Taxpayers rather than energy companies will foot the £1 billion bill for compensating communities who host new nuclear reactors, the Government has announced. Each new reactor site, such as EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point project, will generate up to £128 million in community benefits. But the money will come from business rates the developer has to pay anyway, or from central government funds. This is in contrast to wind farm developers or shale gas drillers, which have promised to pay generous compensation packages out of their own profits in addition to their business rates. Greenpeace said that the deal amounted to another subsidy for new nuclear. Doug Parr, its chief scientist, said: “We can’t go on like this.”
Times 17th July 2013 read more »
In terms of installed capacity across the country right now, that is, power stations that are operational and able to supply, there is nowhere near any sort of capacity crunch looming. There certainly will be a tightening of capacity much later in the decade, as old coal plants close down or run very restricted hours under EU environmental requirements. Although with the extensions agreed for four nuclear plants until at least the end of the decade, that tightening will be less severe than originally thought, and a large amount of renewable capacity will be coming on stream at that time.
Alan Whitehead MP 18th July 2013 read more »
The government yesterday outlined how it plans to deliver a low carbon economy. It was hoped the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) much anticipated report would clarify how the government’s proposed electricity market reforms (EMR) could affect the UK’s future energy mix. But the new report looks more like the government keeping its options open than a confident stride down a path towards a decarbonised energy sector. By outlining three technology scenarios DECC says could but probably won’t happen, and continuing to model a wide range of decarbonisation trajectories, the government has failed to provide the certainty industry craves. So energy providers – and consumers- are not really any wiser to the government’s plans for the energy mix than before.
Carbon Brief 18th July 2013 read more »
Two reports released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) disagree on future gas prices. Could gas prices really fall by a quarter as a result of shale gas extraction, or will they go up? Part of an analysis from consultancy Navigant, commissioned by DECC, shows gas prices could go down if there is a “significant expansion” of shale gas in Europe over the next couple of decades. The Telegraph picked up the scenario in a piece yesterday. But how likely is it that shale gas will bring down gas prices? In Navigant’s other scenarios, gas prices stay the same or go up. What’s more, DECC’s new fossil fuel price projections – also released yesterday – predict gas prices will be higher than in Navigant’s report. the majority of the savings it forecasts arise from lower international gas prices – not UK shale gas. The Telegraph’s headline – which says “gas prices could fall by a quarter … if Britain exploits its shale gas reserves” – fails to make this point clear. But the message from the Navigant report seems clear. The production of shale gas elsewhere in the world – notably the USA and China – could at least prevent gas prices from going up over the next couple of decades. There are significant barriers to the expansion of shale gas in Europe, but in a scenario where they are overcome -and the price of oil goes down – then indigenously produced shale gas could play its part in driving gas prices down, although it won’t be the main factor. But the government says it would be unwise to base policy on the assumption that gas prices are going down – and it also isn’t basing its projections entirely on Navigant’s report.
Climate Brief 18th July 2013 read more »
Yesterday, Germany’s premier economic research institute published a study criticizing EU estimates of the cost of nuclear, carbon capture and storage, and photovoltaics. The DIW says PV is already less expensive than the EU’s projection for 2050. “Nowhere in the world has a nuclear plant ever been built under free-market conditions, with various types of subsidies having been offered,” explains Christian von Hirschhausen, research director at the DIW. But perhaps “study” is the wrong word; the new publication is a critique of the European Commission’s “2030 framework for climate and energy policies” published only last March along with the Energy Roadmap 2050, published in December 2011.
Renewables International 18th July 2013 read more »
A nuclear site liaison group has decided to organise a public meeting over claims that there is a risk of dangerous cracks appearing in the pressure vessel “heart” of the Sizewell B reactor. The meeting, organised by the Sizewell Stakeholder Group, will be held on September 19 and will be attended by senior officials from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the UK nuclear safety watchdog.
East Anglian Daily Times 18th July 2013 read more »
A £128 million deal to “compensate” Somerset for hosting the proposed new Hinkley C power station is “a drop in the ocean” according to local campaigners. Stop Hinkley spokesperson Theo Simon said, “This deal, which breaks down to only £3 million a year going to local councils for the next 40 years, is no compensation at all. If EDF get their way in the current price negotiations with the government, we will all be paying a massive extra nuclear tariff on our electricity bills over the same period, and our taxes will be underwriting the whole project by literally billions.
Stop Hinkley 17th July 2013 read more »
ANGLESEY could be in line for a bonanza pay out of over £100m in the decade after Wylfa B nuclear power station is built. At Westminster yesterday, energy minister Michael Fallon outlined how counties where nuclear plants are built will make money out of them through “community benefit”.
Daily Post 18th July 2013 read more »
North Wales Chronicle 17th July 2013 read more »
Anglesey’s faltering economy has dominated campaigning by the main parties ahead of polling day on August the 1st’s. Labour’s Tal Michael has been championing his support for a new nuclear power station on the island, dubbed Wylfa B, claiming it will bring over 6000. Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth, while also supporting the site, claims more could be done within the turist industry to create jobs for young people.
