Given that Hinkley Point C is forecast to be 7 per cent of the electricity demand, what impact could it make to a typical business electricity bill of £2,600 per annum? If we assume 7 per cent of the market receives the Hinkley Point energy at £101.57/MWh with the rest at the current price of £38/MWh, the new market average price would be £42.45. That’s an increase of nearly 12 per cent. As 42 per cent of a bill comes from the wholesale market, the increase would actually be 4.7 per cent or £122 a year for a typical business. With the Retail Price Index (RPI) running at 1.6 per cent, that’s not as bad as some of the headlines are making it seem.
Small Business.co.uk 19th Oct 2016 read more »
Less than half of workers employed at the proposed Wylfa Newydd power plant on Anglesey are expected to be from North Wales. That’s according to Horizon Nuclear Power’s latest consultation on the £12bn plans. The plant will take about nine years to build and remain operational for around 60 years. But Horizon only expects around 45% of the 850 permanent staff needed to work at the site to come from the region. And the firm has set its target for temporary construction workers even lower with North Wales tradesmen expected to make up just 25% of the 10,000 required to build the facility. The estimates have been criticised by Anglesey Council who said they represent “a lack of ambition” from the company. In its official response to the consultation, the authority also says the support it has previously expressed for Wylfa Newydd is not unequivocal.
Daily Post 20th Oct 2016 read more »
Power prices have risen after the nuclear regulator ASN ordered EDF to carry out safety tests on five of its reactors in France within the next three months. On the French market the price of baseload contracts for the first quarter of 2017 jumped by 8 per cent over the course of Tuesday, increasing by €4.95/MWh to close the day at €68.20/MWh.
Utility Week 20th Oct 2016 read more »
Work to dismantle Rosyth’s redundant nuclear subs will start “imminently”. The seven subs have been stored at the Fife yard for many years but plans are now well advanced for their removal. A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “As a responsible nuclear operator, the MoD has a safe, secure and environmentally sound programme to dismantle submarines when they come to the end of their life, and continues to invest in the maintenance of the skills and facilities necessary.” It is part of the MoD submarine dismantling project which will deliver a “safe, secure and environmentally responsible” solution to dismantle submarines when they come to the end of their life. The seven subs have been stored at the Fife yard for many years but plans are now well advanced for their removal. A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “As a responsible nuclear operator, the MoD has a safe, secure and environmentally sound programme to dismantle submarines when they come to the end of their life, and continues to invest in the maintenance of the skills and facilities necessary.” It is part of the MoD submarine dismantling project which will deliver a “safe, secure and environmentally responsible” solution to dismantle submarines when they come to the end of their life.
Dundee Courier 20th Oct 2016 read more »
ROSYTH will finally get rid of its redundant nuclear submarines and the radioactive waste they contain with work set to begin by the end of the year. An MoD spokesperson said the work was likely to start towards the end of 2016. “The precise start date of dismantling is subject to approval from the relevant regulators and commercial negotiations with Babcock Marine,” he said. “The current assumption is that once in a steady state, one submarine will be dismantled per year, but this is subject to change. “To ensure initial dismantling of all submarines runs smoothly, the process will first be demonstrated and proven on one submarine of the seven stored at Rosyth as a ‘demonstrator’ work-package. “Low-level waste management and disposal is routine business for the dockyard. Generally, waste will leave the site as soon as it has been segregated and prepared for safe transport by road.”
Dunfermline Press 20th Oct 2016 read more »
French utility EDF has postponed the restart of its 900 MW Gravelines 2, and the 900 MW Dampierre 3 nuclear reactors to Nov. 15 from later October, an update on grid operator RTE’s website showed on Thursday. Both reactors are among 18 of EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors involved in a safety probe demanded by French nuclear safety regulator ASN.
