The terrifyingly bad-value Hinkley Point C deal based on out-dated renewables projections and unproven nuclear technology offers an already archaic answer to a problem that could be solved with ever- cheaper alternative renewables. Instead, affirmation of the nuclear renaissance for the UK demonstrates a desperate grasp at international cooperation in the wake of Brexit. Hinkley Point C is a solution for a problem that existed when the deal was first dreamt up, 10 years ago, which no longer has relevance to the technology and systems available today, which make a non-nuclear, renewable energy system ever more viable. May’s concession to geopolitical pressure to construct the radioactive monstrosity at the cost of an astonishingly bad value deal will therefore ultimately undermine the UK’s chance to develop an innovative, truly renewable energy system for the future.
Politheor 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
My last post was about the ‘review’ of the Hinkley C project. I have now received the final decision from the BEIS over my Freedom Of Information request. I have not spent much time looking through the document by a link from a link does take you to some of the related documents. These can be found at here. First of all I thought that I must have missed these when I originally looked for the review documents. However, the documents are dated the 29th September 2016 and where put on the web on the same date which is several days after my original request which was on the 21st September 2016.
Peter Lux 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has criticised the government’s energy policy after it was revealed that the taxpayer is already in line to pay for the disposal of radioactive waste from the new nuclear power station due to be constructed at Hinkley Point.
Newry Times 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
Working with the regulators and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has identified an opportunity to improve current arrangements that apply to the regulation of the final stages of nuclear site decommissioning and clean-up. For example, to enable a more flexible approach to site clean-up that takes account of a range of possible site end states and opportunities to optimise waste management. The UK Government would welcome views from stakeholders to ensure any subsequent development of policy in this area is well informed prior to undertaking formal public consultation. While we welcome views from all interested parties, we expect the following stakeholders will have a particular interest: local communities in the vicinity of existing nuclear sites, nuclear operators and liability owners, local authorities and members of the nuclear industry (including the radioactive waste management supply chain). In addition to considering written responses to this discussion paper, the UK Government intends to meet with interested parties to discuss the proposals.
BEIS 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
Cumbria Trust has long believed that the national geological screening process would simply be a charade before the government returns to Cumbria to bury its nuclear waste. According in-Cumbria.com this morning, it appears that our worst fears have been confirmed. Apparently, energy Minister Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe has decided not to wait for the results of the screening process, before indicating that west Cumbria is almost certainly the chosen location according to this article from in-cumbria.com What was supposed to be a decision based on geology and local democracy, appears to have already been made without concern for either. If this is the case, it cannot and indeed will not go unchallenged.
Cumbria Trust 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
The Government has underlined its commitment to the nuclear industry and reaffirmed plans for a nuclear waste repository, almost certainly in west Cumbria Energy Minister Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe hailed a “nuclear renaissance” when she addressed the Office for Nuclear Regulation Industry Conference on Tuesday. She said: “It feels like we are seeing a renaissance in the nuclear industry. “With the recent signing of the Hinkley Point C contract, a clear signal has been sent – nuclear will continue to play a significant role in our future energy mix.” In a reference to NuGen’s plans for a power plant at Moorside, Sellafield, she added: “We’re going further, with proposals to develop 18GW of nuclear power across six sites in the UK.”
Whitehaven News 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
The bias of the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission ‒ and the state government’s push to turn the state into the world’s nuclear waste dump ‒ is finally being exposed. RenewEconomy ran an article about some of these problems in April but other media publications have been slower to catch on. Yesterday, ABC radio’s AM program ran a story about the conflict of interest underpinning the economic case for importing nuclear waste and journalist Stephen Long followed up with an online article. The ABC revealed ‒ if revealed if the word, since others have raised these issues previously ‒ that the consultancy firm hired by the Royal Commission, Jacobs MCM, has deep links to the nuclear industry. Specifically, the economic report was written by Charles McCombie and Neil Chapman, the president and vice president of ARIUS, the Association for Regional and International Underground Storage.
Renew Economy 4th Nov 2016 read more »
All federal government buildings will source their electricity from renewable energy sources within the next eight years. This target is part of Ottawa’s efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. “Progress towards this reduction will be achieved by strategic investments in infrastructure and vehicle fleets, green procurement and support for clean technology,” the government said in an online statement. Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna claimed that the initiative will spur demand for renewables throughout the country, noting plans by the Department of National Defence to purchase undisclosed amounts of renewable electricity for its facilities in the western province of Alberta.
Renew Economy 4th Nov 2016 read more »
Six companies have shown interest in building additional nuclear reactors at existing power plants in the Czech Republic, a government official was quoted as saying on Tuesday. The Czech Republic has kept open plans to build new nuclear power capacity even after state-controlled utility CEZ cancelled a tender to enlarge its Temelin power station in 2014. However, any decision to proceed with construction is unlikely to come until after a new government is in place following elections due in October 2017. Jan Stuller, the government’s special envoy for nuclear power, told the CTK news agency that Russia’s Rosatom, French group EDF, U.S. company Westinghouse, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, China General Nuclear Power and a grouping of France’s Areva and Mitsubishi Atmea had all shown interest in future construction.
Reuters 1st Nov 2016 read more »
“… Consumers for Smart Solar is funded by utilities and front groups seeking to prevent changes to state law that would open the solar market in Florida and specifically allow third party solar leases. Third party solar accounted for 72 precent of residential solar installed across the country in 2014. Instead, the utility-backed ballot initiative would continue to restrict the solar market in Florida by writing into the state constitution that homeowners and businesses cannot use third party solar leases”. FPL and Duke have recently announced that they are moving forward with proposed Toshiba AP1000 Nuclear Reactors; Southern is currently trying to build one in Georgia. FPL and Duke are Florida’s two largest electric utilities: “October 31, 2016 — Florida’s two largest electric utilities and their allies have contributed another $3.5 million into the political action committee attempting to pass Amendment 1, a deceptive ballot initiative which would set back the growth of solar power in Florida, according to new data released today by the Florida Division of Elections.”
