Until now, Engie (which owns 40% of a joint venture with struggling Toshiba-Westinghouse to build 3 reactors at Moorside – Ed) and EDF have barely competed directly in Britain. That could be about to change because Mr Petrie, who joined Engie in 1999 and has worked in a string of roles in Europe and North America, is preparing to launch a range of new energy services aimed at commercial and retail customers. This will not involve necessarily building big pieces of new kit. “It’s very difficult today to build a new power plant [in the UK] with current market conditions,” he says. Instead, Mr Petrie wants Engie to offer localised services that could include installing insulation, district heating and solar panels on existing buildings as well as supplying gas and electricity. “We see the emergence of a new type of organisation within cities,” he says. Engie, he believes, can build on its relationships with councils and other commercial customers to expand its British business by developing local, decentralised energy in urban areas, where demand is high. “We don’t want to sell a huge amount of energy. Our big focus is on the demand side. The future is going to be much more about decentralized energy,” he says.
Times 2nd Jan 2016 read more »
Belgium’s Doel nuclear reactor went offline on Saturday, after it was restarted just three days ago, the plant’s spokesperson said. Meanwhile, Germany has stepped up criticism on operational safety of its neighbour’s aging nuclear facilities. Doel 1 nuclear reactor, located in northern Belgium, was taken offline automatically, RTL broadcaster quoted the communications manager Els De Clercq as saying. At this point there is no safety risk, AFP reported, citing power utility company Electrabel, which operates the plant.
RT 3rd Jan 2015 read more »
Japan – Fukushima
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is expected to take on the challenge of removing the molten fuel from reactors that suffered meltdowns in 2011. Soon it will be nearly five years since the massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear accident at the plant. Workers have not been able to determine the extent of damage or find the molten fuel at the No.1, 2 and 3 reactors. Experts believe some of the fuel penetrated the reactor cores and is sitting at the bottom of the respective containment vessels. TEPCO officials will bring in a remote-controlled robot that can withstand extremely high radiation levels to capture images of the fuel at the No. 2 reactor as early as next month. A similar undertaking is to take place at the No. 1 reactor.
NHK 2nd Jan 2016 read more »
US – Plutonium
As of now, the U.S. Department of Energy owes the State of South Carolina $1 million a day for not keeping promises made when the Savannah River Site became the de facto plutonium storage respository for the nation more than a decade ago. The promise of such payments were made when then-Gov. Jim Hodges opposed federal plans to bring 34 metric tons of the radioactive element to Aiken County for what was described as short-term storage. The plan was to mix the plutonium with commercial nuclear fuel through the MOX process. Delays in the construction of the MOX facility and funding cuts over the years made meeting the just-passed deadline all but impossible.
Aiken Standard 31st Dec 2015 read more »
The White House expects Iran to finish work needed to trigger implementation of an international nuclear deal in the coming weeks, but Washington needs more time to prepare sanctions over its ballistic missile programme, a U.S. official said on Saturday.
Reuters 3rd Jan 2016 read more »
Hawaii has been called a “postcard from the future” due to the high levels of renewable energy being deployed and technical work that is being done to accommodate this. But even for Hawaii the amount of solar that has been put online in the island of Kaua’i is impressive, as are the technical challenges being faced. With the recent addition of a 12 MW-AC solar PV and integrated battery storage project, Kaua’i is now getting an estimated 17.5% of its annual electricity from solar PV – roughly double that of Italy, which meets the highest portion of electricity demand with PV of any nation in the world. When the island’s biomass and hydro are factored in, Kaua’i met an estimated 38% of its electricity with renewables in 2015, more than Germany or California. And this is only the beginning. SolarCity is planning another 12 MW-AC PV plant with integrated storage, and the island expects to meet 25% of annual demand with PV in 2018. There are two key takeaways. First: As Kaua’i is proving, any alleged “limits” to levels of wind and solar integration are a joke when energy storage (including pumped hydro) is considered. Second: if Kaua’i can do this, there is no excuse for other regions, where the integration of high levels of wind and solar does not face these sorts of technical challenges and unfavorable conditions.
Energy Media & Society 3rd Jan 2016 read more »
A City financier supporting a proposed power cable between Iceland and Britain is launching a new venture to build several more links to electricity sources across Europe. Edmund Truell has set up Global Interconnection Group to explore projects similar to the 600-mile Icelink cable that would provide the ability to trade more electricity between the UK and the Channel Islands, Ireland and France, in the hope of easing the threat of shortages as fossil fuel power stations are retired. The new venture comes two years after Mr Truell helped line up international investors to fund a proposed £5bn cable to transport excess geothermal power from Iceland, through his Atlant ic Superconnection vehicle. The planned underwater cable is now the subject of a Government taskforce that will decide whether to subsidise the project. Both the Icelandic cable and the new projects will draw on expertise from Charles Hendry, the former Conservative energy minister who has acted as an adviser to Mr Truell’s ventures since 2013. Mr Truell, a well-connected Conservative party donor, said the new cable to Ireland would take advantage of surplus wind power in the country, while the line from Southampton to the Channel Islands and France could link to a proposed, but delayed, nuclear reactor planned by EDF in Flamanville, just 30 miles off the coast of Guernsey. “These are two-way flows that give much better energy security, and it’s typically much cheaper power than UK wind,” he said. “It would use a connection that was planned for an Isle of Wight wind farm that was scuppered on planning grounds.”
Telegraph 2nd Jan 2016 read more »