The French government is prepared to sell shares in some of the country’s leading companies to help finance a €3 billion fundraising drive by the company behind the Hinkley Point nuclear power project in Britain. It owns 85 per cent of EDF, the indebted electricity company, and has agreed to support three quarters of a €4 billion capital injection plan that was announced last month. There are plans to sell airports in Nice and Lyons to help raise the money and Emmanuel Macron, the French economy minister, has said that there would be “other operations” tapped. Shares in Renault and Safran, the aerospace and defence group, could be sold, according to the Financial Times.
Times 2nd May 2016 read more »
Politics Home 2nd May 2016 read more »
The quality audit launched at the end of 2015 on AREVA’s equipment manufacturing plants continues. As regards the Le Creusot plant, at this stage the audit has revealed production monitoring anomalies which are currently being characterized. This characterization phase underway is to establish any possible impact on product quality and shall continue in the weeks to come. A process for information and consultation with the ASN in particular is being implemented. The audit being conducted indicates that these anomalies relate to actions carried out in the past. The organization and procedures currently in place at Le Creusot no longer permit such actions today. In order to characterize the findings, a technical committee has been set up in connection with EDF. At this preliminary stage, no information has come to light that would jeopardize the mechanical integrity of the parts. AREVA will provide a status report before May 31.
Business Wire 29th April 2016 read more »
Cost estimates for the UK’s proposed Hinkley Point C reactor have crept up to £24 billion (about $35 billion), making even some of humanity’s more ambitious construction projects seem like small potatoes. The Large Hadron Collider cost “just” $5.8 billion to build, the BBC notes. About the only thing that rivals Hinkley on Earth is Chevron’s recently completed $54 billion natural gas plant in Australia. If you’re not picky, the International Space Station’s collective modules top everything at a total of $110 billion.
Engadget 2nd May 2016 read more »
James Fisher Nuclear hopes that a £60m nuclear decommissioning contract will act as a powerful magnet for more work in the UK and around the world, including potentially at Fukushima in Japan. The subsidiary of James Fisher & Sons, the Barrow-based marine specialist, is to clean up the Winfrith power station in Dorset on a four year contract, awarded by Magnox, that will see the site returned to a natural environment.
In Cumbria 3rd May 2016 read more »
A British company has won a contract to help to build a fleet of as many as 20 floating nuclear power stations in China. Lloyd’s Register is involved in the scheme to build floating reactors that could be deployed around the world to provide electricity at remote coastal sites or in countries facing power shortages. The National Development Reform Commission, of China, is masterminding a plan to construct the first plant by 2019, according to King Lee, the head of nuclear development at Lloyd’s Register, which is advising on the safety implications. Mr Lee said that the plants, which will generate up to 300 megawatts of electricity each, enough to power 200,000 UK homes, could be used to drive offshore oil and gas drilling equipment or desalination plants.
Times 3rd May 2016 read more »
Energy Supplies – Scotland
The SNP has welcomed latest figures showing a significant increase in wind power generated in Scotland – and called on the UK Government to stop “pulling the rug from underneath a flourishing industry”. New figures show that wind turbines in April have generated 15% more electricity than in the same period last year. This was enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 79% of Scottish households.
Scottish Energy News 3rd May 2016 read more »
A jump in wind power led to turbines producing enough electricity to meet the needs of more than three-quarters of Scottish households in April, figures reveal. Wind farms provided 699,684MWh (megawatt-hours) of electricity to the National Grid last month, enough to power 79 per cent of average Scottish households, equivalent to 1.9 million homes. The energy output has increased by 15 per cent compared with the same time last year when wind energy provided 608,601MWh of electricity to the grid.
Scotsman 2nd May 2016 read more »
BBC 3rd May 2016 read more »
Herald 3rd May 2016 read more »
POLITICIANS are being urged to implement a new energy strategy that takes Scotland to the “next level” in the use of renewables, as new figures showed the output from wind power has increased by 15 per cent on the same period last year. The call from environmental group WWF Scotland came in an analysis of wind and solar data from information group WeatherEnergy, which also showed that in April for homes fitted with solar panels, sunshine provided at least 70 per cent of an average household’s electricity or hot water needs. It said wind turbines in Scotland provided 699,684 Megawatts per hour (Mwh) of electricity to the National Grid – enough to supply the average electrical needs of 79 per cent of Scottish households (1.9 million homes) – 15 per cent up on April 2015. Wind turbines generated enough elect ricity to supply more than 100 per cent of Scottish homes on eight out of the 30 days of April. For those with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 95 per cent of the electricity needs of an average household in Dundee, 87 per cent in Edinburgh, 86 per cent in Aberdeen, 84 per cent in Glasgow, and 83 per cent in Inverness. And homes with solar hot water panels saw enough sunshine to generate 82 per cent of hot water needs in Inverness, 80 per cent in Dundee, 78 per cent in Aberdeen, 76 per cent in Glasgow and 74 per cent in Edinburgh. WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “If we’re to move to the next level in the global shift to a zero-carbon society then the next Scottish Government must bring forward an energy strategy that ensures Scotland is the first EU nation to have a completely renewable electricity generation system by 2030.”
