New Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said today the Government “had to make sure” the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station on the Somerset coast was built.In one of his first interviews as Chancellor on BBC Radio 4, Mr Hammond said building the plant was essential to secure the country’s power supply needs.Mr Hammond spoke as the National Audit Office released a report suggesting that top up payments to EDF to help pay for the power station looked set to Skyrocket from £6.1bn to £29.7 billion – nearly five times the original estimate.This is because fossil fuel prices have dropped so dramatically that wholesale electricity prices have tumbled with them. The subsidy was designed to ensure operators of the power station had a stable income from it.
Info Europa 14th July 2016 read more »
New Chancellor describes Hinkley Point C as vital for the economy.
Burnham-on-sea.com 15th July 2016 read more »
This is the West Country 15th July 2016 read more »
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse is demanding urgent talks with the UK Government following Theresa May’s decision to axe the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Whitehall. The new Prime Minister’s reshuffle has seen the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) merged with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to create a Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department. Environment campaigners have expressed concern that the change suggests tackling climate change will no longer be a priority for the UK Government. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon raised the issue directly with the new Prime Minister when they met in Edinburgh last week and Wheelhouse has now pledged to take the issue further. The Scottish Government has committed to introduce a new climate change bill which will set a target to reduce emissions by more than 50 per cent by 2020. Scottish ministers want to secure UK government support for pumped storage hydro schemes, onshore and offshore wind, as well as interconnectors between Scotland’s island communities.
Scotsman 16th July 2016 read more »
The Irish government is planning to build a gas pipeline between Ireland to France, in order to increase our energy supply options after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. Dara Murphy, the minister for European affairs, said the project had been considered before the Brexit referendum but was now a priority. It will be among the topics up for discussion between the French and Irish governments when President François Hollande visits Dublin on Thursday.
Times 17th July 2016 read more »
BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce’s ability to deliver the new Successor nuclear missile submarines to replace the ageing Trident fleet faces fresh doubts ahead of a crucial vote on the huge project. On Monday MPs will decide on whether to press ahead with the programme – the biggest UK defence deal for decades with a £30bn price tag and £10bn contingency fund to deal with snags – with major worries about their record for building submarines. Both are involved with the current programme building Astute-class attack submarines, but this has been littered with problems. HMS Astute, the first of the seven-boat programme, was four years late and the project went £2bn over budget. Troubles included issues with the nuclear reactor provided by Rolls and concerns about the quality of work and equipment overseen by BAE, and submarine suffered a flood when a valve broke. The Government is looking at a range of options as to how Successor can be kept on track and to budget to prevent a repeat of problems.
Telegraph 16th July 2016 read more »
MPs vote tomorrow on replacing the Trident submarines — but the £31bn programme is already beset by fears it cannot be delivered on time or on budget. They have been building submarines at Barrow-in-Furness for more than a century. A nuclear-powered Astute-class vessel, which carries conventional weapons, is lowered into the dock roughly every three years. That work will not last much longer, though. The 7,000-strong workforce at BAE Systems’ Barrow shipyard is busy fitting out HMS Audacious, the fourth of seven Astutes — the last of which is due early next decade. Workers at Barrow crave a concrete decision on the replacement submarine for the Trident nuclear missile deterrent. That certainty may arrive tomorrow, when MPs vote on renewing Trident. The prime minister Theresa May put the retention of Britain’s nuclear deterrent at the heart of her leadership bid. The issue divides the warring factions of Labour — with party leader Jeremy Corbyn among its most vocal opponents — and the Scottish National party is against renewal, but most believe it is a done deal. Successor, as the Trident replacement programme is also known, is a project of gargantuan scale and expense. At an estimated cost of £31bn — with another £10bn set aside should costs balloon — it will be the most expensive military hardware Britain has bought. The government is desperate to prevent Trident from joining the long list of defence projects — from aircraft carriers and Nimrod spy planes to Type 26 frigates — whose costs and schedules have stretched beyond recognition. Many defence industry experts expect a repeat. “Successor is a plan based on optimism and hope,” said one. “The government holds the risk for the programme, price and performance.” In October Jon Thompson, then the top civil servant in the Ministry of Defence, called the programme a “monster” that “keeps me awake at night”. “It’s the single biggest future financial risk we face.”
