Some are worried about the long-term consequences of turning inward, such as immigration policies and previously announced projects. On the electricity front, French utility EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corp. are partners in a projected and slow-moving $26 billion nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point. French President Francois Hollande told several news outlets he was still in favor of going forward with Hinkley Point construction despite the British vote against the EU. Economic self-interest at least plays some role in Hollande’s affirmation, according to reports. “It’s very important to understand that we need a high-performance, highly secure nuclear industry in France, and that we cannot let others take over terrain, including on exports, that has been French up to now,” he was quoted as telling Europe 1 radio. EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Levy also expressed support for moving Hinkley Point forward despite several delays and the Brexit vote. The British are maintaining their goal of de-carbonizing their energy output, he noted.
Electric Light & Power 24th June 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 24th June 2016 read more »
Yesterday, I published a piece providing my own interpretations on what I think the Brexit will mean to the Hinkley C project as well as what it will mean to the UK nuclear energy program in general. I also touched on what I consider to be a logical extension of that argument to a comment on the effectiveness of the UK’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. I also promised to share insights that I have received from other people that I consider to be experts, some who are UK citizens and residents and some who are observing from this side of the Atlantic. The UK has been significantly more open to nuclear energy than most traditional EU states and that the EU has issued a number of mandates for renewable energy production that specifically exclude nuclear. Austria and Luxembourg have actually gone to the European Court of Justice to challenge the deal done to encourage the first of a kind Hinkley C.
Forbes 25th June 2016 read more »
Dave Elliott: Renewables are doing well around the world including in the EU, which now has over 100GW of PV solar in place and around 150GW of wind generation capacity. However, there are some problems and issues as the economic and political climate changes, leading to a range of new policies, for example in Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark and the UK. After Brexit – the UK will no longer be subject to the mandatory 15% by 2020 UK renewable energy target agreed with the EU. The new renewable energy technologies are still progressing, now supplying around 24% of global electricity, but, as can be seen, progress in the EU is being opposed at every step, with support for, or retention of, nuclear often being the default position adopted by the old guard. Plus shale gas in some, but coal in Germany.
Environmenmtal Research Web 25th June 2016 read more »
John Sauven: Many of the laws that make our drinking and bathing water safe, our air cleaner, our fishing industry more sustainable and our climate safer now hang by a thread. But Greenpeace is determined that this country will not go back to year zero on environmental protection. Over the coming months we all need to demand that the government replaces European regulations protecting nature with new UK laws that are just as strong. The climate change-denying wing of the Conservative Party will be strengthened by this vote for Brexit. That means the green movement, indeed every Briton who values a clean and safe environment, may need to stand up for nature in the face of an attack on the natural world. The environment barely featured in this campaign. Whoever comes to occupy Downing Street does not have a mandate to gut the environmental laws that we all rely on to protect us from pollution.
Scotsman 26th June 2016 read more »
Moldovan intelligence officials say they have seized an ‘imposing quantity’ of radioactive uranium from a criminal group and detained several people. The Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service said the uranium was due to be sold for £154,000 but did not say how big the haul was. In a statement, it said ‘a criminal group specializing in smuggling radioactive substances was uncovered’, adding that ‘members of the group were found to be Moldovan citizens’. It said there was an ongoing investigation into where the uranium came from and how the detained people got involved. Officials released a video of the raid which shows one person being tackled to the ground by special forces who then use a device to register the radioactivity of a package in the back seat. In February 2015, an attempt to sell highly radioactive caesium to Islamist terrorists, including ISIS, was thwarted by the FBI and Moldovan security personnel. The seller had asked for enough of the substance to contaminate several city streets with a dirty bomb.
Daily Mail 26th June 2016 read more »
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, never one for a loss of words, told Chinese President Xi Jinping that Japan has the capacity to acquire nuclear weapons “virtually overnight.” Biden made his disclosure while giving a speech at a Public Broadcasting Service program aired on Monday. Biden said he had urged Xi to exert influence on North Korea so it will abandon its missile and nuclear weapons developments. Referring to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and missile launches in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, Biden said that if China and the U.S. fail to take effective action against North Korea, “What happens if Japan, who could go nuclear tomorrow? They have the capacity to do it virtually overnight.” Biden did not say when his conversation with Xi took place.
Forbes 25th June 2016 read more »
Stephen Fitzpatrick is a changed man. The famously feisty founder of Ovo Energy, who once used a House of Commons hearing into energy prices to bash his “big six” rivals for rampant overcharging, claims he is done picking fights. “There was an impulse early on to be a bit more combative,” he says, doing his best to strike a statesmanlike tone. “But as we have progressed as a company, we are less so. There are 1,000 things we can get better at. If others want to sling mud, I’m happy to ignore it.” Regardless of what the CMA does or does not do, the old energy model, centred around a few companies that produced power from giant fossil-fuelled plants and then sold it on to disengaged customers who had few alternatives, is crumbling. Cheap solar panels, in-home batteries, climate-change laws, smartphones and appliances have all turned the industry on its head. Ovo is at the front of the pack of young Turks seeking to lay waste to the old guard. These days, more than 40 suppliers offer gas and power in Britain. The big six utilities — Eon, SSE, EDF, British Gas, Scottish Power and Npower — have seen their market share crater, from 99% five years ago to just 83%. They have written off tens of billions as they have shut old coal plants. Last year Centrica, owner of the British Gas, the biggest energy supplier in the land, plunged to a £2.3bn loss. Fitzpatrick once told this newspaper that the incumbents were on the brink of their “Kodak moment”, when digital photography swept away an iconic brand.
Times 26th June 2016 read more »
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has come under fire for hiring the boss of the competition watchdog as its permanent secretary. Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) concluded a two-year probe into the energy industry that yielded watered-down reforms derided by critics as a “waste of time and money” The publication came just weeks after the CMA’s chief executive, Alex Chisholm, was unveiled as the new top civil servant at the department. Chisholm, who headed Ireland’s communications watchdog, joins in eight days.
Times 26th June 2016 read more »
In this talk, Detlef Gerdts (Head of Department, Environment and Climate Protection, City of Osnabrück) provided an overview of the City of Osnabrück’s ambitious goals and programming, and reflected on 25 years of climate initiatives. Since signing onto Germany’s Climate Action Master Plan in 2012, Osnabrück’s Energiewende (energy transition) is on track for 100% renewable electricity, 90% renewable heating and cooling, and 60% renewable transportation by 2050. Mr. Gerdts emphasized the need for intense cooperation between the city and its hinterland, with clear benefits for both, in order to achieve its energy goals. Other key lessons included institutionalizing the goal beyond politics to create a safe environment for investment, as well as the need for enabling finance mechanisms. In terms of public saliency, the already high cost of electricity in Germany aided the feasibility of renewables, while a history of anti-nuclear sentiment contributed to the public acceptability of the goal. Innovative project examples from Osnabruck included a survey of solar radiation feasibility for rooftop PV (the first city in Europe to do so) and a thermographic aerial survey identifying insulation status of homes. Both projects provided data to individual homeowners about their properties, allowing them to make informed decisions about the costs and benefits of retrofits and PV installation. In both examples, citizens could take action individually, without requiring mass investment or financial incentives from the city.
Carbon Talks 15th June 2016 read more »