The only successful thing about the Hinkley C project is the management of the news to imply that there has been progress in the project. In fact there has been absolutely no progress, certainly not in the financial terms, and in many ways things have got worse. That is compared to two years ago when the UK Government’s much criticised terms, for paying EDF £94 per MWh (2015 prices) for 35 years underpinned by a 60 per cent loan guarantee by the Treasury, were given state aid clearance by the EU Commission.
Dave Toke’s Blog 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
People living near Hinkley Point in Somerset talk about the pros and cons of plans to build a nuclear power plant on their doorstep. BBC presenter Emma Britton, who grew up in Cannington, six miles from Hinkley Point, spoke to residents from Bridgwater, Cannington, Combwich and Stogursey.
BBC 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
The government has committed at least seven future administrations to pay for what has been described – even at today’s prices – as the “most expensive conventional power station on earth”. Yet only last week, the same government committed all its successors to a Fiscal Charter on borrowing. A mixed message, to say the least. Hinkley Point C is a particularly egregious example of the fact that all grid supplied energy is subsidised.
City AM 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
Prospects of a third reactor at the plant, near to Bridgwater, had appeared to waver in recent months, with uncertainty over funding and an EU legal challenge threatening to de-rail the project before it was fully under way. However, EDF Energy and its Chinese parter China General Nuclear Corporation this week signed a strategic investment agreement, described by experts as demonstrating ‘a clear intent from both parties to deliver the first new nuclear power station in the UK for a generation’. With the £18billion project expected to lead to enormous financial benefits to firms all across the region, the move has been welcomed by leaders within both public and private sectors. Somerset County Council predicts it will ‘provide 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 jobs in its planned 60-year operating life’ and says the project will prove an ‘immeasurable benefit’ to the area. Somerset Chamber of Commerce was pleased too, describing the latest development as ‘another very positive step’.
Weston Mercury 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
Long-awaited full details of the Sizewell C nuclear power station project will be revealed early next year following the announcement of Chinese investment to develop the twin reactor.
Ipswich Star 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
The creation of a new nuclear reactor site in Bradwell could drive forward a period of regeneration in the area. That is the view of both Essex County and Maldon District councils which feel the closure of the former power station there had a negative effect on the region. But campaigners against the proposals for Bradwell B say the whole scheme is a vanity project. In a statement released jointly by ECC and MDC the councils hailed the deal which could “potentially bring significant economic benefits to the people of Essex”.David Finch, leader of Essex County Council, said: “This announcement about the nation’s energy infrastructure will put Essex front and centre of the global nuclear market, providing jobs for local people with local skills and talent.“This announcement provides an opportunity to help regenerate the local area as well as support the wider Essex economy.” Miriam Lewis, leader of Maldon District Council, added: “We look forward to working with EDF and CGN to ensure the highest standards of operational and environmental safety whilst ensuring that the benefit of hosting this important element of national energy infrastructure is felt in Maldon and across Essex communities.” Andy Blowers, chairman of the Bradwell Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), said while the news was disappointing it did not mean the campaign against a new power station in the area was over. “There are very good reasons for feeling the Bradwell project will sink in the sand eventually,” he said. “I think it’s a vanity project. “It’s a step in the wrong direction but it’s a step, it’s not the end.”
East Anglian Daily Times 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
Chinese corporations will have a majority share in a new power station set to be built in Bradwell-on-Sea, after signing a deal Wednesday. French firm EDF Energy reached an agreement with the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) to help fund a new plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with a wider partnership in place for both Bradwell and Sizewell in Suffolk.
Essex Chronicle 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
Interview with Dr Paul Dorfman.
BBC 21st Oct 2015 read more »
Newsnight: an examination of the Chinese deal.
BBC 21st Oct 2015 read more »
In an important breakthrough for Chinese industry and global influence, the British and Chinese governments agreed on Wednesday to give China a substantial stake in the British nuclear industry, both as an investor and as a contractor.
New York Times 21st Oct 2015 read more »
Chinese president Xi Jinping will return to Beijing with good reason to think his first trip to the UK was a roaring success. Feted by a UK government more concerned with cash than with China’s domestic human rights record, Xi will arrive home with a keen overseas partner and a fistful of contracts.
Conversation 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
A total of 165 jobs will be lost at Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey when the plant moves from energy generation to defueling, say bosses. Owners Magnox said the workforce was being cut to 357, down from 522 staff, and about 25 agency workers by May. Earlier this year, it said 1,600 jobs would be lost at 12 sites by 2016. Anglesey’s planned new nuclear power station, Wylfa Newydd, will employ more than 1,000 people once it begins working in the first half of the 2020s.