Reuters 20th Oct 2016 read more »
In May 2017, PJM Interconnection, an organization that operates the biggest power market in the U.S., extending across 13 states and serving 61 million people, will hold an auction to award contracts to suppliers. This could decide the fate of a handful of nuclear power plants that have been struggling to make money amid competition from renewables and plants that make electricity from cheap natural gas. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, four of the nuclear plants submitting bids may not be able to supply power cheaply enough to make the cut. If they fail to win contracts, they may be forced to close, eliminating enough capacity to provide carbon-free electricity to power more than 4 million homes.
Bloomberg 20th Oct 2016 read more »
In many American cities, nuclear power plants are rapidly shutting down. But in others, they’re just now popping up. After more than four decades of intermittent construction, a new reactor has begun commercial operation in Tennessee. Watts Bar Unit 2, built and operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), is the country’s 100th nuclear generator and the first new one in 20 years. The 1,150-megawatt generator, which was originally connected to the power grid in June, is now producing electricity for to 650,000 homes and businesses in Tennessee’s southeast corner.
Christian Science Monitor 20th Oct 2016 read more »
World Nuclear News 20th Oct 2016 read more »
THE German federal government has approved a draft law that will see the country’s nuclear power station operators pay into a €23.556bn (US$26bn) decommissioning, waste storage and disposal fund. In 2011, following the meltdown at Fukushima in Japan, Germany took the decision to phase out nuclear energy generation and immediately withdrew the operating licences of eight reactors. Nine more must close down by 2022. Ever since, there has been wrangling and uncertainty about who would bear responsibility for decommissioning and cleanup of nuclear sites, and waste storage. The new deal was proposed in April by a government commission set up to review the funding of the withdrawal of nuclear energy – the Kommission zur Überprüfung der Finanzierung des Kernenergieausstiegs (KFK) – and has now been accepted. The operators, E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW, will share responsibility for the main costs, and will pay €17.389bn, along with a risk premium of 35.47%, €6.167bn, into the cleanup fund, which has been structured as a public foundation. The money can be paid as a lump sum or in instalments.
Chemical Engineer 20th Oct 2016 read more »
Saudi Arabia reveals search for first nuclear power station site.
Energy Voice 20th Oct 2016 read more »
A new study has concluded that transitioning to wind and solar power would be a cheaper option for the United Kingdom to replace its coal fleet than using biomass electricity generation. According to a new study published this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and conducted by London-based Vivid Economics, which examined the full system costs of renewable energy technologies like wind and solar in comparison to biomass as a replacement for the UK’s coal fleet, wind and solar came out as the cheaper option. “Phasing out coal is absolutely necessary as the UK aims to curb climate change, but we can’t afford to backtrack by focusing on unsustainable forms of biomass that are neither clean nor cheap,” added Matt Williams, Policy Officer with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). “It is critical that we focus on renewable forms of energy that deliver emissions reductions and protect wildlife and the natural environment while providing value for money, so as to ensure that the UK hits its legally binding climate change targets.”
Clean Technica 19th Oct 2016 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
Back in 2014, David Cameron told the House of Commons Liaison Committee that people are “basically fed up” with wind farms. In 2015, his government then went on to not only cut subsidies for onshore wind, but also make it harder and harder to get planning permission. But politicians are wrong to think wind power is unpopular. Again and again, polls show the UK public are pretty supportive of onshore wind. Our ComRes poll out today, for example, shows 73% of the British public back onshore wind power. Politicians can only dream of such approval ratings. Significantly, the poll also found two thirds of people living in rural areas say they support onshore wind farms (65%). Although support for onshore wind was lower here than in urban areas (75%), it is still very high. The difference is similar to one found if you split by age – 77% of 18-24s support onshore wind compared to 66% of over 65s. We also found support – at 80% – especially high in Scotland, the part of the country with by far the most onshore wind per capita. This reflects older, 2003 research by Mori Scotland which talked to people who actually live near large wind sites and feel it’s had a positive impact on their area.