ITV 18th July 2013 read more »
HARTLEPOOL could be in line for a multi-million pound cash injection if the area accepts a new nuclear power station on their doorstep.
Hartlepool Mail 19th July 2013 read more »
THE local community could gain as much as £128 million by having a new nuclear power station at Sellafield. The government announced yesterday (Wednesday) that communities around eight approved sites (including Moorside, close to Sellafield) will cash in from hosting electricity-producing reactors.
Whitehaven News 18th July 2013 read more »
A UK ‘green’ energy company has accused the British government of “rigging the energy market” in favour of nuclear at the expense of renewables. The accusation comes following a government announcement that communities living near the eight sites earmarked for new nuclear plants in England and Wales (Scotland has pledged to build no more nuclear facilities) will receive £1,000 per MW in benefit for up to 40 years from power station operators once the plant’s start running.
Power Engineering 18th July 2013 read more »
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 (WNISR) was published last Thursday and revealed a measly growth of over 1.2 GW during 2012 globally, compared to 32 GW of solar growth in the same time. In fact, the nuclear industry seems to be in decline in every category and in every country across the face of the planet, and many are laying the blame equally at the feet of the Fukushima disaster and the growth of the renewable energy sector. However the increase of renewable energy in the global energy generation mix has also played its part.
Clean Technica 18th July 2013 read more »
The last few years have seen a growing number of liberal and environmental heavyweights publicly call for more nuclear energy to deal with climate change. Today, the pro-nuclear ranks include Bill Gates, Al Franken, Richard Branson, and Barack Obama. Also on the list are superstar economist Jeffrey Sachs, the novelist Ian McEwan, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. There are former environmental leaders, including former Greenpeace Executive Director Stephen Tindale, and former Friends of the Earth trustee Hugh Montefiore. And there are prominent scientists including Gaia hypothesis ecologist James Lovelock, former NASA climate scientist James Hansen, much-cited climate scientist Tom Wigley, and MIT climate scientist Kerry Emanuel.
The Breakthrough 18th July 2013 read more »
Most people in Britain want to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, but due more to fears of shortages and rising prices than to fears about climate change, according to a poll developed by researchers at Cardiff University and funded by the UK Energy Research Centre.
Reuters 18th July 2013 read more »
In a new report, Renaissance in Reverse: Competition Pushes Aging U.S. Nuclear Reactors to the Brink of Economic Abandonment Vermont Law School energy economist Mark Cooper (photo, left) of Vermont Law School has identified 11 economic, operational, and safety factors contributing to the likelihood that reactors at 38 nuclear power plants in the U.S. could join Crystal River, FL, Kewaunee, WI, and San Onofre, CA in permanently shutting down sooner rather than later.
Beyond Nuclear 18th July 2013 read more »
Washington Post 17th July 2013 read more »
South Africa and the European Union on Thursday sealed a 100 million euro ($130 million) nuclear energy deal which will initially light up 300,000 rural households in Africa’s wealthiest economy. The agreement for the “peaceful use of nuclear energy” was signed between the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and South Africa. The rural electrification scheme will power up areas in remote parts of South Africa.
EU Bisiness 18th July 2013 read more »
China is revising plans for a huge nuclear fuel centre, dropping the previously announced location in Guangdong province as the relationship between the Chinese state and one of the joint venture partners changes.
World Nuclear News 18th July 2013 read more »
Restrictions on international monitors using data to ward off atomic-weapon development and the risks of reactor meltdowns must be overhauled, said a United Nations lawyer who has helped lead negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program. International Atomic Energy Agency monitors currently cannot access data from an affiliated UN group that could enhance their ability to catch illicit weapons work and mitigate radiation threats. While the data, collected through a $1 billion network built by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization, is available to governments and researchers, the IAEA doesn’t have access because member states have failed to push for the change.
Bloomberg 18th July 2013 read more »
DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg has insisted the country can be kept safe without a Cold War-era nuclear weapons policy which involves being able to “flatten Moscow at the push of a button”.
Herald 19th July 2013 read more »
Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan has called on the UK government to abandon its nuclear weapons, insisting the deterrent ‘cannot be justified on moral, strategic or economic grounds’
Wales Online 19th July 2013 read more »
Liberal Democrat leader likely to try to shape party on issues ranging from the economy to Trident.
Guardian 18th July 2013 read more »
It’s Thursday, July 18, and nuclear Armageddon is upon us. Or at least you might be excused for thinking so when you glimpse on your colleague’s computer monitor a compelling simulation of a mushroom cloud rising over your home town. That’s the 2.0 version of NUKEMAP — now in three dimensions! — expected for launch by late Thursday, the brainchild of a guy named Alex Wellerstein. A historian with the American Institute of Physics, Wellerstein has had 3 million visitors to the original two-dimensional edition of his website, who have virtually detonated a whopping 17.4 million nuclear warheads over their choice of locations virtually anywhere around the world.
