Stop Moorside Now! Demo – Outside Whitehaven Civic Hall 16th May from 11am – bring music, bring yourselves and let’s stop this nuclear madness. This is the first day of the CONsultation. The only response is NO!
Radiation Free Lakeland 3rd May 2015 read more »
The advent of large and increasingly efficient wind turbines placed miles out to sea, complementing those operating onshore, will play a big part, as will hydroelectric and pumped storage. Financial penalties for higher emitting power stations – particularly coal-fired ones – and rewards for renewables will accelerate this change. And it’s already happening. ScottishPower was one of the first to secure a “contract for difference” to build a giant 714 megawatt windfarm offshore from East Anglia. The cost of generation will be almost one fifth cheaper than for similar offshore projects awarded contracts just a year ago. This is in addition to our 1,600MW of wind capacity, mainly onshore in Scotland, but including the 389MW west of Duddon Sands off Cumbria; all enough to power more than two million homes. Meanwhile, as many in Scotland are aware, we were unfortunately forced to signal the likely closure from next year of Longannet, our 2,400MW coal-fired power station that has played a critical role in keeping Scotland’s lights on for 42 years. This would follow the closure of Cockenzie, its sister coal plant, in March 2013. Longannet has felt the burden of penalties for greenhouse gas emissions very keenly. The UK’s unilateral Carbon Price Floor mechanism has given it an annual £150 million bill for 2015-16. The £40m annual grid connection charge levied by National Grid has now tipped the balance so the economics of Longannet no longer add up after this year. Unless something changes, closure is likely. One thing that remains constant in this period of change is security of supply. To help achieve this, ScottishPower is investing around £8 billion over the next five years, mainly in renewables and networks. But with renewables, the wind doesn’t always blow, so having sufficient flexible back-up generation is vital. We plan to invest in further gas-fired generation to do exactly that. And 50 years after our Cruachan pumped storage plant first provided the benefit of instant generation to meet demand peaks, we intend to double its capacity if it proves economic to do so with appropriate incentives.
Herald 4th May 2015 read more »
The Liberal Democrats could support Conservative plans to end onshore wind farm subsidies, Nick Clegg has suggested, in a concession that will anger many of the party’s environmentalist supporters. Mr Clegg on Sunday made “leading the fight on climate change” one of the party’s “red lines” for any potential coalition agreement after the general election. Asked whether he could nevertheless go into a government that was ending onshore wind subsidies, a key Conservative pledge, he said: “There are other green technologies and our whole energy strategy doesn’t just rely on onshore wind.” He said it would be “a great shame to remove one green technology for arbitrary ideological reasons” but added: “I don’t think the whole environmental agenda depends on one green technology.” The concession could smooth the way for a second coalition with the Conservatives. Energy and the environment has been a key battleground over the last five years, in particular over onshore wind.
Telegraph 3rd May 2015 read more »
The U.S. government will put $13.2 million into an environmental trust to pay for evaluations of 16 abandoned uranium mines on land belonging to the Navajo Nation in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, the Justice Department said on Friday. The Justice Department said the agreement was part of its increased focus on environmental and health concerns in Indian country, “as well as the commitment of the Obama Administration to fairly resolve the historic grievances of American Indian tribes and build a healthier future for their people.”
IBT 1st May 2015 read more »
Is Russia stepping up its game regarding the disarmament of nuclear weapons? This was the news last week when Russia sent a letter to a Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Conference, describing the steps Russia has taken to fulfill the aims of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT is widely considered one of the most encompassing arms treaties of all time. It has been signed by 190 states, excluding only Israel, North Korea, India, Pakistan and South Sudan. It stipulates that member states restrict weapons trade, use nuclear technology only for energy needs and cease the manufacturing of nuclear arsenal. In the letter to the conference, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin assured members that, “We have reduced our nuclear weapons stockpiles to minimal levels, thereby making a considerable contribution to the process of comprehensive and complete disarmament.”
Truth Out 3rd May 2015 read more »
Canada – radwaste
A Canadian environmental assessment of a proposal to bury nuclear waste deep underground near the shores of Lake Huron is expected this week amid fierce opposition to the idea from home and abroad. Ontario Power Generation argues that storing the radioactive material in a huge underground bunker set in rock — the deep geological repository or DGR — is the safest way to deal with waste that is potentially dangerous for centuries.
CBC 3rd May 2015 read more »
In a matter of days, no later than May 6, the Joint Review Panel that has steered a 40-month examination of the project, including extensive public hearings, will submit its environmental assessment and recommendations to the federal Ministry of the Environment on the forever disposal of contaminated nuclear waste, from gloves and gowns (low-level stuff) to end fittings and resin columns (materials that bear radionuclide emissions extending as far as 100,000 years).
Toronto Star 3rd May 2015 read more »
US Secretary of State John Kerry sought to pacify Israeli worries over an emerging nuclear deal with Iran in an interview aired Sunday, dismissing some concerns as brought on by “hysteria” over the possible agreement. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been one of the harshest critics of the US-led framework deal with the Islamic Republic, which offers it sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its contested nuclear program.
