French state-controlled utility EDF declined to comment on whether or not it would go ahead with its 18 billion pound ($24.11 billion) project to build a nuclear plant in Hinkley Point in southern England after Britons voted on Friday to quit the European Union. The project is one of the largest French investment projects in Britain and a final investment decision has been repeatedly delayed since it was first announced in Oct. 2013. Before the Brexit vote, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron had said that the decision would be taken by September.
Reuters 24th June 2016 read more »
EDF’s nuclear plant at Hinkley Point could face further delays after its workers launched legal action against the company in French courts and asked for the project to be put off. The Works Council at EDF claims the energy firm has refused to grant access to key documents and that staff have been left unable to form a clear view on Hinkley. The plant was due to be running by 2017 but the company is now aiming for completion by 2025, and has yet to make its final decision on how to raise the £18billion needed.
Daily Mail 24th June 2016 read more »
A body representing workers at EDF has taken legal action to try and force the company to extend a consultation with its employees over Hinkley Point C, the Financial Times has reported. According to the paper it has seen a legal claim filed by the company’s central works council in France this week, which alleged that EDF had “refused” to give them access to key documents meaning they “cannot form a clear view on the issue”.
Utility Week 23rd June 2016 read more »
(Machine Translation) Flamanville EPR: EDF recognizes irregular technical control: EDF has suspended technical controls carried out on the primary circuit of the EPR nuclear reactor under construction at Flamanville, because nuclear policeman detected an irregularity in their implementation. “This activity has not suspended a strong schedule stake,” commented Antoine Menager, director of the project. “It keeps our calendar,” which provides a “fuel loading and reactor start in the last quarter 2018”.This suspension follows an inspection of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) in April on a technical checks of the primary circuit of the reactor and that proved “unsatisfactory” according to a document published by the policeman nuclear on its website. EDF, in the process, suspended all the checks, confirmed Bouyt Guillaume, head of the Caen antenna ASN.
20 Minutes 23rd June 2016 read more »
(Machine Translation) Some EDF reactor steam generators could have a similar anomaly to that of the pressure vessel of the Flamanville EPR The analyzes conducted by EDF since 2015 concluded that some primary funds of steam generators could have a significant carbon concentration zone may lead to lower mechanical properties than expected. These steam generators equip 18 reactors of 900 MWe or 1450. These analyzes were conducted at the request of the ASN to identify equipment operating reactors that could be affected by a similar anomaly to that of the tank of the Flamanville EPR.
ASN 23rd June 2016 read more »
Westinghouse Electric Company has announced changes to its executive leadership, with José Emetrio Gutiérrez becoming acting president and CEO as Danny Roderick becomes president of Toshiba Corporation’s Energy Systems and Solutions Company. Westinghouse is a group company of the Toshiba Corporation. Roderick – who joined Westinghouse as president and CEO from GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy in 2012 – will retain his role as chairman of Westinghouse’s board.
World Nuclear News 23rd June 2016 read more »
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to lead an advanced nuclear technology research project. As part of the $2m additive manufacturing research project, GE will produce 3D printed sample replacement parts for nuclear power plants. The 3D printed sample metals will be manufactured at the GE Power Advanced Manufacturing Works facility in Greenville, South Carolina. The samples will then be delivered to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and will be irradiated in INL’s Advanced Test Reactor in preparation for testing.
Energy Business Review 23rd June 2016 read more »
The National Grid must not erect pylons to link a planned nuclear plant to a Gwynedd substation, say campaigners, after the company bowed to pressure to put its cables beneath the Menai Strait. In a victory for campaigners against pylons over the Strait, the energy giant has promised that none will be installed and that cables will instead be put under the sea to link the proposed Wylfa Newydd plant to the electricity network. But there are now concerns about the pylons which could be built in the last two kilometres of the route on the Gwynedd side of the Strait to link to the substation at Pentir.
Daily Post 23rd June 2016 read more »
In “Honeybees as Monitors of Low Levels of Radioactivity” Simmons et. al.(1990) state that” it is known that honeybees can be used to detect radionuclides present in the environment. Their mobility and their ability to integrate all exposure pathways (i.e., water, air, vegetation, and soil) could expand and add another level of confidence to the present monitoring program.” (This study was for the US DOE at Hanford Nuclear Site)
Mining Awareness 23rd June 2016 read more »
UK independent renewable energy supplier Good Energy has raised £3.1 million and reported a significant over-subscription in its latest share offer. The majority of the 2,000 individual applications were from Good Energy customers.
