A conservation group has accused council chiefs of “cutting corners” in the assessment of a proposed new 165-acre wildlife site to replace internationally-important habitat that will be lost if Sizewell C is built.
Coastal Scene 20th Feb 2015 read more »
French state-controlled nuclear group Areva will post a 2014 net loss of about 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion), French daily Le Figaro reported on Friday. The paper gave no further detail but cited several sources. Areva, which will release 2014 results on March 4, declined to comment. Earlier this month, weekly newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche reported the company could post a 2014 loss of more than 3 billion euros. Areva shares were down 2.3 percent in thin early trading. Areva warned earlier this month it expected to book a significant increase in provisions and writedowns in its 2014 accounts, which would “significantly downgrade” full-year net income compared to first-half earnings.
Reuters 20th Feb 2015 read more »
East–West nuclear rivalry is back. The Ukraine crisis threatens the emergence of a new Cold War, and with it the return to a standoff between nuclear-armed opponents. Meanwhile, nuclear rivalry is shaping up in another arena: exports of civil nuclear technology represent a new battleground in which Russia – and increasingly China – are significantly outgunning the West, with troubling implications for global nuclear governance. Demand for nuclear energy is growing again after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. A 2014 report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts a 69 per cent expansion in nuclear capacity worldwide from 345GW in 2012 to 583GW by 2030. Furthermore, the International Energy Agency counts that more than three-quarters of nuclear reactors under construction are in non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. As the traditional custodians of non-proliferation policies and regulation,Western governments will want to encourage nuclear exporters of the future to balance the opportunities in new markets with a strong sense of governance and oversight. But it is Russia and China that look set to dominate the future civil nuclear sector. And with a shrinking presence in the commercial marketplace, the West will find influencing nuclear governance and regulatory best practice an increasingly difficult task.
FT 20th Feb 2015 read more »
The pain being felt by Centrica’s shareholders is intense. The company has been hit by a 35pc collapse in profits, has slashed its dividend by 30pc and has warned that profits would fall further this year. Much of the blow was caused by external factors – but some was caused by errors or poor decisions. Roughly 70pc-75pc of the decline in operating profits was due to lower oil and gas prices; perhaps a fifth was self-inflicted, including its IT issues, the fault at the nuclear plants and cost inflation.
Telegraph 19th Feb 2015 read more »
An Entergy Corp. official said Wednesday the company is offering no guarantees it will pay to decommission its retired Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant if the job’s still not done by the end of a 60-year period. Entergy Vice President Michael Twomey told members of two Vermont legislative committees that if decommissioning isn’t done by the end of the period, known in the nuclear industry as “SAFSTOR,” he expects there would be litigation, with the state and Entergy taking different positions. “There would probably be quite a bit of litigation about that,” Twomey told a joint hearing of the House and Senate Natural Resources committees. “We’d all have different points of view.”
Penn Energy 12th Feb 2015 read more »
The UK is on track to meet its renewable energy goals, with wind power substituting for gas and coal use and driving down greenhouse gas emissions, according to new analyses. However, the actions of the next government are likely to be crucial in deciding whether the legally binding targets can be met. Gas use in the UK fell by more than a fifth from 2005 to 2012, as energy efficiency increased across the economy and green energy took up more of the burden. Under European Union targets, the UK must produce 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, and is one of a small number of big member states to be judged on track to meet all of its energy and climate commitments by the European environment agency.
Guardian 20th Feb 2015 read more »
Almost 22,000 households have now installed green heating measures under the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. Statistics issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) yesterday show 21,932 accredited RHI installations of technologies such as biomass boilers, heat pumps, or solar thermal systems.
Business Green 20th Feb 2015 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 20th Feb 2015 read more »
Ernest J. Sternglass, whose research in radiation physics laid the foundation for important technological advances and who became a prominent opponent of nuclear weapons, died on Feb. 12 at his home in Ithaca, N.Y. He was 91.
New York Times 20th Feb 2015 read more »
Letter: In a dramatic U-turn, in the face of Labour pressure in the Commons this week, the government accepted an amendment tabled by MP Caroline Flint that included 13 rules that will govern the regulation of shale gas extraction. She later commented that eight out of ten homes still rely on gas for heating and that safe, sustainable gas extraction is one of the options for the future. Experts believe that Britain will need gas for decades to come for heating as well as electricity generation. Do Ms Flint and the experts not realise that gas is on the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) hit list? The government is planning, within five years, to phase out the use of gas for both cooking and heating our homes. This fact has been deliberately withheld from the public, and unions, and was hidden in the 244-page report from the DECC. Politicians and unions must get up to speed on this proposal and have it binned before this “green” legislation causes mass unemployment and cold-weather deaths.
Scotsman 21st Feb 2014 read more »
THE early closure of Longannet’s coal-fired power station would be the final chapter in a sorry tale, writes Brian Wilson. If there was a gold medal for brass neck, Nicola Sturgeon would have been on the rostrum this week for her breathtaking demand that David Cameron should intervene to keep Scotland’s lights on. Fortunately, there is no early likelihood of Scotland’s lights going out. Due to the sagacity of the Labour government in which I was energy minister, we have GB-wide trading arrangements which mean that the infrastructure exists to import power from the rest of Britain. If, however, our lights depended on the wisdom of the Scottish Government, of which Ms Sturgeon has been a member since 2007, then the advice by now would be to invest in candle manufacturing. The “someone else is to blame” mantra has rarely sounded more feeble. Ms Sturgeon’s disingenuous plea was prompted by the realisation that Longannet power station may not be long for this world. This is due to the fact that its owners, the Spanish masters of ScottishPower, have decided against making the investments which would prolong its life. Even before the suggestion that closure might be accelerated, nobody was expecting Longannet to go beyond 2020. This is due to the unfortunate fact that it is rated as the 21st most polluting power plant in Europe. Without substantial investment, EC rules on carbon emissions will force its closure.
Scotsman 21st Feb 2015 read more »