The government needs a “plan B” on nuclear power, because of the danger that new reactors will not be built in time to avoid energy shortages and possible blackouts, an influential committee of MPs has warned. The warning follows concerns raised by Alistair Buchanan, the outgoing chief executive of the energy regulator, Ofgem, that the decommissioning of many of the UK’s ageing fleet of power stations could sharply increase the risk of shortages within a few years. EDF Energy, the French national energy company that will lead the building of the first plant, is in a stand-off with ministers over demands for higher prices for its energy, and work on the first potential reactor is likely to face further opposition, endangering the government’s timetable for new plants. Any power shortages are unlikely to result in blackouts for consumers in the short term, but could affect businesses that are on contracts, forcing them to close if there is an imbalance between supply and demand, and this could be expensive. Tim Yeo, chairman of the energy and climate change select committee, said: “The government seems to be crossing its fingers that private companies will deliver a fleet of new nuclear power stations on time and on budget. Ministers need to urgently come up with a contingency plan in case the nuclear industry does not deliver the new power stations we need.”
Guardian 4th March 2013 read more »
The UK urgently needs to develop a back-up energy strategy in case new nuclear plant are not delivered on time, according to a report by the Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) published today.
Utility Week 4th March 2013 read more »
THE GOVERNMENT’S nuclear power targets are “overly reliant on aspiration and hope” with a worrying lack of contingency planning, the energy and climate change select committee warned today.
City AM 4th March 2013 read more »
A series of obstacles could mean the Government’s target of 16 gigawatts of new nuclear power by 2025 is not met, according to a report from the commons Energy Select Committee. It warns that if new plants do not materialise it could be “much more expensive” to meet Britain’s legally-binding climate change targets, and could leave the country more dependent on imported gas to keep the lights on. Tim Yeo MP, the Committee’s chairman, said ministers must “urgently come up with a contingency plan in case the nuclear industry does not deliver the new power stations we need”. But the committee also criticises the lack of transparency in Government talks with EDF Energy over subsidies to build Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and warns that “new nuclear should not be delivered if the price is too high”.
Telegraph 4th March 2013 read more »
Scotsman 4th March 2013 read more »
Herald 4th March 2013 read more »
Bloomberg 4th March 2013 read more »
FT 4th March 2013 read more »
The UK Government needs an energy “plan B” in case a new generation of nuclear power stations are not built in time, a hard-hitting report is claiming. Anglesey Labour MP Albert Owen and fellow members of the cross-party energy and climate change committee will today urge ministers to stop “crossing their fingers” and “urgently develop a back-up energy strategy”. The MPs warn that failure to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations could make it “much more expensive” to hit climate change targets. Former Welsh Secretary and Labour Neath MP responded to today’s report, saying: “This reinforces the already very strong case for the Severn Barrage. Nuclear’s future is uncertain.
Wales Online 4th March 2013 read more »
A FAILURE to build a new fleet of nuclear power plants, including Sizewell C in Suffolk, could make it extremely difficult and expensive to meet goals to cut carbon emissions, it has been warned. But Greenpeace head of policy Doug Parr said: “The fact new nuclear may not deliver is not news to anyone who’s been following the issue.”
East Anglia Daily Times 4th March 2013 read more »
The Energy and Climate Change Committee report, Building New Nuclear: the challenges ahead, warns if plans for 16GW of nuclear power collapse, it is likely that fossil fuels would fill the gap. It says the subsidies offered to nuclear operators are too generous, and in a damning indictment of the Department of Energy and Climate Change claims there is no ‘Plan B’ if current plans flop. At present EDF Energy is the only company committed to investing in nuclear plants in the UK.
RTCC 3rd March 2013 read more »
“The fact new nuclear may not deliver is not news to anyone who’s been following the issue,” he said. “Instead of putting all its effort into covertly subsidising nuclear, the Government needs a plan B with energy efficiency and renewables at its core, which are able to deliver now.”
Business Green 3rd March 2013 read more »
The government should extend state-backed guarantees to all nuclear new build projects, according to a report out by the Energy and Climate Change Committee today. In the Building New Nuclear: the challenges ahead report published today by the Energy and Climate Change Committee, MPs said they were pleased about potential government support for the Hinkley Point C project, as revealed in Construction News last month. But it called for similar backing to be given to projects that are further away from final investment decisions, such as the NuGen and Horizon projects.
Construction News 4th March 2013 read more »
A new Tory-Liberal Democrat flashpoint has emerged with senior Liberal Democrats revealing their intention to join a cross-party rebellion to demand a quickly established decarbonisation target for the power sector. The rebellion is expected in a key Commons vote this month with the Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, indicating he will back the move, vowing he will “maintain the pressure on the government as best he can”.
Guardian 3rd March 2013 read more »
None of Japan’s nuclear power plants that have been idled since the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami are likely to restart operations within the year as safety checks under new standards are not expected to be completed, a Kyodo news agency survey of utilities showed Sunday.
Market Watch 3rd March 2013 read more »
The plutonium produced during World War II and used to fuel the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was developed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation site in Washington State. In the decades since that site has become a dumping ground for nuclear waste produced by the military; and now CBS News has released a report that calls the Hanford Reservation “the most contaminated nuclear site in the country,” because large volumes of the toxic waste are leaking.
Oil Price 3rd March 2013 read more »
Consumer groups are calling for an audit of the costs of wind farms after it emerged that operators are receiving additional and lucrative payments not to generate in blustery weather. National Grid has begun paying wind farms to turn themselves off to balance the system when either electricity demand plummets or the amount of power generated is higher than anticipated. These extra costs are passed on to electricity suppliers such as British Gas and ultimately paid for by consumers in the shape of higher energy bills. Ann Robinson, from the price-comparison website uSwitch.com, said that consumers had a right to know how much of their bill goes on these hidden extra costs. “It’s important that the Government takes account of all these rising costs,” she said. “We need a full costing of wind farms to be carried out. If th e average consumer understood this, they would be quite upset about it and they would be right to be.”
Times 4th March 2013 read more »
From 2016, landlords will not be able to refuse reasonable requests for energy-efficiency improvements under the Green Deal, while from 2018 it will be an offence for landlords to let out properties with the worst energy-efficiency ratings. Consumers who want to go further can install renewable energy systems such as heat pumps and solar water heaters. Due to their high installation costs, these systems are not yet cost-effective in their own right, according to Mr Horne, which is why they are supported by schemes such as the feed-in tariff for solar PV panels and the approaching Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), due to be introduced this summer for domestic households. Final details are not yet available but the scheme is expected to work like the feed-in tariffs for solar panels, with a tariff set per unit of heat produced.
Telegraph 4th March 2013 read more »
As UK coal use increases significantly and the chair of the government’s Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Conservative peer Lord Debden endorses investment into shale gas, is fracking in the UK part of the answer to tackling climate change?
Energy Desk 3rd March 2013 read more »
Greenpeace is fracking in George Osborne’s constituency.
Frackandgo 4th March 2013 read more »