Dash for Gas
Centrica is to create 4,000 jobs in Britain with the development of a huge North Sea gasfield after the Government signalled a new dash for gas. After weeks of delay, heated negotiations and only hours after a £500 million tax break for this type of field was unveiled, the owner of British Gas said that it would invest £1.4 billion with its French partner GDF Suez. Ed Davey, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said yesterday that gas would be at the heart of Britains energy strategy and promised that new gas-fired power plants would play a key role in keeping the lights on. He also said that consumer-funded subsidies for onshore wind farms would not be cut by as much as expected. The Governments independent adviser on climate change also warned that triggering a second so-called dash for gas was against the law, as it would make it impossible for the UK to meet its legally binding target to slash carbon emissions. David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, also criticised ministers for sending out mixed messages that would damage Britains ability to attract the estimated £110 billion of investment required in new energy apparatus over the next decade. The draft Energy Bill, overseen by Mr Davey, contains a proposal to set a legally binding target to switch to almost entirely low-carbon forms of power generation, such as wind farms and renewables by 2030, which is opposed by George Osborne. Mr Davey said that negotiations with the Treasury on the proposal would continue in the autumn. He insisted that the target had not been abandoned as part of a deal to secure a more modest cut for onshore wind farm subsidies.
Times 26th July 2012 more >>
The coalition row over UK energy policy will resume after the summer, the energy secretary, Ed Davey, signalled on Wednesday, as he insisted it would be presumptuous to rule out new carbon pollution targets for the electricity sector. A 2030 electricity carbon target has emerged as a critical point of disagreement between Mr Daveys Liberal Democrat party and George Osborne, the Conservative chancellor, during a fierce debate over the relative importance of gas and renewable power in the UKs future energy mix. Greenpeace, meanwhile, attacked what it said was a bonkers decision to give the gas industry more support than offshore wind power, which was cleaner and would also provide many jobs. Many renewable industry groups condemned what Leonie Greene of the Renewable Energy Association described as the unhelpful political horse-trading surrounding the subsidy decisions.
FT 25th July 2012 more >>
Centrica increased profits at its residential arm by 23pc in the first half of the year, which is expected to fan flames of anger over recent price increases.
Telegraph 26th July 2012 more >>
SSE: The UK government has announced the outcome of its review of the bands of support provided by the Renewables Obligation. It will have no impact on existing assets in operation or under construction. Nevertheless, it means SSE no longer expects to develop any new conventional hydro electric schemes and that the scope to increase generation of electricity from biomass at coal-fired power stations is significantly reduced. In addition, the decision to limit the guarantee of 0.9 Renewable Obligation Certificates to electricity from onshore wind farms commissioned between April 2013 and March 2014 introduces a new uncertainty that could potentially restrict the future development of this technology.
SSE 26th July 2012 more >>
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey did a good job yesterday at drawing a veil over the disagreements that have marred the last few weeks, talking of “misunderstandings” with the Treasury, reiterating that UK wants to see investment in both gas and renewables, and stressing that the “debate” on whether to allow unabated gas-fired power plants post 2030 will continue in the autumn and will be based on evidence rather than politics. But looking past Davey’s warm words the political fight over the past month has been brutal.
Business Green 26th July 2012 more >>
EDF Energy restarted its 660-megawatt (MW) Heysham 2-7 nuclear reactor on Wednesday, after it stopped on Sunday for repair work, a spokesman said.
Reuters 25th July 2012 more >>
The proposed underground nuclear dump would require miles of underground tunnels. The following videos show what happens in tunnel fires everything is amplified. Add plutonium on rail tracks to the mix.. When asked about tunnel fires and nuclear waste dumping a NDA representative mumbled that combustible materials would be kept to a minimum plutonium isnt combustible?
Radiation Free Lakeland 25th July 2012 more >>
TRANSPORT of Sizewell A power stations most dangerous nuclear legacy its highly radioactive spent fuel rods is being suspended for the duration of the Olympic Games but the entire operation could still be completed by September 2014, officials believe.
East Anglian Daily Times 25th July 2012 more >>
One of the most senior soldiers in the north west of England is to take the top job at the Civil Nuclear Police Authority. Brigadier Mike Griffiths CBE was the last person to lead Cumbrias Kings Own Royal Border Regiment before it became part of the Duke of Lancasters Regiment, which is now the countys adopted Army unit. He is currently the Armys director of personnel but also holds the title of Colonel of the Duke of Lancasters.
Carlisle News and Star 25th July 2012 more >>
The world has enough uranium to last for 100 years but the cost of extracting the element is rising, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency. In their latest report on the worlds stock of nuclear fuel, which gives a snapshot view as of January last year, the agencies estimate that the planets stock of uranium that is classed as the cheapest to extract has fallen by 14 per cent. In contrast, the known stock of high-cost uranium stands at 7.1 million tonnes, a 12.5 per cent rise compared with January 2009.
