Vincent de Rivaz: The Energy Bill is one of the key parts of a framework to invest in building the first nuclear power station in the UK for a generation. Much has already been achieved – EDF Energy has been granted a nuclear site licence for Hinkley Point in Somerset, regulators have approved the design of our reactor and the planning inspectorate has sent its recommendation to the Secretary of State for his decision. Real momentum now exists and almost all of the necessary pieces are in place. Our new build project at Hinkley Point is “shovel ready” and only a few crucial milestones remain to be passed. Yet I am still asked two key questions that remain at the heart of the debate – should the UK do it? And if so, do we have the industrial capacity and expertise to pull off what will be one of the country’s largest and most complex engineering projects? Just two more pieces need to be put in place. First, we await a final planning decision. Secondly, and, most crucially, there must be a balanced, stable and durable agreement on the price of the electricity generated. This price will form the basis of the contracts for difference and it will fix the price paid for each unit of electricity generated. To be durable, this price needs to be fair and balanced for both our company and the Government. I believe we can reach an agreement with the Government which will transparently display the economic viability of new nuclear, and which can underpin a robust business case for investors.
Telegraph 20th Jan 2013 more »
Japanese industrial electronics firm Toshiba is considering making a bid for British nuclear fuel producer Urenco, the Sunday Times reported, without citing sources.
Reuters 20th Jan 2013 more »
French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg and top officials from France-based Areva and EDF are scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia this week to build a case for selling French nuclear reactors to the kingdom. Nuclear firm Areva and energy utility EDF have unveiled a joint office in the capital city of Riyadh six months ago to lay the groundwork for a French nuclear offer. The latest meet will build on a visit by President of France, Francois Hollande, to Saudi Arabia in November 2012, reports local news channel Al Arabia.
Energy Business Review 21st Jan 2013 more »
Despite the German government’s dedication to ridding the country of nuclear power, it will continue to use public money to guarantee the construction of such power stations in other countries it was reported at the weekend. The parliamentary committee for sustainable development voted unanimously at the end of last year to recommend the government stops financial backing for foreign projects. But it is set to receive a letter from Economy Minister Philipp Rösler rejecting such a strategy, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Sunday. The change in energy policy only applies to domestic production, the letter says. The government considers it a “sovereign decision of other states to choose a different construction for their own energy policy.”
The Local 21st Jan 2013 more »
Boris Johnson pontificates on climate change.
Telegraph 20th Jan 2013 more »
Jo Abbess 21st Jan 2013 more »
More than 100 energy companies, charities and businesses have joined forces to warn David Cameron that Britain is heading for a fuel poverty crisis owing to a failure of government policy. In a letter to the Prime Minister, seen by The Times, they argue that ministers are not doing enough to tackle soaring gas and electricity bills that leave a growing number of people unable to heat their homes. An unprecedented alliance, including Npower, the Co-operative, Age UK and Barnardo’s, urges Mr Cameron to use money raised from the “carbon tax” to be levied from April to tackle the “national disgrace” of cold homes. A programme to fit houses with proper insulation would, they say, protect the vulnerable, help the environment and boost the economy.
Times 21st Jan 2013 more »
Bryony Worthington: There are many things Dieter Helm’s book, The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong – and How to Fix it, does well , such as articulating the urgency and scale of climate change the challenge and the lamentable lack of action at an international level. He identifies coal as the major climate threat, and I wholeheartedly agree – it is a superb source of energy, there is still massive amounts of it and it’s cheap. Its environmental impact, however, is without parallel and Helm also clearly highlights the deaths and ill-health it has caused. Helm may be convinced that gas prices in Europe and the rest of the world are about to tumble but that is far from certain. Given the degree of supposition and the sketchy plans for solutions, a more apt title for this book would actually be The Carbon Hunch.
Guardian 21st Jan 2013 more »