Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has confirmed the long-awaited Energy Bill will be unveiled next week, but admitted the final details of the legislation, including the issue of whether or not the bill will incorporate a decarbonisation target for the power sector, are still yet to be finalised. Speaking to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, Davey reiterated the bill would be published before the end of the month, confirming it would be released alongside a detailed impact assessment and consultation responses next week.
Business Green 20th Nov 2012 more »
Because of continuing delays to the Energy Bill, it is now certain to be a ‘carryover bill’, as the Secretary of State confirmed to DECC select committee yesterday. This means that the Bill along with any amendments to the legislation considered necessary by the new ‘consultation’ will not reach the statute books until the spring of 2014 at the earliest. Secondary legislation then has to enact clauses in the Bill. If Cameron had not intervened, had waited two days for OFGEM to report, and then had enquired about how their proposed mechanisms might work, we would be looking at a new tariff regime coming into place next summer. As it is, an identical new tariff regime will now not come into place until a year later.
Alan Whitehead 21st Nov 2012 more »
Political risk for investors is sending the cost of new power infrastructure soaring, says an industry insider. Bill payers will pick up the tab, whichever tariff they are on. With “unholy war” raging between government ministers over energy and climate change policy, it’s time to assess the collateral damage and the bottom line is that it is you, the energy bill payer, that is being caught in the crossfire. Consumers might bear “a totally unnecessary extra cost” of £1bn a year. The executive told me: “The whole justification of the government’s electricity market reform (EMR) was to reduce the cost of capital, but the effect has been the opposite.” David Cameron’s refusal to grant Davey’s request and remove responsibility for renewable policy from Hayes shows clearly the prime minister has prioritised the demands of some backbench Tory MPs over the national interest, which requires all the low-cost, clean energy it can get. “The economic rationale behind this makes no sense at all,” said the executive.
Guardian 21st Nov 2012 more »
Industry sources said the cost of a new green scheme has been underestimated by up to £1.8 billion per year by Whitehall officials. The new policy, called the Energy Company Obligation, will begin to hit households next year at a time when rising gas prices have already pushed the average bill above £1,335 annually. Under the initiative, gas and electricity suppliers will be forced to offer poor households ways to save energy, such as insulation and more efficient boilers, which will be charged back to all households through bills. Ministers claim this will cost bill-payers just £1.3 billion per year or about £50 per household – the same as under current schemes to help poor customers. However, one major energy company told The Daily Telegraph that it is preparing for the cost of ECO to be up to £3.1 billion per year – or £125 per household.
Telegraph 21st Nov 2012 more »
Japanese engineering firm Hitachi expects it will take four years to clear its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) through the UK licensing process, the firm said yesterday. Hitachi wants to use its ABWR technology on sites in Wylfa in north Wales and Oldbury in Gloucester following its acquisition of new nuclear build firm Horizon last month. Horizon head of communications Leon Flexman said Hitachi is expecting four years to clear reactor through the generic design assessment (GDA) – a four step licensing process excluding site specifics – beginning early 2013.
New Civil Engineer 21st Nov 2012 more »
More than 5,000 people are expected to work on the construction of a nuclear power station in Suffolk at its peak. EDF Energy wants to build Sizewell C next to an existing plant at Leiston. It would take nine years, with most workers housed on a new local ‘campus’. EDF also wants to create two park and ride sites, intended for construction staff, near the A12. A public consultation is being held ahead of any formal planning application.
BBC 21st Nov 2012 more »
British energy supplier EDF Energy has begun public consultation for the proposed nuclear power generating station in Suffolk, England. The facility would be built next to an existing plant at Leiston town. During the eleven-week consultation period, the firm expects the local public to have their say on areas such as the overall proposals for Sizewell C nuclear project, and associated development.
Energy Business Review 22nd Nov 2012 more »
Build 21st Nov 2012 more »
Utility Week 21st Nov 2012 more »
Work is due to start next year to clear up the most volatile and dangerous area of the Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness. A former senior official says he has safety fears over the process to remove the highly radioactive waste from the shaft and silo of the decommissioned complex. Work is due to start next year on the most volatile and dangerous part of the complex the shaft and silo. Herbie Lyall, a former health officer at Dounreay, worked there for 30 years, he has serious concerns about how the job can be carried out safely. Mr Lyall said: “ is in my personal opinion the most dangerous place on the site.” It is estimated when all work is completed at Dounreay, 20,000 tonnes of radioactive waste will remain at the site.