Times 26th July 2012 more >>
While other countries ponder the viability of closed fuel cycles, India is pressing ahead with plans to make them the centre of its nuclear industry as part of a roadmap to thorium. You have to admire Indias ability to stick to a programme. While other countries have seesawed not just over the details of nuclear development, but even their commitment to it in general, India is still slavishly following a path that was mapped out in the 1950s. And compared to most other nations, it is a path that veers well off the beaten track. While open nuclear fuel cycles have become the de facto standard for nuclear power around the world, India is devoting its energies to a closed-cycle industry.
Nuclear Insider 25th July 2012 more >>
As far as malicious computer hacking is concerned, the most recent breach of security at Iran’s nuclear facilities may not be very serious… unless you hate the music of Australian rock band AC/DC. It has been alleged that unidentified computer hackers have forced workers at two of the countrys controversial nuclear facilities to endure AC/DC’s hit song Thunderstruck repeatedly – and at full volume – sometimes in the middle of the night.
Daily Mail 25th July 2012 more >>
Israel’s defence minister said on Wednesday that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons would be far more dangerous to the Jewish state than the possible consequences of preventing it from obtaining those arms.
AFP 25th July 2012 more >>
Situated on the coast at Chixi Town, south of Guangzhou in Chinas Guangdong Province, the Taishan Nuclear Power Station is expected to be one of the largest in the world. It is also Chinas first nuclear power plant to adopt the European EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) third generation reactor technology. The first phase of the project involves the construction of two EPR power plants, each with the worlds largest capacity of 1750 MW.
Process Control 25th July 2012 more >>
Strong expansion of nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source in Asia is expected to press ahead despite the Fukushima accident in Japan that soured sentiment in some countries, a benchmark report said on Thursday.
Reuters 26th July 2012 more >>
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has today hailed the introduction of a “strong package of support for clean energy”, predicting the move would drive billions of pounds of investment in renewables, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and represent a “good deal” for consumers and businesses. He also downplayed reports that in return for the Treasury’s sign-off on the new package of support for renewables the Lib Dems had agreed to drop proposals for a decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill that would effectively stop the use of unabated gas-fired power plants after 2030, insisting a decarbonisation target had not been ruled out. However, Davey repeatedly stressed that gas had a key role to play in the UK’s energy mix, insisting DECC’s own carbon plan shows that it should be possible to support between 10GW and 20GW of unabated gas capacity in the UK during the 2030s without breaching the country’s legally binding carbon targets.
Business Green 25th July 2012 more >>
Green businesses have cautiously welcomed the government’s decision on changes to renewable energy subsidies, but warned investors could face further uncertainty as a result of plans to review the cost of onshore wind energy later this year.
Business Green 25th July 2012 more >>
Away from the big ticket wind and marine energy subsidy announcements today, developers from some of the emerging renewable energy industries were left mulling a mixed bag of reforms to support levels. Lobbyists were particularly disappointed with the level of support for geothermal, which will fall from 2 ROCs in 2013 to 1.9 ROCs in 2015 and 1.8 ROCs the following year. Dr Ryan Law, chief executive of Geothermal Engineering, said he was “shocked” by the cuts, insisting geothermal is a developing industry worthy of similar support to wave and tidal energy, which will from next year enjoy more than double the level of support at 5 ROCs per MWh.
Business Green 25th July 2012 more >>
The UK is the Saudi Arabia of wind, and the other countries of Europe laugh at us. We come fifth in terms of installed capacity and seventh in terms of the amount of power we get from it. Germany, Spain, Italy et al don’t mock us because we’re lagging at something they’re making such a success of we lag at everything but because we should be winning so effortlessly. Yet the outlook remains mixed for UK renewables, which is market speak for “screwed”; subsidies have been cut, albeit only by 10% rather than the proposed quarter. It’s up for grabs again in a year. The coalition covers the whole spectrum of belief on the environment, from climate change denier to deep green. It is impossible to predict who’ll be in the ascendant next year or even next week. All you can say for certain is that this must be the worst system imaginable for the long-term planning of a nation’s energy needs: hand the decision over to a group whose only uniting principle is that they want to keep their seats in parliament.
Guardian 25th July 2012 more >>
Liberal Democrats claimed victory yesterday after fighting off Conservative demands for a 25 per cent cut in state subsidies for onshore wind farms. But green groups said George Osborne, the Chancellor, had extracted a price in return for allowing Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary, to limit the reduction in subsidies to the 10 per cent figure announced last year. The Government will be open to gas playing a major role in electricity production after 2030 if it proves cheap and the Treasury announced £500m of tax relief to encourage the development of marginal fields in the North Sea. Andrew Pendleton, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, said: “Treasury arm-twisting has forced [Ed Davey] to give his backing to new gas-fired power stations which is completely at odds with his fuzzy rhetoric on clean British energy. George Osborne’s plans would be a costly disaster for households, businesses and the environment. It’s time for David Cameron, the self-styled leader of the greenest government ever, to intervene.”
Independent 26th July 2012 more >>