A POLITICAL row has broken out after the leader of the Labour Party refused to give his support for a nuclear development in west Cumbria. Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Jeremy Corbyn did not endorse the proposed Moorside Power Station when asked. He said: “I want to see a mix, I want to see a greater emphasis in the long-term on renewables in the way Germany and other countries have done but we do have nuclear power stations, we do have a nuclear base at the moment and that will continue for a long time.”
NW Evening Mail 15th January 2017 read more »
CUMBRIAN Conservative MP John Stevenson has hit out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on plans for a new nuclear power plant in the county. Mr Corbyn failed to back plans for Moorside when pressed by the BBC over the weekend. On today’s Andrew Marr Show Mr Corbyn said there should be a variety of energy options.
Carlisle News and Star 15th Jan 2017 read more »
Whitehaven News 15th Jan 2017 read more »
Jeremy Corbyn yesterday dropped his longstanding opposition to Britain’s civil nuclear power industry before a crucial by-election on the doorstep of Sellafield. The Labour leader denied that he would be “toast” if his party failed to hold on to seats in Copeland in Cumbria and Stoke-on-Trent. The latter was triggered by the resignation of Tristram Hunt, the former shadow education secretary, on Friday. Mr Corbyn markedly softened his tone on nuclear power, insisting that Britain’s civil nuclear power stations would remain “for a long time” and could expand. In the past he has called for them to be decommissioned. His comments reflect unease over the party’s prospects in Copeland. The Conservatives are using his past comments on nuclear power to try to win over traditional Labour supporters in a seat where the majority at the general election in 2015 was 2,500. Mr Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that both by-elections presented Labour with an opportunity.
Times 16th Jan 2017 read more »
Backtracking Jeremy Corbyn drops opposition to nuclear power industry in ANOTHER U-TURN.
Express 16th Jan 2017 read more »
Mr Marr quizzed the Labour leader on a sticking point of the party’s campaign to hold onto the Cumbrian seat of Copeland – nuclear power. The constituency is home to the Sellafield nuclear plant and next-door to Barrow-in-Furness, home to the shipyard building the Navy’s new Trident nuclear submarines. Senior Labour figures fear the Conservatives – favourites to win the by-election – will highlight Mr Corbyn’s lifelong opposition to nuclear power and weapons. He said the party would be working hard to protect jobs and pensions in the nuclear industry. He said his aim was to move to a mix of power supply, “but we do have nuclear power and we will for a long time.” Asked if he “still agreed with himself” on the idea of decommissioning nuclear power stations, he said: “We have a system which is a mix at the moment. Nuclear power stations last for a very long time. “Sellafield is going to be there for a long time as a reprocessing plant anyway, whatever happens.”
Mirror 15th Jan 2017 read more »
You may have seen Jeremy Corbyn talking about “Moorfield” on the Andrew Marr show. He doesn’t sound wildly enthusiastic and refuses to endorse the plan but on the other hand doesn’t say it’s a diabolic idea which is what he SHOULD be saying to protect the workforce at Sellafield, the people of Copeland …and further afield. Jeremy Corbyn’s home in North London is after all a mere 245 miles from Moorside as the radioactive cloud flies. We are all under threat from Moorside. … The lack of attention to detail to the name suggests that he hasn’t been paying attention to just how nasty this diabolic plan is!! #StopMoorside. The Evening Mail has an online poll which unlike the actual government and industry consultations allows for a NO.
Radiation Free Lakeland 15th Jan 2017 read more »
THE Green Party has announced it will contest the upcoming Copeland by-election on an anti-nuclear and anti-poverty campaign. Members of Allerdale and Copeland Green Party decided to stand in the Copeland vote which was brought about by the resignation of the constituency’s current Labour MP Jamie Reed. A candidate will be selected on January 24. Clare Brown, chairman of the Allerdale and Copeland Green Party, said: “We feel it’s vitally important to offer a vote to those people who want to see a fair and sustainable future for the area. “There are clear differences between us and the other parties and we welcome this opportunity to campaign on our priorities, which include sustainable energy and standing against nuclear power, as well as anti-poverty measures and exposing the lie of austerity.”
NW Evening Mail 15th Jan 2017 read more »
Toshiba Corp. anticipates that total losses at its nuclear business in the United States could be larger than earlier stated due to a write-down at its subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Co., a source familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The development may further taint the financial standing of the company that has been battling to overcome a massive window-dressing scandal. Toshiba is finalizing the size of an impairment loss at Westinghouse, which could reach tens of billions of yen, ahead of the release of its group earnings report for the April to December period in mid-February, the source said. Last month Toshiba said it may need to write down the value of assets at CB&I Stone & Webster Inc., a nuclear plant builder Westinghouse obtained in 2015, possibly by several hundred billion yen. Toshiba believes the devaluation of CB&I Stone & Webster may have seriously undermined the value of Westinghouse, the source said. The source said Toshiba estimated the final write down in connection with U.S. nuclear plant operations may reach up to ¥500 billion as of the end of last year, but the total amount could change as the company combed through their financial data.