Guardian 20th Oct 2016 read more »
Public support for wind power is much higher than is widely believed, according to new polling from ComRes. The poll found 73 per cent of the British public back onshore wind farms, with the figure rising to 80 per cent in Scotland. Meanwhile ComRes also found that, across the UK, just 34 per cent backed fracking. The polling, which was done on behalf of climate change charity 10:10, found that just 17 per cent of respondents opposed onshore wind. Support was even high among those close to windfarms, with 65 per cent of those in rural areas expressing support. It found that although nearly three-quarters support onshore wind, the people tend to underestimate levels of public support, with only 11 per cent saying they believe the technology has support from 71 per cent or more of the population. Meanwhile although 83 per cent say they support solar farms, just 21 per cent said they believe 71 per cent or more people in the UK back it.
Holyrood 20th Oct 2016 read more »
Edie 20th Oct 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
In Europe, offshore wind farms like the one at Burbo Bank are undergoing a boom. While still significantly outnumbered by windfarms on land, the importance of windfarms at sea has grown dramatically in the past several years. Until 2011, between 5 and 10% of newly installed wind energy capacity in Europe was offshore. Last year, almost every third new wind turbine went up offshore. That growth has helped boost the share of wind energy in the European Union’s electricity supply from 2% in the year 2000 to 12% today, according to WindEurope, a business advocacy group. New investments for offshore projects totaled $15.5bn in the first half of 2016 alone, according to WindEurope, and newly installed offshore wind energy capacity will double to 3.7 gigawatts this year compared to 2015. More than 3,300 grid-connected turbines now exist in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Irish Sea, and 114 new wind turbines were linked to the grid in European waters in the first half of this year alone. This is in stark contrast to the US and Asia, where offshore wind use is only just getting started. The offshore wind boom is part of a wider move from fossil fuels to renewable energy across the European Union. The overall share of renewable electricity sources in the EU – hydropower, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal – has gone up from about 15% in 2004 to roughly 33% in 2014, according to data from Eurostat and Entso-E, the association of grid operators. Along with solar photovoltaic power, wind energy is driving this expansion. Newly installed wind energy capacity amounted to 13 gigawatts in 2015, twice as much as newly installed fossil fuel and nuclear capacity combined. WindEurope claims that all European wind turbines taken together can now generate enough electricity for 87m households.
Guardian 20th Oct 2016 read more »
SSE has welcomed the announcement of a £39 million funding scheme to support district heat development, but said further measures are needed. SSE – a leading heat network provider in the UK – said the pilot scheme, announced on Monday, should “signal a new era in public support mechanisms for this vital component of the future energy landscape.” However, SSE’s director of heat, Mike Reynolds added that “more needs to be done in parallel to encourage sustained growth in the sector and bring appropriate quality assurance to customers.”
Utility Week 20th Oct 2016 read more »
The British government has announced a “transitional period” which will allow many biomass CHP projects under construction to be completed. In July this year – with no formal consultation with industry and only 21 days notification – the Government introduced changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs for biomass combined heat and power plants with under 20% power efficiency. The UK Renewable Energy Association warned that the changes put over £140 million of low-carbon investment at risk. But Jessie Norman MP, Junior Energy Minister has now confirmed that the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy would soften changes introduced to tariffs for certain biomass CHP plants introduced in August 2016. During the new transitional period (until 31 March 2017) the tariff reductions will only apply to plants that produce 10% power (known as power efficiency, with the remaining 90% being heat), whereas before the tariff reduction applied nearly immediately to projects with up to 20% power efficiency.
Scottish Energy News 21st Oct 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
Forfar-based Forster Energy has agreed a partnership with Renewable Energy Investments to provide access to 100% funding for solar PV projects via a power purchase agreement. This will enable Scottish businesses, public sector, commercial landlords and community groups an alternative way to fund clean energy generation projects, secure a reduced electricity tariff and reduce carbon emissions. In return for the leasing of the airspace above their roof, community groups will receive a discounted rate on the electricity produced by the solar PV system for 25 years, guaranteed only to rise by RPI.
Scottish Energy News 21st Oct 2016 read more »