Today the East Mendip Green Party (EMGP) are launching the ‘SWITCH EDF OFF’ campaign by paying people to switch from EDF to renewable energy suppliers. For the first time in the UK customers will get a cash payment to switch their energy accounts away from EDF and nuclear in favour of green energy. This campaign driven by the decision to go ahead with Hinkley nuclear power plant by EDF and the Conservative government and is part of our ongoing opposition to the Hinkley and support for renewable energy. EMGP is concerned that in spite of current safety problems with the EPR design, security concerns over the Chinese partners and an ongoing EU subsidy court case – a decision has been made based on placatory politics rather than economic sense. Via SwitchEDFoff.org.uk website anyone with EDF (or other nuclear energy providers) will get £20 per fuel to switch to either Good Energy or Ecotricity who supply and support green energy. So people will get £40 for switching gas and electricity from nuclear to renewables. It pays to go green. EMGP hope that this should dent EDF’s 14% UK market share as for every 1000 people who switch, EDF will lose around £1m per year from their already shaky finances and hopefully persuade them to see economic sense over Hinkley.
Ecohustler 14th Dec 2016 read more »
The remaining part of a woodland planted to commemorate the coronation of George V is set to be bulldozed to make way for the relocation of some of the Sizewell B power station buildings. The existing buildings, including a visitors’ centre, training centre and car park, are in the way of plans for a £16billion Sizewell C nuclear power station.
East Anglian Daily Times 15th DCec 2016 read more »
A Sellafield accident would pose no immediate health risk in Ireland but strong food controls would be necessary, according to a new report published by the Environmental Protection Agency on the potential radiological impact of a serious accident at the nuclear plant. The study assessed the potential exposure to radiation for people and contamination of the environment for a year following an accident.
Wicklow People 17th Dec 2016 read more »
The government of Japan is considering a plan to help its companies win work on the UK’s nuclear programme by making it easier for them to obtain project finance. The Japan Times reports that the government may ask the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Development Bank of Japan to provide loans to companies that build and operate nuclear power stations, including finance for equity investments. According to sources close to the Japanese government, the aim is to establish a framework for financial assistance totalling about ¥1 trillion ($8.5bn). The aim is to use government money to attract private capital from Japanese and British financial institutions. Other reports suggested that the Japanese government might find as much as $15bn, but that negotiations were continuing.
Global Construction Review 16th Dec 2016 read more »
The UK and Japanese government are in talks with the owner of Horizon Nuclear Power over the possible public financing of the Wyfla Newydd plant it is planning to build in Wales, the Financial Times has reported.
Utility Week 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Nuclear vs Climate
Matt Ridley fails to mention the huge amount of taxpayer-funded and electricity bill payer-funded subsidies that have been allocated to the nuclear sector (“Climate Change Act has cost us the earth,” Comment, Dec 12), in the mistaken belief by ministers responsible for energy policy over the past decade ie Ed Miliband (Labour); Chris Huhne and Sir Ed Davey (Lib Dem) and now Greg Clark (Conservative), that nuclear energy is a meaningful way to reduce carbon emissions. Production of nuclear electricity is not carbon free, because the production of nuclear fuel for these reactors is significantly energy intensive. While it is true that most nuclear reactors do not emit CO2 at the point of generation, reactors are a small part of the nuclear fuel cycle, which emits large amounts of CO2. These arise from the so-called front end of the fuel cycle – uranium mining, ore milling, uranium hexafluoride conversion, fuel enrichment and, finally, fabrication of the fuel rods. Moreover, nuclear waste management at the “back end” is already energy-hungry in the treatment, conditioning, transportation and final disposal in some future repository (if ministers ever give the green light). Thus full life-cycle analyses are essential to assess the true impact of the entire processes. A number of such studies have examined CO2 emissions – commonly expressed as CO2 equivalents per kWh – for different methods of producing electricity. The most comprehensive model has been created by the Öko Institut, which advises the German environment ministry, and by Professors Jan Willem Storm Van Leeuwen and the late Philip Smith at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands (eg .’Nuclear Power: the Energy Balance’ Both studies conclude that the nuclear fuel cycle can emit relatively large amounts of CO2. The lower the uranium concentration in ore, the more CO2 generated; and as a means of enrichment, gas diffusion was much more energy intensive – and thus CO2 emitting – than centrifuge separation.
David Lowry’s Blog 15th Dec 2016 read more »
EDF is to raise its standard electricity tariff for UK customers by 8.4 per cent from next March in defiance of government efforts to drive down bills. The increase — the French utility’s first in three years — highlights renewed energy price inflation over recent months as commodity markets have rebounded. Constraints in electricity generating capacity and depreciation of the pound since the UK’s vote to leave the EU have also contributed.
