We forecast that infrastructure output will experience double-digit growth each year to the end of our forecast horizon in 2019. It’s not all good news, however, as yet again we expect delays until 2018 for the main works on the nuclear power station Hinkley Point C.
Construction Index 24th Aug 2015 read more »
The latest forecasts from the Construction Products Association – not all good news, however, as yet again we expect delays until 2018 for the main works on the nuclear power station Hinkley Point C.
CPA 24th Aug 2015 read more »
Construction Enquirer 23rd Aug 2015 read more »
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has launched a project to examine the actual cost of electricity generation, This is Money has reported. It will include not just the cost of constructing offshore wind farms, for instance, but also of connecting them to the national grid. It will also examine nuclear power and conventional energy. The study is being conducted by Frontier Economics, the consultancy chaired by former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell. The review comes amid opposition to the Government’s plan to build two new nuclear reactors – Hinkley Point C – in Somerset.
H&V News 24th Aug 2015 read more »
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has launched a groundbreaking project to examine the actual cost of electricity generation in a move which could spell the end of billions of pounds of subsidies for green energy. The Department of Energy & Climate Change said its aim is to look at every aspect of the cost of generating energy. It will include not just the cost of constructing offshore wind farms, for instance, but also of connecting them to the national grid – something which critics of the green energy industry say is often overlooked by its supporters. It will also examine nuclear power and conventional energy. Subsidies to enable the UK to meet its legally binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 through the so-called levy control network are on course to reach £9billion a year instead of the expected £7.6billion. A source said: ‘We might conclude we need less renewable energy than we thought because there are other ways of doing it cheaper – by using technology to reduce consumer demand, for instance.’ The review comes amid opposition to the Government’s plan to build two new nuclear reactors – Hinkley Point C – in Somerset.
Mail on Sunday 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
Sellafield is set for another wave of industrial action after workers from nine subcontractors announced four walkouts in September.
Construction News 25th Aug 2015 read more »
The Westmorland Gazette has fallen into softly softly trap set by decades of nuclear grooming. The Westmorland Gazette say: “The new Moorside power plant will generate clean energy but only by leaving a dirty legacy”. Good, Fantastic that they recognise the undeniable “dirty legacy.” But as the nuclear chain leaves a dirty legacy at every point starting with uranium mining, it begs the question : at what point is nuclear energy clean?
Radiation Free Lakeland 25th Aug 2015 read more »
The MOX plutonium conversion program at the unfinished federal facility at Savannah River, S.C., would cost about twice as much to complete and put into operation as diluting and disposing of the material at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, says a leaked government report. The Department of Energy report prepared by nuclear power experts in government and in the private sector, says that using the repository in New Mexico would cost about $400 million per year. The process would involve diluting 34 metric tons of federal plutonium (which has accumulated as a result of a 2000 weapons agreement with Russia) with an inert material before it is stored. The other most likely option for the 34 metric tons of plutonium is to complete the MOX facility in South Carolina that has already cost $4.9 billion and is about 60 percent built. It would take $700 million to $800 million per year to see that program through, said the report what was revealed to the public last last week by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Nuclear Street 24th Aug 2015 read more »
A team of experts has confirmed what the Energy Department has been saying for two years — that burying 34 tons of weapons-grade plutonium would be far cheaper and more practical than completing a multibillion-dollar plant that would turn the radioactive material into commercial reactor fuel.
Sante Fe New Mexican 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
Last week we asked if a deep subsurface repository is the best place to store nuclear waste and just over half (51%) agreed that it is, given that nuclear will remain part of the energy landscape and a long-term solution is required to deal with the waste. The vote between the remaining 255 respondents saw three per cent agreeing that investigations should be made into the potential to pay other countries to store the waste, and 13 per cent not agreeing with any of the options given. Of the remaining vote, 20 per cent were divided equally between agreeing that we should develop underground stores whilst scaling back on current nuclear commitments; and concurring with the view that we should follow Scotland’s lead and store waste on the surface.
Engineer 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Npower’s chief executive Paul Massara is to leave the company following a 60 per cent decline in the supplier’s domestic business profits for the first half of this year. Npower’s parent company, RWE, said it is “acting on the unexpectedly negative mid-year result for 2015” in announcing the departure of both Massara and chief financial officer Jens Madrian.
Utility Week 24th Aug 2015 read more »
The aim of stabilizing global temperatures will require enormous investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the near term, but these investments are economically feasible and will save society billions in the coming decades, according to a new report from Citigroup. Analysts at Citibank predict global growth in solar could be at least 65 percent higher on average than what the International Energy Agency predicts through 2020. Citi’s solar PV forecast shows an average global installation rate of 53 gigawatts per year between 2013 and 2020. The IEA, by comparison, forecasts an average global installation rate of 33 gigawatts to 34 gigawatts per year over the same period. Citi and the IEA also differ in their wind installation projections. Citi estimates that installations between 2013 and 2020 will average roughly 54 gigawatts per year, versus the IEA’s annual average of 38 gigawatts to 42 gigawatts.