Guardian 3rd May 2015 read more »
Dale Vince, the chairman of the renewable energy firm Ecotricity and a major Labour donor, has published a plan for four fifths of British power generation to be derived from renewable energy within 15 years, calling for the introduction of “a cow tax” to reduce UK beef consumption. Vince, Britain’s wealthiest green energy businessman, told the Guardian he had discussed his ideas with the shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint, and the energy secretary, Ed Davey, but said he had given up on David Cameron, whom he claimed was in hock to the Ukip wing of his party. Ecotricity is one of the largest renewable energy firms in the UK and the unconventional Vince has given Labour £250,000 to help fight the election. He has also given smaller sums to the Liberal Democrats. Vince’s plan, developed with the research group Cambridge Econometrics, calls for a 2030 decarbonisation target for the power sector, a ban on new coal-fired power generation from 2020, a promise to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels by 2025 and the scrapping of VAT currently charged on electric vehicles, so cutting their cost by 20%.
Gurdian 3rd May 2015 read more »
The number of patents for renewable energy products filed worldwide has fallen by 42% over the last three years,which could suggest that global investment in green energy is stalling. Research from commercial law firm EMW shows that 20,655 green energy patents were filed globally in 2014, for solar power, wind energy, biofuels and waste-generated energy – down from 35,590 in 2012. EMW said this sharp decline has been mainly caused by oversupply in the solar panel market, with Chinese mass production hitting profit margins of other companies. Solar-related patents accounted for 65% of the total (13,551 patents) last year. This has been exacerbated by subsidy cuts for renewables in many countries, including the UK, as well as the dramatic fall in oil prices that has widened the price gap between low carbon and conventional energy.
Guardian 4th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
MORE homes should be fitted with solar panels after thousands of properties had all their energy needs met by the Sun last month, according to environmental campaigners. There was more than enough sunshine throughout April to meet more than 100 per cent of a property’s electricity needs. The data, provided by English-based analysts WeatherEnergy, found homes fitted with solar photovoltaics (PV) panels relied on no other source for their electricity and spare energy of around 8.5 per cent on average. The charity WWF Scotland now wants more households to fit the devices to roofs. The surey also found that 99 per cent of the homes monitored had its hot water requirements met. WWF Scotland Director Lang Banks said the findings underlined the potential money-saving power of green energy, while reducing pollution.
Herald 4th May 2015 read more »
National 4th May 2015 read more »
BBC 4th May 2015 read more »
STV 4th May 2015 read more »
It’s not so long ago that solar power and Scotland were most likely to come together in the setting up of a joke. Suggesting in earnest that Scottish homes could rely on the sun for energy would have got you marked down as not the brightest spotlight in the ceiling. However, times are changing, and increasing numbers of our homes are changing too. Tens of thousands of Scottish households have now installed solar panels, a result of better technology, cheaper systems and a realisation that it is hours of daylight not of sunshine that count. New analysis of the weather in April has demonstrated that homes with solar panels installed were able to generate 100 per cent of their electricity needs over the month, and generate a small surplus. Monitored homes managed to generate 99 per cent of their hot water requirements too. This experience is not uncommon. WWF Scotland says tens of th ousands of homes with panels installed are finding the same. Despite warnings that a cut in government tariffs for purchasing electricity would kill the industry, companies providing solar panels have done well, with a reduction in the cost of systems helping keep demand healthy. The time it takes to see a return on the cost of equipment remains a barrier, but it is coming down all the time. Scotland is warming to solar.
Herald 4th May 2015 read more »
Letter Cllr Bill Butler: The Scottish Government needs to provide financial and effective support to allow councils to play an important role in this lowcarbon future. The likes of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Dundee and the island councils are all doing excellent work in developing new renewable energy sources like geothermal, district heating, solar, LED lighting and the like, as well as investing in improvements to the energy efficiency of social housing stock in Scotland to reduce the scourge of fuel poverty. Many councils are a lso pushing forward in a real step-change by the development of local energy service companies and supporting and enabling the push for community energy co-operatives. The last decade has seen Scotland, and the wider UK, at last embrace a low-carbon energy future that moves away from fossil fuel dependency and the risks and waste problems of nuclear power. With a more sophisticated energy strategy that takes advantage of rapid technological advances in energy storage, and prioritises energy demand management, a low-carbon, safe, sustainable energy programme in Scotland can be assured. It is important for politicians of all parties to deliver it.
Herald 4th May 2015 read more »
The planned curbs in greenhouse gas emissions by the nations of the world fall well short of what is required to avoid global average temperatures exceeding the “danger limit” of 2C this century, a report has warned. An analysis of the pledges made by countries attending the climate summit in Paris this December has found that the promised reductions as they stand will still exceed the amount of greenhouses gases widely considered to breach of the safe threshold, it says. The authors of the report have called on nations to be more ambitious in their promises for reductions of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists have found are largely responsible for the rise on global average temperatures over recent decades.
Independent 4th May 2015 read more »
Guardian 4th May 2015 read more »
Scotsman 4th May 2015 read more »