FT 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Independent 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Britain’s energy watchdog fears that power station operators may have fooled the wholesale electricity market by using underhand methods to artificially push up prices. Some generators have been paid as much as £1500 per megawatt hour for electricity in recent weeks, compared with regular prices of a fraction that level — about £50. Ofgem wrote a letter to suppliers on Monday threatening unlimited fines and possible criminal action if they were found guilty of suspected abuse. The letter warned against “market manipulation and insider trading” by market participants. “Submitting misleading Physical Notifications clearly has the potential to breach obligations,” it said. The regulator is concerned that companies may be making false statements about the amount of electricity they plan to generate, as a way of artificially boosting wholesale prices during periods of high demand.
Times 17th Dec 2016 read more »
British Gas’s parent company, Centrica, has given tens of thousands of dollars to a US thinktank that denies climate change and is backed by Donald Trump’s energy secretary.
Guardian 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Europe should embark on a collective project to become the world leader in renewable energy by 2020, write Enrico Letta, President of the Jacques Delors Institute, Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council and President of the European Policy Center and Bertrand Piccard, pilot of the Solar Impulse, in an open letter to policymakers. Such a leadership effort would go a long way to addressing a multitude of challenges facing Europe: it would lead to growth and innovation, create jobs, lower energy dependence, benefit the environment and the climate, democratise the energy sector, and even lead to lower immigration if Africa is included.
Energy Post 13th Dec 2016 read more »
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. will form a consortium with industry peers to integrate their power grid operations in the early 2020s, officials have said. The officials disclosed the idea at a meeting Wednesday of an expert panel set up by the industry ministry that discusses reform measures for Tepco, which is struggling as it faces massive costs related to the March 2011 triple meltdowns at its Fukushima No. 1 power station in Fukushima Prefecture. The reform measures, to be finalized next week, will be reflected in a revised Tepco rehabilitation plan to be launched as early as January by the power firm and its government-backed supporter, Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp. In its draft reform measures, the panel said Tepco will cover ¥16 trillion of nuclear disaster-related costs, now predicted to reach ¥21.5 trillion in total, about double the previous estimate.
Japan Times 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Fennovoima’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) program for its own used nuclear fuel disposal facility is “comprehensive” and meets legal requirements, Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy has said. However, the ministry expects Fennovoima to continue cooperation with the licensees of the Onkalo repository project at Olkiluoto. An EIA program is a plan for the necessary studies and arrangements for the assessment procedure, the ministry said. The program is prepared by the organization responsible for the project and includes a description of the present state of the environment in the area likely to be affected. Fennovoima submitted its EIA program for its own facility for the disposal of used nuclear fuel from its planned Hanhikivi nuclear power plant in western Finland to the ministry on 22 June this year.
World Nuclear News 16th Dec 2016 read more »
Tokamak Energy, one of the world’s leading private fusion energy ventures, has received a major investment boost totalling £10M from Legal & General Capital and British billionaire David Harding. The company, based in Oxfordshire, is working on the world’s most promising approach to fusion, with the aim of realising a future of abundant, clean energy within the next decade. Current estimates suggest the fusion energy market could be worth $2.2 trillion per year by 2045. The investment boost will help Tokamak Energy to accelerate its technology development, which combines spherical tokamaks and high-temperature superconductors to create similar conditions to those in the Sun where nuclear fusion occurs naturally. This huge engineering challenge has occupied some of the world’s brightest minds for over half a century.
Tokamak Energy 16th Dec 2016 read more »
World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That’s Cheaper Than Wind. A transformation is happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity. This has happened in isolated projects in the past: an especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The chart below shows the average cost of new wind and solar from 58 emerging-market economies, including China, India, and Brazil. While solar was bound to fall below wind eventually, given its steeper price declines, few predicted it would happen this soon.
Bloomberg 15th Dec 2016 read more »
Community energy is the next big threat to utility companies – unless they manage to become part of this emerging energy economy. They still have a window of opportunity, says Craig Cavanaugh of software services company Omnetric Group, who spent six months researching the energy community market in Europe and the US. He sees three main opportunities for utilities: they can become “collaborative partner”, “community energy service provider” or “community energy platform provider”. In all cases technology is the key. “If utilities don’t move, communities will act on their own”.
Energy Post 12th Dec 2016 read more »
People working in green buildings think better in the office and sleep better when they get home, a new study has revealed. The research indicates that better ventilation, lighting and heat control improves workers’ performance and could boost their productivity by thousands of dollars a year. It also suggests that more subjective aspects, such as beautiful design, may make workers happier and more productive.
Guardian 16th Dec 2016 read more »