The legislation Ed Davey will publish later this week is probably as good as he was going to get, but it is not very good. What’s not in the energy bill is much for the fuel-poor, even though they are suffering most from rising bills. And there is no new commitment to the most effective green energy policy of all: cutting energy consumption. The UK is projecting a two-thirds rise in energy demand even while Germany, Europe’s manufacturing heartland, is projecting a decline of a quarter. There are few easy choices when costs are immediate and the benefit so distant, and especially during a slump. But all sense of the strategic decisions required has been lost in the tactical horse trading. These are bad decisions made in a bad way, and they will cost the country dear.
Guardian 25th Nov 2012 more »
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the UK government to set an active industrial policy, one that will underpin the desired shift in power generation and leave a lasting economic legacy. Later this week, it will attempt to do so in the UK energy bill. But the results of policy to date are mixed. The companies at the forefront of Britain’s offshore wind power developments are not British but, among others, German and Danish (Vestas). Nationality of developers or manufacturers should not matter. What should be a concern, though, is if much of the necessary equipment ends up being built abroad.
FT 25th Nov 2012 more »
An old South Yorkshire colliery in Rotherham, which became a battleground in the UK miners’ strike of the 1980s, makes an unlikely spot for one of the most ambitious new nuclear build programmes in the developed world. But, if all goes to plan, it could become a vital part of the supply chain that will make components for the first new nuclear plant in Britain for more than two decades. Under a £400m deal with French energy group Areva, which will design the reactors for EDF, Rolls-Royce could build a component factory at the Yorkshire site. It is already home to an advanced manufacturing centre.
FT 25th Nov 2012 more »
Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation will move a step closer this week when a consortium of EDF and Centrica is expected to receive a key approval from safety regulators. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) is expected to issue a nuclear site licence for Hinkley Point in Somerset to NNB Generation Company (NNB GenCo), the utilities’ joint nuclear venture. The licence, which could be issued as soon as today by ONR chief Mike Weightman, indicates that NNB GenCo has passed an 18-month assessment to show it is a suitable and competent company to build and operate reactors at the site. It is one of the three major regulatory approvals EDF and Centrica require before they can take a decision on investing in the project, at an estimated cost of as much as £14bn. Approval of the chosen reactor design, the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), for use in the UK is likely to follow in December, when a five-year design assessment process is completed.
Telegraph 26th Nov 2012 more »
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has reviewed Korea’s energy policies and expressed that the country should build more nuclear reactors.
Energy Business Review 26th Nov 2012 more »
Saudi Arabia plans for solar power to deliver a third of its domestic energy needs by 2032, the most ambitious of a series of efforts across hydrocarbon-hungry Gulf states to promote renewable resources. The UAE – which, like other Gulf states, is heavily gas dependent – has announced plans to install 5.6GW of nuclear power to increase electricity generating capacity from 18GW last year to as much as 40.5.GW by 2030.
FT 25th Nov 2012 more »
It may sound like a plot straight out of a science fiction novel, but a U.S. mission to blow up the moon with a nuke was very real in the 1950s. At the height of the space race, the U.S. considered detonating an atom bomb on the moon as a display of America’s Cold War muscle.
Daily Mail 25th Nov 2012 more »
Ed Davey, a Liberal Democrat, said he took legal advice after John Hayes, one of his junior Tory ministers, called an end to wind farms “peppering” the countryside. In a newspaper interview, Mr Davey said he had written to the Prime Minister pointing out the energy minister had spoken out against Coalition policy. He also said there was a “question mark” over whether Mr Hayes should continue to be responsible for green energy. “I asked the legal department here whether there was a danger John had prejudiced himself because he had made these statements, and they said there was a danger. They said they could not say it would end up in judicial review, and challenging decisions in which he was involved, but there was a greater potential danger,” he told The Guardian.
Telegraph 25th Nov 2012 more »