The Hinkley C nuclear power plant deal will give nuclear power a clear competitive advantage over solar pv in what will be a growing electricity for motor vehicles market. The combination of declining costs of solar pv and the growth of effectiveness and use of electric vehicles (EVs) will mean that within 15-20 years (maybe even sooner) solar pv, operating by then without any guaranteed premium prices at all, will be attracting large portions of the electricity market. However, the premium prices paid to Hinkley C under the deal agreed by the UK Government will mean that the prices that can be offered under the ‘night time’ tariff that will be used to charge EVs will be relatively lower compared to what prices would be without the deal. This means that whatever electricity is generated during the night (nuclear plus other non-solar) will have a relative competitive advantage over solar pv used to charge EVs during the daytime. flash forward to 2030 when a lot of EVs are humming around and Hinkley C, which, if all goes as projected (with a 2023 generation start-up), will be in its 7th year of its premium price contract. It will have another 28 years of unfair competition with solar pv, and of course, whatever other renewables (produced at day or night) are being generated. It is even plausible to argue that by sometime in the 2030s homeowners in energy efficient households with a developing generation of cheap efficient battery systems will not need the grid at all. A major hurdle in achieving this of course will be the 35 year premium price contracts (with loan guarantees assuring low interest bank loans) handed out for Hinkley C and whatever other similar contracts our governments decides to grant the nuclear developers.
Dave Toke’s Blog 23rd March 2014 read more »
Andrew Warren: In October 2013, Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey set out his arguments for reversing his long-held antipathy to nuclear power. On behalf of the Coalition, he is applying to the European Commission to ensure that the measures he is promoting – to ensure construction of the first new nuclear power station in the UK for a generation – are compatible with the Single Market. But now the Competition Directorate of the European Commission has sent a 70-page rebuttal to the UK Government, completely rejecting its arguments for subsidising the building of the Hinckley B nuclear power station in Somerset. One of the reasons given is the failure of the Government properly to consider the potential for investing in energy saving programmes that would reduce demand for electricity. I sincerely hope that the European Commission sticks to its guns, and demands a full-scale re-think of this foolish policy, which seeks to reverse such long standing Liberal Democrat philosophy. I argue this not just on energy policy terms. But in the fear that, should any European government be permitted to distort the marketplace so heavily as the UK now is proposing to do, it will create a precedent for every other government to provide special case subsidies for each and every uneconomic pet project.
Lib Dem Voice 23rd March 2014 read more »
Letter: Contrary to your alarmist front-page story “British nuclear plant’s ‘Fukushima alert”, EDF Energy’s nuclear facilities at Dungeness have always been extremely well protected from severe weather and seismic events. Suggestions of a cover-up are completely incorrect. We take very seriously the need to be transparent. The local community was consulted and kept informed about our plans at all times and media were told. Furthermore we have recently reopened our visitor centre at Dungeness and have welcomed 5,000 people to see our operations in action over the past year.
Independent 23rd March 2014 read more »
Letter: NUCLEAR power is dangerous – because it is so toxic and because it distracts attention from the investment we need to be making in harnessing the free energy of the sun, the wind, the waves and the tides. We need a green energy revolution.
Belfast Telegraph 24th March 2014 read more »
More than 50 world leaders will meet in The Hague to discuss the world’s nuclear security on Monday amid fears that the west’s rapidly worsening relations with Moscow over Ukraine could hobble international efforts to contain the threat of a catastrophe as result of miscalculation, terrorism or accident.
Guardian 23rd March 2014 read more »
Leaders of the G7 nations are to hold talks on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in The Hague on Monday to consider their response to Russia annexing Crimea, amid doubts that sanctions can constrain President Vladimir Putin.
Reuters 23rd March 2014 read more »
A preliminary review by Ofgem and other City regulators into the dominance of firms such as SSE, E.ON and British Gas is expected to be published on Thursday and recommend a deeper probe by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Caroline Flint, the shadow energy and climate change secretary, warned that such a probe would have the confidence of consumers only if it came up with robust action to rebalance the market in their favour.
Guardian 24th March 2014 read more »
The Federation of Small Businesses and the consumer watchdog Which? have called for the “Big Six” energy companies to be broken up, adding pressure on regulators to refer the energy companies to competition authorities this week. The trade group, which represents 200,000 small firms, has written to regulators in a joint letter with Which? demanding a full scale competition inquiry into the UK energy market.
Telegraph 23rd March 2014 read more »
Canada – radwaste
IT has been 35 years since the governments of Canada and Ontario established the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program to develop a concept to safely and permanently dispose of the radioactive byproducts of nuclear energy. We are told it will be 2035 before a repository can be operating. So there is no hurry. It took authorities just a year, though, to propose deep geological disposal in Northern Ontario’s granite as opposed to finding a way to keep the stuff near to where it is produced in southern Ontario. There is a great deal to be said for geological disposal. Earthquakes are rare here and not violent. What ground movement there is would not be enough to dislodge lead-lined canisters filled with nuclear waste stored 500 metres down in rock caves backfilled with concrete. Groundwater movement is minimal. Still, nuclear waste remains radioactive for a long time.
Cumbria Trust 24th March 2014 read more »
US – radwaste
New Mexico on Friday withdrew a temporary permit allowing two new disposal vaults at a U.S. government nuclear waste dump grappling with a release of radiation in February, state regulators said.Seventeen workers at the Carlsbad-area “waste isolation pilot project” (WIPP) were exposed to radiation after an accidental leak last month from the site which stores waste from U.S. nuclear labs and weapons production facilities. State regulators were withdrawing the draft expansion permit to identify safety issues that may need to be addressed in the aftermath of that accident, New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn told a news conference on Friday afternoon.
Reuters 21st March 2014 read more »
Energy minister says Putin’s intervention in Ukraine show why Britain needs to reduce its dependence on imports from “unstable” regions, such as Russia. Russia’s seizure of Crimea drives home the urgent need for the UK to develop more domestic sources of energy, such as shale gas and nuclear power, Britain’s energy minister has warned. Michael Fallon said President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in the Ukraine demonstrated why Britain had to reduce its dependence on imports from “unstable” regions, such as Russia.
Telegraph 23rd March 2014 read more »