Non-nuclear Austria has said it would take the European Commission to court over its decision to approve Britain’s plans for a 16 billion pound ($25 billion) nuclear power plant, saying such a decision would go against the EU’s aim to support renewable energy. The project, to be built by French utility EDF at Hinkley Point in southwest England, is crucial for Britain’s plan to replace a fifth of its ageing nuclear power and coal plants over the coming decade while reducing carbon emissions. Der Spiegel quoted Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn as saying the EU must not allow “a la carte membership” and “the political essence of an ever-closer union must not be questioned”.
Today 15th May 2015 read more »
This week Finland cancelled its option for a second European Pressurised Reactor as the existing EPR project sinks into a abyss of cost over-runs, delays and litigation, writes Jim Green. It now looks like the EPR is a failed technology and its owner, French nuclear giant Areva, is fast running out of both money and orders as its ‘hot prospects’ evaporate.
Ecologist 15th May 2015 read more »
Today outside Whitehaven Civic Hall we sang our songs, spoke to lots of people and handed out leaflets countering the propaganda from the nuclear industry. Lots of people stopped to tell us that they are opposed to new build “but what can we do – they’re gonna go ahead anyway” Well certainly that is what the criminal companies hiding behind the bland NuGen brand want the public to think and that is how the CONsultation is designed.
Radiation Free Lakeland 16th May 2015 read more »
ITV 16th May 2015 read more »
BBC 16th May 2015 read more »
Consultation starts today on plans to build Europe’s biggest new nuclear development in west Cumbria. A series of open meetings are being held across Cumbria, where people can learn more about the Moorside development. The open meetings are from 11am to 7.30pm.
Carlisle News & Star 16th May 2015 read more »
Labour MP considering standing as leader says the party needs the equivalent of “Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan” to win back support in the country. Jamie Reed, the MP for Copeland, has received support from fellow MPs who think his background, as the son of an electrician and a shop worker, makes him an ideal candidate.
Independent 16th May 2015 read more »
Tory Energy Policies will lower bills by £65. No cap on energy bills, a competition investigation, the Green Deal and smart meters: we round up five key Conservative energy plans. 1 No price cap but bills should fall by 5%. 2. Energy Firm Price War -Encouraging small, “challenger” energy firms to the market, rather than a price cap, will ensure bills remain low. 3 Government handouts for energy-efficiency home improvements are likely to shrink in the next few years. 4. The £112 Green Levy on your bills but this figure, broken down in the chart (below), could be about to shrink under the new government, as the Tories are expected to cut initiatives such as the feed-in tariff and renewable energy projects. 5. The Government has promised that every home will, by 2020, have a “smart meter”. The policy will deliver a planned £6bn in energy savings over the next five years.
Telegraph 16th May 2015 read more »
Alistair Phillips-Davies chief executive of SSE: There is a clear need for clarity regarding the contribution of onshore wind to the energy mix. The Conservatives have a mandate to “halt the spread of onshore wind farms”, but as a major investor in this area it is important to discuss how to achieve this while meeting climate change commitments cost-effectively, protecting existing investments and retaining the economic benefits of investment in renewable sources of energy. Anybody who has heard me speak over the last few years will be able to predict my second priority area: keeping bills as low as possible. Consumers expect action to keep prices stable and, where possible, to bring them down. Whilst factors such as commodity markets can have a significant impact on costs, governments can assist by ensuring that the costs of policies funded by bill payers are controlled. A key area here is energy efficiency policy, which must be both ambitious and targeted at vulnerable households. In the past, schemes have been overly complex and therefore not value for money for customers. There is a strong case for this cost to come off bill payers and to be funded progressively by taking into account an individual’s ability to pay. With the ECO scheme ending in 2017, there is also an opportunity to refocus an d simplify the scheme.
Telegraph 16th May 2015 read more »
The appointment of Amber Rudd as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change last week can be seen as a sign that he wants a consensual approach to climate and energy strategies. While nobody should expect the Conservative Party to suddenly drop its opposition to new onshore wind farms or its support for fracking, Rudd made it clear on the day before the election that she is committed to tackling climate change by writing for a green website. Following her appointment, she told her local constituency newspaper that she wants to launch a “solar revolution”. She takes the scientists’ warnings seriously, intends to plough ahead with efforts to meet carbon targets, and wants more European and international co-operation on cutting greenhouse gas pollution. I understand she told her department officials in her first week that reaching a global climate deal at December’s summit of world leaders in Paris will be her top priority. She has also agreed to lead the “Green Growth Group” of EU ministers who support raising ambition on decarbonisation.