BBC 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
Daily Post 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
An environmentally-friendly energy firm has unveiled plans to build an experimental green energy park at a former Scottish nuclear plant in Dumfries and Galloway. Scotia Global Energy said the hybrid power station intended to radically reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which would be built on a 90 hectare (222 acres) Chapelcross site near Annan, could create more than 500 jobs.
Scottish Construction Now 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
“Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste” – an oxymoron – nuclear waste cannot be “disposed of” in “suitable geology.” There is no “suitable geology” anywhere…and Cumbria has the most studied geology possibly in the world. No amount of further study will make the geology less complex or easier to predict groundwater flow, and even if the geology was 50 square miles of homogenous granite, geological disposal as a scientific concept has not been and may never be safely achieved. The only ‘solution’ is to contain, monitor and repackage as necessary. This is of course not an option for our pronuclear government who want to be seen to have “solved” the nuclear waste problem in order to produce more, even hotter wastes.
Radiation Free Lakeland 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
The UK Government’s delusional energy policy – and what it means for Scotland. The Conservative government in the UK has slashed support for renewables and is going all-out for shale gas and nuclear power. This is setting them on a collision course with devolved administrations in the UK, Scotland most of all, warn Peter Strachan and Alex Russell of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and Geraint Ellis of Queen’s University in Belfast. It won’t go over too well at the Paris climate summit either. With mixed public opinion for new nuclear build and a palpable drop in public support for on-land shale gas extraction, it appears unwise for the Conservative government and particularly their Secretary of State of Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, not to reflect a little deeper on some of the implications of its current crusade for nuclear power and fracking. Scotland is an energy rich country, the UK’s energy bank, with abundant offshore oil and gas, and renewable energy resources such as onshore wind and hydro, and with significant potential for offshore wind, wave and tidal power. During the past decade Scotland has led the renewable energy revolution in the UK. But over the period of a few months, Holyrood now finds itself in a position whereby its world class and highly successful energy policy appears to lie in tatters. Whilst fixated on the need to deliver a new £25 billion nuclear power project at Hinkley Point C, the UK nuclear landscape in recent years has witnessed significant political and policy support in the form of market restructuring. Even so, we only slowly inch towards delivering the project, while the outcome of the legal challenge from Austria, has the potential to further embarrass the free-market credentials of the Chancellor.
Energy Post 21st Oct 2015 read more »
Letter Institution of Mechanical Engineers: China’s commitment to invest in the development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear reactor has rightly become a huge talking point, but we have become distracted about the role of China in this development when we should also be focusing on the very real and pressing issue of the need to create stability and clarity in the UK electricity sector. In recent months a number of renewable companies have gone into administration citing cuts to government subsidies, while in late September the carbon capture and storage demonstrator project was once again thrown into disarray after the withdrawal of Drax from the White Rose project. Companies clearly are not getting the decisive leadership they need from the government to invest; without this there is a real risk that no new electricity capacity will be built. The government needs to develop energy and economic policy that creates stability in the electricity sector through better demand forecasts, a clear strategy for our transition to a low-carbon economy, as well as ensuring we do not lose the innovation, skills and jobs that the UK has built so successfully in this sector. The perceived threat of foreign investment must not distract us from the threat of the lights going out.
Times 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
Ed Davey: In the past three months, for the first time in our history, Britain produced more electricity from renewable sources than it did from coal. Between 2010 and 2015, Britain’s renewable power capacity trebled, with over £40bn invested into onshore and offshore wind farms, solar PV and biomass. But that massive progress in clean energy is about to slow dramatically, thanks to policy changes brought in since May’s general election. Without Liberal Democrats in coalition, the new Conservative government is slashing the low-carbon energy investment Britain needs if we are to tackle climate change and reduce our reliance on imported fossil fuels.
Guardian 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
A fundamental restructuring of the whole energy system is needed if the UK is to meet the so-called energy ‘trilemma’ of affordability, security and decarbonization, according to the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE). It is essential that nuclear remains part of that system, it says.
World Nuclear News 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
EDF may need partners to finance the future replacement of its nuclear fleet in France, the chief executive of the state-controlled utility said on Friday. Jean-Bernard Levy said EDF and Areva are working on an updated design for Areva’s EPR reactor, the EPR New Model, which should be ready by around 2020, and added he expects France will eventually build some 30 EPR reactors. But he said he is not sure EDF’s finances will allow it to build a new fleet entirely on its own.
Reuters 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
The U.S. Energy Department has canceled a plan to ship to the Idaho National Laboratory spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors out of state, a controversial proposal that drew protests from two former governors and a lawsuit from one of them.