Green Tech 24th Aug 2015 read more »
Rebuilding Scotland’s energy sector around green technology could generate 44,000 additional jobs compared to the current oil-and-gas status quo. Thats according to a new report – Jobs in Scotland’s new economy – published today (25 August) by the Scottish Greens. The report states that 200,000 new jobs could be created by adopting more renewable energy, compared to the 156,000 people currently employed in the country’s fossil fuel industry.
Edie 25th Aug 2015 read more »
SCOTLAND should nationalise its oil industry to break its dependence on “distant multinationals and neoliberal forces”, and cut down on drilling, according to a report commissioned by the Scottish Greens. The report, written by oil industry critic Mika Minio-Paluello, says an economy focused on green energy could create over 40,000 more jobs than the current fossil fuel extraction industry.
Scotsman 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Nuclear Hotseat #217 – Ian Fairlie explains what radiation deniers (aka “hormesis” proponents) say, why it’s baloney (not his word, mine), and why the NRC allowing them to petition to replace Linear No Threshold (“no amount of radiation exposure is safe”) requires our immediate mega-response. PLUS: Japan restarts nuke in Sendai just in time for nearby volcano to threaten to blow its top; Fukushima species mutation update; Bernie Sanders’ nuclear policy; and beer is no way to commemorate the violent death of almost a quarter of a million people.
Radiation Free Lakeland 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Nearly 2 million people throughout the Great Plains and California live above aquifer sites contaminated with natural uranium that is mobilized by human-contributed nitrate, according to a study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Data from roughly 275,000 groundwater samples in the High Plains and Central Valley aquifers show that many Americans live less than two-thirds of a mile from wells that often far exceed the uranium guideline set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Grand Island Independent 22nd Aug 2015 read more »
As renewables, especially wind, enter more and more of the energy market, the power grid has had to make some adjustments, particularly for the intermittency of the wind and the sun. Intermittency is all the rage with folks who don’t like renewable energy. They point out that it takes so much natural gas, hydroelectric and even coal plants to back-up, or load-follow, wind and solar that it skews the benefits of the renewables and hides the actual carbon footprint. But everyone just writes-off nuclear as being able to load-follow renewables because it’s just a waste not to be running a nuclear power plant when it could run, since it runs just about all the time anyway. But not any more. A new study by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), together with NuScale Power and Energy Northwest, has shown that small modular reactors, a new design for nuclear power, can easily and economically back-up wind just fine. With none of the issues that older nuclear power plants conjure up in most people’s minds.
Forbes 25th Aug 2015 read more »
In their July 13 Defense News commentary, Clark Murdock and Thomas Karako advocate a mobilization of America’s nuclear weapons industry to build a new generation of forward-deployed, low-yield nuclear weapons. Their commentary is a summary of recommendations from their “Project Atom” study recently completed at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). America should think twice before heeding the advice of these so-called nuclear experts. Nuclear deterrence is risky business to be sure, but Murdock and Karako’s recommendations suffer two fundamental flaws: They ignore the lessons of history and neglect a fundamental requirement of nuclear strategy. That requirement is the need to assess how America’s nuclear weapon deployments will be perceived by her potential nuclear-armed adversaries. With respect to Murdock and Karako’s recommendation that the United States develop and deploy additional “tactical” nuclear weapons to its NATO allies, it is critical to remember that we have been down this road before. We know that deployments such as those proposed by the CSIS study can increase rather than decrease the risk of nuclear war by miscalculation. In the early 1980s the United States deployed the stealthy nuclear ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) to the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Italy, and the highly accurate Pershing II nuclear ballistic missile to Germany.
Defense News 20th Aug 2015 read more »
A FORMER parliamentary candidate will appear in court next month charged with interrupting “lawful work” on a nuclear missile system. Theo Simon stood for the Green Party in the constituency of Somerton and Frome, and finished fourth out of six candidates. He is due in Plymouth Magistrates Court at 10.30am on September 8 in relation to a blockade of the Trident nuclear weapons dock at Devonport, Plymouth, last July. Mr Simon, from East Pennard, is charged that he interrupted “lawful work” on the missile system alongside his co-defendant, Nikki Clarke from Bridgwater
Central Somerset Gazette 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
Industry insiders warn upcoming subsidy review could kill the solar market stone dead, but are their fears justified? The UK’s solar power industry is on tenterhooks. In the coming weeks, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd is due to drop a major review of the feed-in tariff (FiT), the popular subsidy scheme that over the past five years has helped establish Britain as one of Europe’s leading solar markets. Despite its success, government officials once again fear renewable energy subsidies are set to bust through the Treasury-imposed spending cap, known as the Levy Control Framework (LCF), pushing up “green levies” for bill payers. The review will seek to curb LCF spending on small-scale solar and wind projects, effectively making the microgeneration technologies supported by the FiT less attractive to investors in the hope of slowing deployment. A report in the Sunday Times last weekend predicted cuts to tariffs as deep as 50 per cent were being actively considered, sparking warnings from industry insiders that halving subsidy support would have a devastating impact on the UK’s solar power market and the more than 16,000 people employed by the sector. These anticipated changes will come alongside already announced plans to ditch a key element of the feed-in tariff, known as pre-accreditation, which sets the level of subsidy a project can expect to receive for one year before it is built. Experts fear the change will make it much harder for businesses and public-sector bodies to move forward with FiT-supported projects, as a degression trigger point could be reached while a solar array or wind turbine is being installed, leaving organisations facing lower than expected returns. So far, few in the industry have analysed the full impact of the potential 50 per cent cut to subsidies, but fears are mounting it would lead to a sharp contraction in the market that could force many installers out of business. While the details of the policy have yet to be announced, there are some things industry insiders can predict with a strong degree of certainty: the review will shake up the solar market, relatively steep cuts to FiT rates are now inevitable, and trade associations will warn the sector is being forced to the brink. What is not yet clear is whether the latest review sparks yet another boom and bust cycle, as falling technology costs allows the sector to recover. Or whether the concerted effort to dampen demand for solar and other microgeneration technologies finally pushes the market into a lengthy deep freeze.