National Journal 18th July 2013 read more »
Work on the world’s first, full-scale nuclear fusion project – ITER – will now enter the peak construction phase with the onsite workforce growing to 5,000 workers. ITER, the world’s biggest experimental nuclear fusion facility, has entered a new phase of construction that will see 5,000 construction workers on site in Catarache, France in the coming months. Announced at the Royal Academy of Engineering annual awards at Battersea Power Station last night (Wednesday), the project which began as a theoretical idea in the mid-1980s, has approved €1.8bn of component contracts to date, of a total of €4bn for the build phase. It is the first infrastructure and engineering project that is a truly global collaboration, where countries including China, France, South Korea, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US are all involved in the consortium.
Manufacturer 18th July 2013 read more »
Nick Molho (WWF): Despite the “stubbornly expensive” label it is often given, offshore wind offers a huge potential to reduce its costs and contribute to the UK’s objectives on energy security, growth and climate change, but the UK needs to adopt a decisive “can do” attitude to unlock these benefits. With the publication this week of the Government’s power sector delivery plan and the imminent release of its long-awaited industrial strategy for offshore wind, now is a good time to reflect on the potential costs and benefits of offshore wind. This is all the more the case as yet another factually dubious campaign, this time from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has revived the debate around the costs of renewable technologies in the UK.
Huffington Post 17th July 2013 read more »
Business Green 18th July 2013 read more »
Liquidators of the Scottish Coal mines operation have escaped responsibility for a £73m clean-up bill. The decision by a senior judge has left a question mark over who will pay. The Court of Session in Edinburgh was told the final bill linked to the Scottish Coal Company’s (SSC) open cast mining sites would make the sites too costly to maintain. To bring the areas into compliance with planning conditions could cost £73m, Lord Hodge was told.
BBC 17th July 2013 read more »
The Scottish Government should hold an opencast inquiry and not be “seduced” by coal owners, according to Fife Council leader Alex Rowley. He said he would welcome an inquiry into how sites have been managed and the financial arrangements placed around them. He gave his commitment to ensuring Fife played a role. Mr Rowley said: “I worry that those who want to just get on with more opencast mines without the proper lessons being learnt and the proper insurance being put in place are waving a few hundred jobs as the carrot while the local environments and communities will then have to pay the price for generations to come and the coal owners are well gone with their millions of pounds of profits.”
Dundee Courier 17th July 2013 read more »
The government has outlined plans to give tax breaks to companies involved in the UK’s nascent shale gas industry. It has proposed cutting the tax on some of the income generated from producing shale gas – found in underground shale rock formations – from 62% to just 30%. The plans would make the UK the “most generous” regime for shale gas in the world, the government said.
BBC 19th July 2013 read more »
Independent 19th July 2013 read more »
Guardian 19th July 2013 read more »
FT 19th July 2013 read more »
Herald 19th July 2013 read more »
Shale gas fracking companies should not be granted tax breaks, a leading Downing Street adviser has said, because their operations are likely to be profitable without such incentives – even as the government prepared to offer developers a new “pad allowance” for the wells they drill, to encourage more of the controversial exploration. Peter Lilley, the climate sceptic Tory MP who is an adviser on foreign policy in No 10, said in a debate on shale gas in Westminster Hall on Thursday afternoon: “I think tax breaks are unnecessary for fracking, based on my knowledge of the oil and gas industry.” Lilley has been an energy industry analyst for more than 20 years, and has a financial interest in central Asian oil and gas. The debate, called by the UK’s only Green MP, Caroline Lucas, was frequently fractious – with the Tory minister Michael Fallon accused by Lucas of showing an attitude towards women that she “absolutely deplored”. There were accusations that male MPs and the minister had been “chuntering” while women spoke, and had patronised some of the female speakers. At one point, Fallon asked Lucas to “contain herself”.
Guardian 18th July 2013 read more »
Fracking for shale gas will raise the risk of water shortages and could contaminate drinking supplies, Britain’s water companies have claimed. In a blow for shale gas explorers and government alike, Water UK, which represents all major water suppliers, has published a series of concerns about fracking and warned that failure to address them could “stop the industry in its tracks”. Ministers hope the controversial process, which involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground to extract gas trapped in rocks, could unlock a major new source of gas for Britain and bring down household energy bills. Chancellor George Osborne on Friday unveils details of tax breaks for the shale gas industry, pledging the most generous tax regime in the world so that Britain becomes “a leader of the shale gas revolution”. But Water UK, which is demanding an urgent meeting with shale companies to discuss its fears, warns: “Shale gas fracking could lead to contamination of the water supply with methane gas and harmful chemicals if not carefully planned and carried out.”
Telegraph 19th July 2013 read more »