Scottish Energy News 24th June 2016 read more »
The energy department has issued an eleventh-hour objection to proposals by the competition watchdog to change how it awards subsidies and subject its policies to greater scrutiny by Ofgem. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is due to unveil the final proposals from its two-year investigation into the energy sector on Friday. While most attention has focused on proposed reforms to the household gas and electricity supply markets, the CMA also proposed a number of changes affecting how the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) operates. The CMA found that the way DECC awarded subsidies for new low-carbon energy projects could hinder competition. Although DECC has introduced a competitive auction process to decide which projects get subsidies, it has limited which technologies can compete in those auctions. An auction planned for this year will award cash only to “less established” technologies such as offshore wind, with no subsidies being made available for cheaper technologies such as onshore wind or biomass. DECC has also indicated it will continue to award some subsidies through bilateral negotiation – such as for new nuclear plants like Hinkley Point. In its provisional findings in March, the CMA recommended DECC must carry out and consult on thorough impact assessments on how it decided which technologies were eligible to compete for subsidies, and any decision to strike a deal. But in a letter to the CMA dated June 22, and published on June 23, DECC complained that it may not be “appropriate” to analyse the merits of awarding cash to different technology groups. Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow energy secretary, said: “Rejecting greater transparency over how the Government spends huge sums of billpayers’ money begs the obvious question: what have ministers got to hide? We need to rebuild public trust in politics and confidence in our energy companies. Insisting on more secret backroom deals is precisely the wrong way to go about that.”
Telegraph 23rd June 2016 read more »
Perhaps the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was right all along. “Households facing rising energy bills this winter aren’t going to be helped by more inquiries or investigations that could take years to complete and implement,” it said. Consumer group Which? was calling for an independent review into the “broken” energy market in which most households were stuck on the Big Six suppliers’ expensive standard tariffs. But DECC, which was already urging households to save Â£200 a year by switching energy supplier, was adamant: “We know what the problems are, we want to get on with tackling them now.” That was October 2012. Fast forward to Friday, and the Competition and Markets Authority is due to publish the final report of its inquiry into the sector, which was eventually launched – with DECC’ s backing – in early 2014. After several provisional reports, the likely outlines of the final document are already known. Its main conclusion? That most households are paying hundreds of pounds too much for their energy by failing to switch supplier.
Telegraph 23rd June 2016 read more »
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s announcement yesterday that it would shutter California’s last nuclear plant and replace the power with energy efficiency and renewable energy was the result of a confluence of progressive state policies, CEO Anthony Earley said. The closure of Diablo Canyon’s two nuclear reactors on California’s central coast in 2024 and 2025 will likely mean the end of nuclear power in the state, due to an existing state moratorium on new plants until the problem of radioactive waste is dealt with permanently. Environmentalists said other states could use the agreement as a template to replace other nuclear and fossil-fueled plants with renewables, especially distributed solar, in order to fight climate change. They pointed to California’s current drought and record-breaking temperatures in Southern California that are causing blackouts and encouraging wildfires. “This is what global warming looks like,” said Dan Jacobson, legislative director for Environment California. “That’s why it’s so important this deal was put forth.”
Scientific American 22nd June 2016 read more »
Renewable – costs
The Scottish Energy Minister flew the flag for more and bigger wave, wind and tidal energy developments in Scotland at a UK industry conference in Manchester yesterday. But in a blunt message, Paul Wheelhouse also told the renewable energy industries that they must continue to cut costs in order to keep consumer energy bills as low as possible – which is also a key Tory Government energy policy. He said: “Looking ahead to the future for the offshore wind industry, we now know that the UK Government has confirmed there will be three Contracts for Difference auctions held by 2020. “They have announced a budget of up to £730 million for up to 4 gigawatts of offshore wind and other, less established renewables, for projects commissioning from 2021 to 2026. “But the UK Government has also said that the funding is not unconditional. “Ongoing Govt support is subject to cost reduction targets being met – initially capped at £105 per megawatt hour falling to £85 per megawatt hour for projects commissioning by 2026. “The Scottish Government recognises the need to achieve renewables targets at lowest costs and to protect consumers – and we acknowledge – and share – the UK Government’s aspiration to this end.”
Scottish Energy News 24th June 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency states that solar PV capacity could grow 10-fold over the next fourteen years, driven by cost reductions. Solar PV has so far been a niche player in electricity generation, currently meeting around 2% of global electricity demand. And while the industry is rapidly growing, the degree of that growth is still greatly affected by policies. On Wednesday, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a new report at the Intersolar Europe trade show which looks at multiple aspects of the dramatic growth of solar industry. Letting in the Light forecasts that global solar PV capacity could increase roughly 10-fold from 227 GW today to 1,760-2,500 GW. Due to a projected 50% increase in electricity demand to 2030, driven by developing economies, this means that according to IRENA’s projections solar PV can meet 8-13% of global electricity demand by that date.