Reuters 24th Oct 2015 read more »
Renewables – community hydro
Apple Juice (Applecross) Limited is a Community Benefit Society which has been formed by local people to fundraise, construct and operate our 90kw community hydro scheme. The hydro scheme will generate clean, low carbon electricity from Allt Breugach, a burn which flows from the hills behind Shore Street into Applecross Bay. Surplus income from the scheme will go to Applecross Community Company to be spent on projects identified through consultation with the community. It is estimated that the scheme will generate a gross income of £106,356 in its first full year. The share offer goes live on 17th October and is open to all, with members expected to get a 4% return on their investment and the opportunity to benefit from tax relief, as well as supporting a great community initiative. The aim is to raise a total of £780,000 as quickly as we can. Construction started on the scheme on 3rd August and is making rapid progress, thanks to a unique arrangement with our contractors, hydro engineers HighlandEco Design Ltd. Electricity generation will start in early December this year.
Applecross 17th Oct 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
Andrea Leadsom has been accused of “talking nonsense” by small solar companies in her constituency after she appeared to suggest that Conservative plans to cut subsidies for the industry were supported by “small solar companies in her constituency”. Speaking to MPs, the energy minister suggested firms may see the cuts as useful because they will “focus the industry on the most fruitful areas”. Leadsom told the Energy and Climate Change Committee: “I too have small solar companies in my constituency, I’ve been to see a few of them as well. “My local companies are saying, they would argue that there is a very strong business case for solar almost anywhere as a result of the subsidy and what in fact cuts will do is to focus the industry on the most fruitful, the areas where there’s the greatest irradiation, the areas on perhaps commercial roofs where the electricity generator can be used by the company itself. “So in other words what some of – not all of – my local companies that I’ve spoken to are saying is actually putting pressure on the subsidies forces you to focus on the best outcome.”
Energy Desk 22nd Oct 2015 read more »
The government’s controversial consultation on its proposed heavy cuts to feed-in tariff (FiT) incentives comes to a close today, and the process of assessing an avalanche of consultation responses begins. Under the current proposals the government plans to cut incentives for solar installations by up to 87 per cent from next year, slash support for small wind turbines and anaerobic digestion projects, and cap spending through the popular scheme. The threat of closing the scheme altogether also looms, with the government warning it could wrap up the FiT as soon as January if a flurry of new solar installations means the budget is burnt through in the next few months.
Business Green 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
One of the UK’s leading solar industry executives has today slammed the government’s proposals to slash subsidies for solar energy while handing financial support to new nuclear projects and tax breaks to fossil fuel firms, declaring the planned reforms are “crazy”, “irresponsible”, and “wrong”. The criticism from Frans van den Heuvel, chief executive at Solarcentury, came as fresh claims emerged that major job losses are imminent across the industry if the government goes ahead with plans to cut subsidies for solar installations through the feed-in tariff by up to 83 per cent.
Business Green 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
Boris Johnson has waded into the growing row over the solar industry by calling on the energy minister, Andrea Leadsom, to halt plans to cut subsidies to the industry by 87% from January. One the last day of a consultation period into the proposed aid reductions, Johnson accused the government of acting with “little or no prior notice”, endangering thousands more solar industry jobs. “The Mayor believes that the solar PV industry needs some certainty over the next few years as it transitions to a subsidy-free and longterm sustainable future,” said Matthew Pencharz, deputy mayor for the environment and energy, in a letter to Leadsom released on Friday. “The current proposals, which have been consulted on, with little or no prior warning, to come into force in the new year have created great uncertainty in the solar PV industry, potentially putting at threat thousands of jobs across the UK,” he added.
Guardian 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
A company backed by Royal Dutch Shell has begun work on one of the world’s biggest solar power plants, as part of a project to use the sun’s rays to suck crude oil out of the ground in Oman. GlassPoint Solar, an American company funded by Shell, is set to break ground on the new solar farm at the Amal oilfield in southern Oman this month. It has been commissioned by Petroleum Development Oman, the country’s biggest oil producer, which is one-third owned by Shell.
Times 24th Oct 2015 read more »
This week’s Micro Power News.
Microgen Scotland 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
British households could soon be heating kettles powered by Danish wind farms under plans unveiled yesterday by National Grid. The operator of Britain’s high-voltage transmission network said the Viking Link project to build a 400-mile cable linking the two countries would begin early next year with sea bed surveys. The 1,400 megawatt cable running between a substation at Bicker Fen, Lincolnshire, and Revsing, Denmark, would supply enough power for about a million homes. It could be live within seven years and would help boost the resilience of both countries’ electricity supplies, the company said.
Tmes 23rd Oct 2015 read more »
Letter David Lowry: Your obituary of Michael Meacher (22 October) underplays his significant contribution to the promotion of genuinely green policies. I worked as a specialist researcher for Michael in the nine months running up to the 1997 general election landslide win for Labour, preparing policy papers as he advanced the cause of sustainability as shadow environmental protection secretary.
Guardian 23rd Oct 2015 read more »