The National 3rd May 2016 read more »
Three of Germany’s eight remaining nuclear reactors have been off for most of April (and you thought they ran reliably 24/7…). What does power production look like now? What has the impact been on German power production? The IWR report points out what the Germans focus on: the lights stayed on – this statement is important for them because they were told for so many decades that Germany could not do without nuclear. But for foreign onlookers, the question is carbon emissions – and hence, coal power. The phaseout of the remaining reactors by the end of 2022 will leave a lot of space for electricity from coal plants, but two other factors might keep this potential growth in check: greater renewable energy production; and lower foreign demand for German electricity as the power plants moved back up the merit order, eventually allowing natural gas turbines to play a larger role.
Renew Economy 3rd May 2016 read more »
Renewables – wave power
The quango tasked with saving the Scottish wave energy industry is looking to recruit a number of experts to assess key technical aspects of a range of pre-market energy converters and related products. Wave Energy Scotland was set up by the Scot-government shortly after the high-profile collapse of major Scottish wave power companies such as Pelamis. The quango is looking for a range of consultants but neither the wages they will be paid, nor the budget allocated for their services – nor the number of consultants required – has been published by the taxpayer subsidised organisation.
Scottish Energy News 3rd May 2016 read more »
If you had to say which country has the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, Europe’s biggest floating solar park and electricity from the dregs of Fruit Pastilles, you might not guess it was the UK. But over the past five years, with the help of more than £10bn in subsidies, Britain has quietly become a star in the world of green power. A record 25 per cent of electricity generated last year came from wind farms, solar panels and other renewable power sources, up from 9 per cent in 2011. For the first time, renewable sources provided more power over the year than coal, the fuel that made the UK the birthplace of the industrial revolution. That puts Britain within shouting distance of Germany, home of the “Energiewende” green power revolution. Germans got 27 per cent of their electricity from renewables two years ago and about 33 per cent last year. The speed at which renewables have grown in the UK led the government to last year start curbing some subsidies, which are largely paid for by levies on consumer energy bills. But the future of the UK’s green conversion is unclear. Shortly after taking office last year Amber Rudd, the Conservative secretary of state running the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said she would rein in green subsidies to protect “hard-working families” from higher energy bills. At least two solar power companies have since gone into administration and some analysts say more could follow in a renewable energy sector that employed more than 112,000 people in 2014.
FT 3rd May 2016 read more »
The UK’s renewable energy revolution has been fast, widespread and sometimes just plain strange. From the Flying Bum airship to the electricity made from Glenfiddich whisky leftovers, here are just some of the projects in Great Green Britain.
FT 3rd May 2016 read more »
The instruction in the recent Stop Climate Chaos Scotland online election debate was “Ask the climate question”. Large numbers turned up, and logged on, to put questions to Holyrood candidates. The debate covered issues such as the future of oil extraction in Scotland, transport priorities and the need for government, communities and individuals to act. The shift in perspective was striking. Since the huge climate marches in Scotland and around the world of December last year, and since the agreement on climate action in Paris, there is a growing momentum for action with a question: Will we do enough and in time? The science, worsening weather events, continuing record temperature rises, consequences of inaction – all demand strong action now. Our Stop Climate Chaos Scotland election manifesto “Securing a low carbon Scotland for 2020 and beyond” sets out key priorities against which voters can measure that commitment – action for energy efficiency and renewable heat for homes; help for people to move from cars to public transport, walking and cycling; using air passenger duty to cut emissions; and an ambitious strategy on saving emissions through the way we use land. We suggest decisions about long-lasting infrastructure should help us to a fossil -fuel-free economy. Scotland should reinforce its financial support on climate change for people in the developing world. Investment, incentives and regulation across government should be used to help, not hinder, the move to a low carbon future.
Scotsman 2nd May 2016 read more »