Renew Economy 24th June 2016 read more »
A HISTORIC battle site will be turned into a solar energy farm after council planners gave the go-ahead to the controversial proposals. The decision, which will see the facility build in the Kilsyth Hills, was made despite objections from the local community council, the local authority’s own archaeological service and its landscape wing. The site includes the land where around 4,500 men are thought to have lost their lives during the Battle of Kilsyth between a Covenanter army and royalists on August 15, 1645. The new farm will feature 50,295 solar panels over more than 67 acres of farmland, surrounded by fences measuring more than six feet high and CCTV posts. Cumbernauld councillor and retired history teacher Tom Johnston was the only member of the committee to oppose the move.
Herald 24th June 2016 read more »
The mayor of London is pressing ahead with plans to create a fully fledged energy company that will target poorer customers. Sadiq Khan said that the not-for-profit supplier, to be called Energy for Londoners, would be based on similar schemes in Bristol, Nottingham and Scotland. He said that the scheme would reduce bills for the 326,000 London households who cannot afford to properly heat their homes, while also delivering environmental benefits. The formation of an energy company was proposed in February, before Mr Khan’s election. Supporters of council or local authority-owned energy suppliers say that there is growing evidence that they can shake up a market dominated by the six big suppliers, which are under investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority. Mr Khan had said that the company would consider using Transport for London’s land and buildings for photovoltaic solar panels. It will also consider issuing green bonds to fund green projects and will look at schemes that harness waste heat, such as one in Islington, in inner London, that extracts heat from the Northern Line. Michael Jacobs, associate director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, said: “In London there are quite a lot of people who would like to produce green energy. Over the last year they have been hit by changes to the feed-in tariffs. One of the things a municipal company might be able to do is guarantee a good price for community-based renewable energy.” Mr Jacobs suggested that the Greater London Authority could finance work to make homes and buildings more energy efficient in a scheme that would be like the Green New Deal but with lower interest rates.
Times 23rd June 2016 read more »
Cities are huge carbon emitters but are ideally placed to tackle climate change. Michael Bloomberg addresses how the Global Covenant can give them the tools to do so. When it comes to confronting climate change, the world’s cities are proving that there’s strength in unity. The historic climate agreement reached in Paris in December, which was approved by nearly all of the world’s nations, was made possible in part by the progress that cities have made by working together. Today, the two biggest coalitions of cities in the world – the EU-based Covenant of Mayors and the UN-backed Compact of Mayors – are forming an alliance to link more than 600 million city dwellers in the fight against climate change.
Edie 23rd June 2016 read more »
Thousands of cities from six continents united Wednesday to create the largest global coalition committed to battling human-caused climate change and pushing the world into a low-carbon economy. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy unifies 7,100 cities encompassing more than half a billion people, the group said in a statement. Created some six months after the Paris accord, this global alliance aims for greater collaboration between cities and increased funding to support sustainable energy development.
Climate Progress 23rd June 2016 read more »
In a beautiful barren stretch of the Scottish Highlands, just south of Inverness, spin 20 brand new 3,300-kilowatt wind turbines. The second these industrial-scale turbines came on stream last month, all Mars UK’s factories and offices became immediately zero carbon. The US confectionary giant negotiated with the UK arm of Eneco, the Dutch utility behind the Moy Wind Farm, to buy 85% of the turbines’ output over the next 10 years. The move follows similar steps in the US, where Mars says its operations are carbon neutral thanks to a deal to buy power from a large-scale wind farm in Mesquite Creek, Texas. The two deals – known generically as renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) – represent a new trend in the drive by big business to go green. Adobe, BT Group, Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft, Nestlé, Novo Nordisk, Salesforce, and Unilever are just a handful of the large corporations now using the mechanism to meet their ambitions of going fully renewable.
Guardian 20th June 2016 read more »
Battery energy storage is the technology that water companies are “most keen” to see develop in order to transform their renewable energy strategies, delegates heard at the WWT Water Industry Energy conference. Effective on-site energy storage would help smooth out the peaks and troughs that are inherent in renewable generation via solar panels and wind turbines, the conference in Birmingham heard. It would help large treatment sites become more self-sufficient by making the most of their own generation capability in order to avoid using grid power, especially at peak times when energy is more expensive. When asked by conference chair Professor Tom Stephenson of Cranfield University to name the technology that would make the most difference to their energy strategy, batteries were the near-unanimous choice of the panel of expert speakers.
Utility Week 23rd June 2016 read more »