STV 21st Nov 2012 more »
Unlike Russia, Japan and several European countries, the United States does not recycle its used nuclear fuel. But new, advanced drivers are reviving the possibility of recycling the nation’s spent nuclear fuel. What will influence this decision and what conditions will need to be met first?
Nuclear Energy Insider 21st Nov 2012 more »
A Japanese robot designed to withstand high levels of radiation and extreme heat at damaged nuclear plants such as Fukushima froze on Wednesday on its first public demonstration.
Reuters 21st Nov 2012 more »
Toshiba has unveiled a four-legged inspection robot, which will carry out work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where people cannot go. The newly developed robot – simply called a Quadruped walking robot – comes equipped with a smaller wheeled robot that can be deployed to navigate hard-to-reach areas. The legged robot can negotiate stairs, uneven terrain, and is able to avoid low-lying obstacles.
GizMag 21st Nov 2012 more »
World Nuclear News 21st Nov 2012 more »
Belfast Telegraph 21st Nov 2012 more »
Wild mushrooms, a seasonal delicacy in many parts of Japan, have lost their magic. Tourism industry officials and restaurant operators have been aghast to learn that wild mushrooms picked far from the site of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture last year are showing high levels of radioactive cesium. Last year, only wild mushrooms picked in Fukushima Prefecture were found to have cesium levels that exceeded legal standards. This year, however, wild mushrooms from as far away as Aomori, Nagano and Shizuoka prefectures, all more than 200 kilometers from Fukushima, have been found to be contaminated with cesium.
Asahi 21st Nov 2012 more »
Burma’s government has said it will open the country to comprehensive international inspection in an effort to demonstrate that it does not have a covert nuclear programme. The regime said it would sign an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that would, if implemented, mark an important breakthrough in the regime’s relations with the rest of the world, and could help dispel longstanding suspicions that it is pursuing a clandestine programme in co-operation with North Korea aimed at building nuclear weapons.
Guardian 21st Nov 2012 more »
In its 12th Five-Year Plan finalized this past August, China committed about $290 billion to clean energy investments. The goal: to produce 20 percent of the nation’s energy from renewable sources by 2015. The world paid heed. President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union address warned that the U.S. needed to invest more in renewables lest the Chinese ace it out.
Bloomberg 21st Nov 2012 more »
The country’s “first” commercial-scale biomethane plant connected directly to the grid was opened by The Prince of Wales yesterday. The 5MW anaerobic digestor should be capable of supplying renewable gas to 56,000 new-build homes when at maximum capacity in the summer with output falling by around 4,000 homes in the winter.
Business Green 22nd Nov 2012 more »
Scotland’s bid for independence bets on meeting ambitious renewable energy goals as much as on the dwindling riches of North Sea oil and gas. An estimated 90 percent of Britain’s oil and gas is in Scottish territory, but output is dwindling fast and with it any prospect that it alone could make Scotland viable as an independent economy. Last year production dropped 18 percent, its sharpest decline since peaking more than a decade ago. It was a setback for a British government struggling to revive its economy. But it poses a bigger threat to the smaller Scottish economy, with less to shelter it from sudden shifts in tax income, either from sinking output or falling oil prices. Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s energy minister, said the Scottish solution was to combine extracting as much of the remaining North Sea oil and gas as possible with levels of renewable ambition that outstrip EU-wide targets. Scotland is aiming for 100 percent renewable electricity by the end of the decade and having green power to spare.
Reuters 21st Nov 2012 more »
The Big Six energy firms could miss targets aimed at reducing bills for vulnerable people because they say they are proving too hard to find. The failure to hit the targets could see the regulator, OfGem, broaden their scope in a bid to help the utilities meet their obligations. A spokesman for Npower said: “The industry is spending three times more on finding these customers than it is actually financing the delivery of the carbon saving. It’s ridiculous.” The Government’s CERT initiative requires all large domestic energy suppliers to make carbon savings of 293 Mt CO2 by 31 December 2012 through efficiency measures such as home insulation designed to reduce bills. But the bill payer funded scheme is designed to specially help the fuel poor.
Energy Desk 21st Nov 2012 more »