Japan Times 12th Jan 2017 read more »
A couple fed up with the performance of energy suppliers are launching a crowdfunding campaign to start their own company. David Pike and Karin Sode said Our Energy will be “completely transparent”, with customer representation on its board, and will give 75pc of profits back to customers. They believe the current “Big Six” energy firms treat customers with “contempt” and hope to raise £450,000 to make the electricity and gas company operational this year. More than £18,000 was raised in an initial fundraising drive and the latest campaign has the backing of business people including the former chairman of Gleneagles Hotel, Peter Lederer. The couple, from Gullane, East Lothian, said Our Energy would share salaries, decisions, accounts and prices with customers. Shares in the company will be owned by people who invest in the crowdfunder. Mr Pike previously worked with EDF and Scottish Power and said the big energy companies “won’t change their tactics anytime soon”. “Like most UK energy consumers, Karin and I have had bad experiences when dealing with the big energy firms,” he said.
Telegraph 16th Jan 2017 read more »
Scotsman 16th Jan 2017 read more »
Herald 16th Jan 2017 read more »
The ranks of the 40-plus energy companies jostling for householders’ business will swell on Monday with the launch of a new supplier that delivers electricity from windfarms. Fischer Energy hopes to sign up 40,000 customers in the first year to its single variable tariff, with renewable power bought from Denmark’s Dong Energy. The new entrant arrives less than two months after the collapse of another small supplier, GB Energy UK. Experts have raised concerns that the retail energy market is approaching saturation point and question the wisdom of consumers signing up for a variable tariff at a time of rising wholesale price s. The company, which has around 25 employees, is also going up against some long-standing green energy suppliers such as Good Energy and Ecotricity with its pledge to supply 100% renewable electricity. “Green energy is the only way forward. Burning carbon fuels is not the solution,” Bastian said.
Guardian 15th Jan 2017 read more »
The Department of Justice asked the FBI to investigate the acquisition of Uramin in 2007. The operation could fall under the Anti-Corruption Act.
Le JDD 14th Jan 2017 read more »
What are the implications of China’s announcement last week that it will be spending $360m over the next four years to build up its renewable energy sector? There are many reasons behind the move, from Beijing’s growing concern about the impact of climate change to the political imperative of reducing low level pollution in the smog-ridden cities. The scale of the investment, however, suggests that two closely related policy objectives are driving energy strategy: an effort to create a modernised economy that can provide employment for the Chinese workforce and a determination to limit dependence on imported supplies. China has already begun to take action to limit coal imports. The rapid growth up to 2014 has been halted, with imports used sparingly as an interim source of supply while the domestic coal industry is restructured. Hundreds of small and inefficient mines are being closed but the trend of total coal consumption looks set to grow further, towards the National Energy Administration’s target ceiling of power production from coal of 1,100 gigawatts. Coal generated 990 GW in 2015. Anyone under the impression that the Chinese coal industry is in terminal decline should note that new mines are still being opened and a new coal-fired power station is being brought onstream each week. Increasingly, coal is supplied by modernised local mines; total coal output is not likely to fall and it is possible that coal imports will be reduced to a minimum by 2020. The Chinese government’s plans lies in a rebasing of the economy in favour of electricity, with power supplied by local coal, shale gas, locally built n uclear power stations and renewables such as wind and solar power.
FT 16th Jan 2017 read more »
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Reuters 16th Jan 2017 read more »
THE SNP has accused the Westminster Government of failing to support Scotland’s renewables industry and plunging the UK renewables market into “further uncertainty”. SNP Energy spokesperson Callum McCaig MP has written to Greg Clark, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) about the UK Government’s abolition of the Energy and Climate Change Department, the continuing uncertainty of Brexit and a devastating reduction in investment in the sector. McCaig has said the SNP is determined to see Scotland’s renewable sector flourish and has also pointed to the UK Government’s lack of response to several requests for clarification from the Scottish Government over an “array of key issues” on Scotland’s renewable sector which still await a response. “Renewable energy has been a success story for Scotland in recent years, and the SNP Scottish Government has set out an ambitious strategy for renewable investment. We firmly believe that supporting long-term energy security and environmental protection should be a key priority for any responsible government.”