Independent 17th May 2015 read more »
Rudd merges the two sides of Cameron – the husky-hugging green and the prime minister who once allegedly vowed to “ditch the green crap”.”I don’t think anyone actually pinned that phrase on anybody,” she says, loyally. A deal cannot “come at any price” and she will press the “big six” energy suppliers to do more to keep bills low. “They’re not going to get any soft ride here. I think there’s much more that they can do to look after people.” Rudd wants “more competition and easier switching” for customers. She plans to start winning over Tory sceptics with legislation that will make it impossible to build onshore wind farms without local consent. Government subsidies will be abolished and local planners will take decisions after consulting the communities concerned. “This is really important,” Rudd says. “No more onshore wind farm subsidies and no more onshore wind farms without local community support. “That’s going to be one of the first things we’re going to do. I’ve put a rocket under the team to get it done.” The proposal will be in the Queen’s speech. Rudd says there is a “hopeful prospect” of a law by the middle of 2016. Rudd does not think wind farms are an “eyesore at all – I quite enjoy seeing them. But we can’t have them on scale in areas where people don’t want them.” Rudd is also “very keen” on new nuclear power plants. “Nuclear is good for clean energy – this is going to put Greenpeace off, isn’t it? – and also is reliable.”
Sunday Times 17th May 2015 read more »
The operator of Japan’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has reportedly started work on dismantling a cover placed over a reactor building. It wants to remove radioactive debris and spent nuclear fuel as part of decommissioning efforts at the site.
Euro News 15th May 2015 read more »
With stiff resistance from locals delaying the commissioning of Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday said “the fault lies with” the government for not being able to convince the people of the “advantages of atomic energy”. The Minister of State for the Department of Atomic Energy and Space said the government is gathering all resources to make the 9,900-MW Jaitapur nuclear power plant in coastal Maharashtra as one of the most glorious atomic energy
First Post 15th May 2015 read more »
These days, Trident missiles loaded onto submarines, they sail endlessly around under the world’s seas, threatening nobody in particular. With their fearsome capacity for mass destruction and death, nuclear weapons have always been immoral. Now, in the age of the suicide bomber, they have become supremely pointless. Today we reveal the dramatic fears of a young submariner so shocked by what he saw and hear at Faslane and on a Trident submarine that he felt he had to risk imprisonment to warn the public.
Sunday Herald 17th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
WHEN John Forster, head of Scotland’s largest solar installer, addressed a renewable energy conference in Glasgow this month, it was standing room only. Forster, who is chairman of the newly formed Solar Trade Association Scotland, says the attendance at the event highlighted the surge of interest being seen in the industry north of the Border. While solar is hardly a new technology, its take-up in Scotland to date has been relatively limited compared to the rest of the UK. Of an estimated eight gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity in the UK, only around 200 megawatts (MW) is in Scotland across around 35,000 homes and 600 businesses. Forster, chairman of Brechin-based Forster Energy, argues that the growth potential is huge and that there would be many benefits from wider deployment of solar in Scotland.
Scotland-on-Sunday 17th May 2015 read more »
SolarAid’s founding director and clean energy campaigner, Jeremy Leggett, has been awarded the highly prestigious Gothenburg Award for his work with solar energy. Jeremy set-up the UK’s leading solar company, Solarcentury, back in 1998 and drew plans to donate 5% of its net profit to a solar charity. In 2006 Solarcentury turned a profit and SolarAid was born. Under Jeremy’s stewardship we’ve evolved from a fledgling charity installing PV panels in village schools to a highly innovative, award winning organisation improving the lives of 10 million people in Africa.
Solar Aid 23rd April 2015 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Soon they will return. But when the small fishing boats of East Yorkshire’s Holderness Coast go back to Westermost Rough sometime within the next few weeks, what they will find remains as murky as the waters they used to fish. This area of the North Sea is by far the UK’s most prolific lobster ground. Before the boats were barred from entering it, in mid-2013, to allow for the construction of a 35-turbine windfarm, it provided more than 15% of the 3,500 tonnes of lobster taken from UK waters every year. Landed at Bridlington, and the smaller neighbouring ports of Flamborough, Hornsea, Withernsea and Easington, the lobsters – and a large quantity of crabs and whelks – are mostly exported and are highly prized in France, Spain and Portugal. Now, as they prepare to return, fishing crews hope that there will still be shellfish under the waves to catch. “The questions we are asking are: can we safely fish among the turbines and is there anything left to catch?” said Mike Cohen, chief executive of the Holderness Fishing Industry Group, the UK’s largest association representing lobster fishers.
Observer 17th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
LOCAL residents will be able to block all future onshore wind farms under new measures to be fast-tracked into law, the new energy secretary has announced. Amber Rudd revealed she had “put a rocket” under her officials to “put the local community back in charge” of their own neighbourhoods. In an interview with The Sunday Times she also said the Tory government would kick-start a shale gas revolution and loosen rules so it could be extracted from under national parks. No subsidies will be paid to operators of new onshore wind turbines under legislation to be included in the Queen’s speech. The legislation, which Rudd is “hopeful” will be law by the middle of next year, will ensure that consent for new wind farms will have to be given by a local council planning authority, which will be duty-bound to consult residents. Under current planning rules, big onshore wind farms are handled by a central government national infrastructure body that can ignore the wishes of local people.
Sunday Times 17th May 2015 read more »