Times 17th July 2016 read more »
Successive Westminster Governments have deceived the public by pretending that Trident is a British bomb when it’s actually American, according to a new expert report. Trident missiles are rented and collected from the US navy, their targeting and communications systems depend on US software and satellites, and their arming and firing systems are made in the US, the report says. The code words needed to detonate UK warheads are also produced in the US, it claims. In extreme cases, it warns that the US could locate Trident submarines and shoot down their missiles in flight.
Herald 17th July 2016 read more »
LABOUR MPs are expected to rebel on the issue of Trident renewal, with the SNP bloc in the House of Commons firmly against the weapons system. But the SNP have described it as a “cheap political stunt” aimed at highlighting the deep split in Labour led by Jeremy Corbyn. UK ministers have estimated a replacement fleet would cost £31billion over 35 years, though CND say the day-to-day running costs over the system’s lifespan could see the final bill top £200billion. Yesterday, SNP defence spokesman Brendan O’Hara said: “There’s no doubt this is mischief-making by the Tories. They see this as an easy way to reunite the party post-Brexit and to cause maximum embarrassment for Labour. Trident is not a defensive weapon – it’s a political weapon.
Daily Record 17th July 2016 read more »
Britain must keep its nuclear weapons because they are “crucial” for stability in the world, senior American politicians have warned, as MPs prepare to vote on renewing Trident. A report from a committee of the United States Congress said America benefits when Britain “clearly and unequivocally” commits to maintaining its nuclear missile defences. The verdict is being seen by British officials as a signal of American concerns over the Labour Party’s lack of support for Trident as Jeremy Corbyn prepares to vote against renewing Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
Telegraph 16th July 2016 read more »
Demonstrations in 36 Scottish towns and cities were attended by around 7000 people, the Scottish Scrap Trident Coalition (SSTC) said. MPs will vote whether to renew the controversial nuclear weapons programme, which is based on the Clyde, on Monday.
STV 16th July 2016 read more »
Herald 17th July 2016 read more »
A company at the forefront of Whitehall’s ambitious £11bn plan to install a smart energy meter in every home in Britain has been put up for sale with a £1bn price tag. Calvin Capital, which trades as Meter Fit, has already installed more than 6m devices. Its owner Infracapital, a specialist investment arm of Prudential, recently hired Citigroup to auction the business. Calvin is one of two companies that dominate the smart meter industry. The other is Macquarie Energy Leasing, which is owned by the Australian investment banking giant.
Sunday Times 17th July 2016 read more »
This week—as thousands of Americans urge awareness of the destruction caused by oil bomb trains—an oil field in San Juan County, New Mexico erupted in flames Monday night, highlighting the continued and increasing dangers of the fossil fuel industry. The fire broke out around 10:15 p.m. Monday at a fracking site owned and operated by WPX Energy, setting off several explosions and temporarily closing the nearby Highway 550. Fifty-five local residents were forced out of their homes.
Ecowatch 13th July 2016 read more »
Finally, a consensus is crystallising around one all-important fact: fossil fuels are killing us. We need to switch to clean energy, and fast. But while this growing awareness about the dangers of fossil fuels represents a crucial shift in our consciousness, I can’t help but fear we’ve missed the point. As important as clean energy might be, the science is clear: it won’t save us from climate change. the burning of fossil fuels only accounts for about 70% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The other 30% comes from a number of causes, including deforestation, and industrial livestock farming, which produces 90m tonnes of methane per year and most of the world’s anthropogenic nitrous oxide. Both of these gases are vastly more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. Livestock farming alone contributes more to global warming than all the cars, trains, planes and ships in the world. There are also a number of industrial processes that contribute significantly, and then there are our landfills, which pump out huge amounts of methane – 16% of the world’s total.
Guardian 15th July 2016 read more »