Mining Awareness 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
Widely-available low cost renewable power is on the horizon and intermittency need not be a barrier to taking advantage of plummeting energy costs, according to former chair of the UK’s Climate Change Commission (CCC), Lord Adair Turner. Speaking in London yesterday, Lord Turner said work he had overseen since beginning his role as chair of the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) last year suggested 80-90 per cent renewables-powered grids were achievable in the UK within the next 20 years at a competitive cost. Established in September 2015 to help push forward the transition to low carbon economy, the ETC is a global expert body made up of 27 environmental and clean energy leaders, including former US Vice President Al Gore, UK economist Lord Nicholas Stern, and former Mexico President Felipe Calderon. “What has struck me from the results of what we have done so far is a remarkable piece of good news,” Lord Turner said yesterday. “We are convinced that we will be able to build in the next 20 years something close to wholly-renewable systems – 80 or 90 per cent intermittent renewable systems – even if you don’t have a significant base load of nuclear, and also at a clearly sustainable cost in terms of the total cost.” Lord Turner said that when he was chair of the CCC nearly a decade ago he had not foreseen the kind of highly competitive renewable energy costs now being delivered at energy contract auctions around the world.
Business Green 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – onshore wind
The UK’s climate targets are at risk if the government does not reverse its decision to end support for windfarms, the head of one of the Big Six energy companies has warned. Keith Anderson of ScottishPower said onshore wind power should be opened up to the government’s new subsidy regime because the technology could be deployed quickly, help energy bills and cut carbon emissions. The government will end existing subsidies for new onshore windfarms from April next year, leading the utility rushing to complete eight projects that already had planning permission, all in Scotland. The Spanish-owned company is currently putting up turbines at a rate of almost one a day. Analysts at Bloomberg have said that wind power is already the cheapest form of new power in the UK, and Anderson said that more onshore wind would be essential to keep energy bills down. But he said it was “extremely doubtful” the company would build any new onshore wind without support. While he said he understood the Conservatives had a manifesto pledge to end subsidies for onshore wind due to some local opposition in England, there was no reason the contracts for difference could not be opened to future windfarms built in Scotland, which has a target of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2020.
Guardian 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
Giving solar access to Contracts for Difference auction could pave way for subsidy-free renewables, industry argues.
Business Green 3rd Nov 2016 read more »
Scottish Labour is to lodge a Holyrood member’s bill aiming to “change the law to ban fracking in Scotland”. Labour MSP Claudia Beamish is to launch a public consultation as part of her bid to have the controversial practice banned north of the border. The Scottish government has imposed a moratorium on fracking while collecting and considering scientific evidence. Labour’s announcement comes on the same day as the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change is ratified. The SNP government at Holyrood is expected to publish its findings about unconventional oil and gas extraction soon, having recently formally distanced itself from Underground Coal Gasification. The Scottish parliament actually voted to support an outright ban on fracking in June, although SNP members abstained from that vote. Ms Beamish said the “climate science and evidence is clear” about fracking. She said: “Scotland relying on fracking for our energy needs will lock us into an energy infrastructure based on fossil fuels long after our country needs to have moved to clean energy. “SNP ministers now face an urgent choice – they can work with Labour to ban fracking, or they can work with the Tories to allow drilling under family homes in parts of central Scotland.”
BBC 4th Nov 2016 read more »
Herald 4th Nov 2016 read more »
Scotsman 4th Nov 2016 read more »
Scottish Energy News 4th Nov 2016 read more »
The world will still face dangerous climate change even if all countries fulfil pledges made under a global deal to cut emissions, according to a United Nations report. The Paris Agreement on climate change comes into force today but the global average temperature will still rise by about 3C (37F) unless countries agree to cut emissions by at least 25 per cent more than their existing commitments, the UN Environment Programme (Unep) said. The agreement committed signatories – including the UK – to holding the increase in global average temperatures well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5C. The average global temperature has already risen by 1C and this year is on course to be the third in a row to break the record for the hottest year since measurements began in 1880.
Times 4th Nov 2016 read more »
The Paris agreement on climate change enters into force on Friday, marking the first time that governments have agreed legally binding limits to global temperature rises. The passage of the accord – the fruit of more than two decades of often tortuous international negotiations on combating climate change – was hailed by nations and observers around the world. Under the agreement, all governments that have ratified the accord, which includes the US, China, India and the EU, now carry an obligation to hold global warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels. That is what scientists regard as the limit of safety, beyond which climate change is likely to become catastrophic and irreversible. Countries have put forward commitments on curbing carbon emissions under the agreement, but a report on Thursday found those pledges would see temperature rises significantly overshoot the threshold, with 3C of warming. Environmental groups urged governments to do more.
Guardian 4th Nov 2016 read more »
Current climate commitments are insufficient to reduce emissions by the amounts needed to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, says Unep report.
Guardian 4th Nov 2016 read more »
JOHN AINSLIE, co-ordinator of Scottish CND for over 25 years, passed away Friday October 21. I only met John twice in person but his legend lives in the remarkable collection of research he left us, which attests to his contribution as the best independent British-based researcher on nuclear weapons of mass destruction. It’s clear he made full public service use of his degree in international relations. John also ran the Scottish CND office for many years and he was a tireless organiser of events and activities all aimed at making the case for a nuclear weapons-free world.
Morning Star 4th Nov 2016 read more »