today – a representative sample of EI professional members were invited to share their views on energy issues currently facing the industry.
Scottish Energy News 14th June 2016 read more »
UK insurance group Prudential has raised its bet on the future of green energy with a planned 150m euro investment in Italian solar farms. The move is a departure for the UK’s largest insurer by market value, which has a string of renewable energy investments in its home country, including the planned Swansea Bay tidal power scheme. The investment arm of Prudential in the UK has contributed 150m to a new private equity fund set up by NextEnergy Capital, a specialist solar investor and asset manager. The fund, which has achieved its initial close with Prudential’s investment, will aim to buy Italian solar power plants.
FT 13th June 2016 read more »
A new £1bn development in the London Docklands area will supply low-carbon energy to power 20,000 of the capital’s residents through the adoption of combined heat and power (CHP) technology. Due to begin operating at the 40-acre East London Royal Wharf site in August, the new cost-effective 1MWe CHP unit, operated by Veolia, will reduce NOx emissions to 95/nm3 and carbon emissions by 1,800 tonnes each year – equivalent to removing 1,400 cars from the road. The unit will capture and use heat to ensure that reliable electricity, heating and hot water is delivered locally to a new community in 3,385 modern homes and business.
Edie 13th June 2016 read more »
A privately funded project has announced it will build a Â£1.1bn cross Channel electricity cable which will double the amount of energy the UK presently receives from France.The cable, called an interconnector, will run from Lovedean, near to Portsmouth to the Le Havre area. Developer, Aquind, which is led by Ukrainian businessman Alexander Temerko, is behind the project. The company said the 150-mile cable would come online in 2021. It plans to deliver up to two gigawatts to the National Grid, which has signed a connection agreement with it.
BBC 13th June 2016 read more »
Small and medium businesses in Cambridge will learn how to become more energy-efficient, save money and reduce their carbon footprint, at free workshops provided by the city council this month.
Utility Week 13th June 2016 read more »
Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase have delivered billions of dollars in financing for coal, oil and gas companies that is “deeply at odds” with the goals of the Paris climate change accord, a new study claims. The banks rank among the top North American and European private sector backers of coal mines, coal power plants and costly oil and gas ventures over the past three years, according to the report by environmental campaign groups, the US Sierra Club, the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack and Oil Change International. Deutsche Bank was the top financer of big coal miners, delivering nearly $7bn between 2013 and 2015, according to the study’s assessment of publicly available financial filings. Citigroup was calculated to have supplied $24bn for large coal power plant operators, making it the largest supporter in this category. JPMorgan Chase was ranked the largest financer of so-called “extreme oil”, financing an estimated $38bn for the biggest owners of untapped reserves in ultra-deep offshore fields, the Arctic or tar sands.
FT 14th June 2016 read more »
Stuart Haszeldine: The vote to ban fracking can be seen as important to indicate the sentiment of several of the combined non-Government parties in Holyrood. But this is not the end of the matter, just another gateway to pass through along the road. It is not surprising that the SNP abstain for two reasons: first because the issue is divisive within the SNP membership at grass roots level; second because having created a Moratorium and a science based inquiry, then the Government can not pre-judge the results of that inquiry- and I say that even if the inquiry outcome is positive or negative towards “fracking”. However the real issue for me is that I fear that this vote is based on only partial facts and in some cases prejudice and ignorance. What this says is actually we do not know enough yet, to be much more certain if “fracking” can be undertaken securely in Scotland or in England.
Herald 14th June 2016 read more »