Business Green 25th Aug 2015 read more »
An American solar firm has launched a new liquid technology that turns regular windows into solar panels which could be up to 50 times more productive than regular roof-based photovoltaics. The solar windows, designed for skyscrapers, are created by applying ultra-thin layers of liquid coatings on to glass and flexible plastics. These liquid coatings produce ultra-small solar cells and form groups called ‘arrays’.
Edie 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Renewables – AD
The UK anaerobic digestion industry now delivers an electrical equivalent capacity of 514MW across 411 plants in the farming, waste and water sectors. Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association chief executive Charlotte Morton said: “ADBA’s market data now shows that AD offers over 500MWe electrical equivalent capacity – more capacity than one of the UK’s nuclear power plants, Wylfa, which is being decommissioned this year. “Despite this, however, further growth in capacity is being hindered by the government’s decisions to remove Levy Exemption Certificates in the summer budget – a cut that ADBA estimates will cost the AD industry £11 million – and to fast-track a four week consultation aimed at removing pre-accreditation from the feed-in tariff (FiT). “To continue to expand the industry needs viable support in the forthcoming FiT review, and an RHI budget which will support new green gas.”
RE News 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Edie 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Renewables – wind
The world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas Wind Systems, announced record first-half orders last week as profits exceeded analyst estimates. European wind turbine manufacturers including Nordex and Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica, are riding a surge in orders on the back of government efforts to reign in carbon emissions and favourable policies for clean energy. The final ruling of the US Clean Power Plan, released August 3, “rewards US states for fossil fuel retirements and renewable build occurring after 2012,” and is discussed in this Bloomberg New Energy Finance research note.
Renew Economy 26th Aug 2015 read more »
The release of the final US Clean Power Plan on 5 August has triggered new wave of discussion on curbing emissions, and proponents of the fossil fuel industry includingShell’s Chief Climate Change Advisor are renewing their call for more Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), in particular for coal plants. Our 2008 assessment of the technology concluded it was anineffective way of tackling climate change – but has anything changed since then? Actually yes, the track record of struggling industry over the past 7 years has been even worse than expected. In the last five years 692MW of coal generation has been – or is being – fitted with carbon capture technology with a further 10GW proposed (though it may never happen) with around 12.7GW of new nuclear power capacity. That compares to around 300GW of wind and solar installed over the same period. Even allowing for the fact that the sun doesn’t always shine nor the wind always blow, in deployment terms renewable technologies are out-competing CCS and nuclear by more than a factor of ten. Of course it makes sense that the oil industry would support the roll out of a technology which allows greater oil extraction, just as the nuclear industry seeks subsidies for its own technology – whilst both oppose renewable technologies with the potential to limit their market and push down the price of power. But it doesn’t make sense as a way of tackling climate change. Rather than discussing new technological solutions to absorb CO2 from atmosphere, it is perhaps more pragmatic to tackle the big white elephant in the room – improving energy efficiency.
Energy Desk 24th Aug 2015 read more »
The multi-millionaire oil tycoon, Algy Cluff, is delaying a planning application to gasify coal under the Firth of Forth in the face of mounting political opposition. In a statement to shareholders, he discloses that “work on a planning application will likely be postponed until after such time as the political situation is more certain.” The application to pilot underground coal gasification (UCG) by test drilling off Kincardine in Fife was originally due to be made this autumn, but then was shifted to next year. But now Cluff does not put a date on when the application might be, blaming “external factors”. These include, he says, “the on-going commission recently set up by the Scottish Government to review Scotland’s energy needs which is due to report in September 2015, a motion at the SNP Party Conference calling for the inclusion of UCG in its moratorium on onshore oil and gas and the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in May 2016.” These moves all “have the ability to impact the development of the Kincardine project,” he says. “Accordingly we have deemed it prudent to await clarity on these matters before committing fully to, in particular, the expense of an environmental impact study.”
Rob Edwards 25th Aug 2015 read more »
STV 25th Aug 2015 read more »
Herald 26th Aug 2015 read more »
The National 26th Aug 2015 read more »
Scotsman 26th Aug 2015 read more »