The National 16th Jan 2017 read more »
Renewables – tidal
With so many renewable technologies vying for support and attention these days, there’s a problem for even the most enterprising enthusiast. How do you whip up a jaded public’s backing for the latest costly scheme? Charles Hendry adopts a novel approach in his just-published official review of tidal energy. The former UK energy minister touts a pioneering project to build a tidal lagoon near Swansea in Wales not on the grounds of efficiency or effectiveness — but because its output would cost only a little bit more than consumers are already paying. He estimates that in the first 15 years, users across the country would have to pay no more than an extra 35p-45p per household a year on top of their existing bills to receive the power this facility would generate. That, he adds helpfully, is rather less than the cost of a pint of milk. Now this may not sound an excessive price to salve one’s environmental conscience. But here’s the rub: it’s also a completely meaningless and misleading comparison. Forget the fact that Mr Hendry doesn’t even tell you the base number to which he’s adding his extra charge for tidal. It is pretty odd to spread the annual subsidy cost of electricity from what would be a pretty tiny quantity of electrical energy across all 26m UK households. Once completed, Swansea will produce 530,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per annum. That’s just 0.2 per cent of the electricity Britain consumes.
FT 15th Jan 2017 read more »
Renewables – solar
The Solar Trade Association (STA) has called on the Government to remove all barriers to deployment of energy storage. Following substantial recent reductions in costs associated with storage – especially lithium-ion batteries – the industry is ready now to deliver smarter alternatives for a clean energy system that will save money for the consumer. Research commissioned by the STA and conducted by independent analysts Aurora Energy Research, has shown that batteries work particularly well with variable generation, such as solar. The research showed that a high deployment of solar in our future energy system would come with only modest integration costs associated with its variable output. However, the addition of storage removes this cost and in its place delivers a net economic benefit. By enabling the provision of cheap, clean, energy for longer periods of the day there would be downward pressure on prices for the consumer, and reduce the need for other more expensive forms of generation. In the call for evidence, OFGEM and BEIS identified a number of barriers to storage deployment, many of which the STA highlighted in their recent report Solar + Storage = Opportunities. Of particular importance is the lack of a regulatory definition for storage, leading to problems in treatment under current market rules such as double charging on energy consumption levies.
Scottish Energy News 16th Jan 2017 read more »
Green Investment Bank
TWO Green MSPs are lobbying the Scotland Office to intervene in the potential sale of the Green Investment Bank. Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman want the UK government’s office in Scotland to ensure that the bank maintains its commitment to environmental causes and that it safeguards the 55 jobs it has in Edinburgh; the city the MSPs represent. It was reported last week that Westminster MPs, including Green MP Caroline Lucas, are calling on the Prime Minister to stop the Green Investment Bank being “killed off” by a sale to a private firm because of fears the assets will be stripped and its environmental purpose abandoned. Both MSPs have written to the Scotland Office in Edinburgh outlining their concerns, including the “long-term record” of Macquarie, the firm considered to be the preferred bidder, of “slashing jobs”.
The National 16th Jan 2017 read more »
A green home improvement scheme that the government abruptly abandoned 18 months ago has been snapped up by City investors who hope to turn it into a one-stop spot for eco-friendly energy shopping. The investors have paid £40m for what is left of the Green Deal programme the former coalition government launched in 2013 to encourage homeowners to borrow money for new boilers, wall insulation and other energy-saving upgrades. “We want to become the trusted brand in the home energy andrenewable energy space,” said Kilian Pender, chief executive of the Greenstone Finance investment company, one of the groups behind the acquisition. He said that over time, the new owners hoped anyone wanting a new boiler, solar panels or a high-tech thermostat system would come to their website first to get help finding the most suitable product; a trustworthy installer and, if need be, financing. But their first task will be relaunching a loan scheme that struggled to meet its creators’ expectations. Ministers initially hailed the Green Deal as the biggest home improvement measure since the second world war and a revolutionary effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions by fixing Britain’s notoriously draughty houses. It was designed to offer loans for insulation and other upgrades that could be repaid through homeowners’ energy bills. Those bills should have been lower because of the improvements. It had been hoped that 10,000 households would sign up to the Green Deal in its first year of operation but it had fewer than 11,000 after two years.
FT 16th Jan 2017 read more »
A million over 65s expect their health to suffer this winter because they will be unable to afford to heat their homes properly, according to a survey. The cost of heating increases as temperatures fall and boilers use twice as much gas as usual when it falls below zero. To pay higher energy bills, two fifths of pensioners said that they would dip into their savings or cut down on food and luxuries, according to the Populus poll of more than 2,000 people aged over 65. The Office for National Statistics says that 15 per cent more people die in winter and more than a third of them die of respiratory diseases. The Competition and Markets Authority said that 70 per cent of all customers – and a higher proportion of elderly people – were languishing on suppliers’ expensive standard tariff.
Times 16th Jan 2017 read more »