100% Green Power is now possible for Somerset. Theo Simon explores how, from Hydro to Biogas, we can start moving towards a zero-carbon economy NOW, with huge benefits for work and for local communities.
Somerton & Frome Green Party 3rd May 2015 read more »
EDF disconnected its 550 megawatt Dungeness B-22 nuclear plant from Britain’s electricity grid on Friday as part of a planned shutdown, it said in an emailed statement over the weekend. “Unit 22 at Dungeness B power station is on a planned shutdown for a statutory outage which started on 1 May,” a spokesman said in an email.
Reuters 4th May 2015 read more »
Ed Miliband’s commitment to eliminate the vast majority of carbon from the UK power sector by 2030 could cost Britain more than £200bn, according to analysis conducted by The Telegraph. The Labour Party’s manifesto promise to set “a legal target to remove carbon from our electricity supply by 2030” – referred to repeatedly by the Labour leader in speeches since September 2013 and during the election campaign – could result in a huge increase in energy costs for households and businesses. The findings also raise questions about Mr Miliband’s promises to tackle what he calls Britain’s “cost-of-living crisis” and freeze energy prices for two years. The Telegraph’s figures have been reviewed by three energy experts on condition of anonymity as they wanted to remain politically impartial. Based on current strike prices (the difference between the price that the Government agrees to pay for electricity from a given source and the wholesale price), the cost of producing 50pc of the UK’s energy from renewable sources would be £97bn. The cost of building enough nuclear power stations to provide the other 50pc would be £114bn. This gives a combined total of £211bn
Telegraph 5th May 2015 read more »
It is hard to square Labour’s commitment to decarbonise the power sector by power sector by 2030 with its promise to freeze energy prices. The 2015 general election may well be remembered as one in which few people got very excited about anything in particular. All the more astonishing, then, that a pledge at the heart of the Labour Party manifesto committing the UK to spending over £200bn (according to the Telegraph’s analysis) has garnered so little attention. What is even more extraordinary is that Ed Miliband’s commitment to set “a legal target to remove carbon from our electricity supply by 2030” undermines two of Labour’s main themes during the election campaign: to help tackle the cost of living crisis it claims Britain is suffering and to have learnt the lessons of its spendthrift past. Mr Miliband says he can be trusted with the stewardship of the British economy. Not on the basis of this pledge he can’t.
Telegraph 5th May 2015 read more »
Nick Clegg has already sold the pass on onshore wind even before negotiations with the Conservatives have begun for a new Government. Nick Clegg has announced that he will agree to cut-off incentives for onshore wind as part of a new agreement with the Conservatives. Given that the Lib Dems seem only likely to make a Parliamentary difference by propping up a Cameron Government one wonders just how much the Lib Dems much prized green commitments are really worth. Practically nothing, it seems. The Lib Dems are poised to plough a future now as little more than a fading liberal fringe of the Tories. And a very ineffective fringe at that! They will accept a referendum on the EU (which will only strengthen UKIP either way) and now, when it comes to energy, they will do little more than embellish (if at all) what the Conservatives would do anyway.
Dave Toke’s Blog 4th May 2015 read more »
The meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi revitalized the public debate over the value and safety of nuclear energy. Do Americans see a nuclear plant as a devastating accident waiting to happen — or the solution to climate change? Polls over the last decade have shown that most Americans do not make strong associations between nuclear energy and climate change solutions. Furthermore, 44 percent believe that nuclear plants contribute a lot or some to global warming. If the public came to associate nuclear energy closely with preventing climate change, support for nuclear would likely increase — at least, unless another accident were to bring another shift in public opinion.
Huffington Post 4th May 2015 read more »
US – radwaste
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz recently announced two new decisions about how the nation plans to deal with nuclear waste. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is beginning a search for an interim facility to consolidate and store spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants until a permanent waste repository becomes available It is now planning separate repositories for this commercial waste and the waste from the military’s nuclear weapons production instead of disposing of both in the same repository as originally intended.
Las Vegas Sun 4th May 2015 read more »
US – decommissioning
At the edge of Humboldt Bay in northern California lies a relic from the heyday of U.S. nuclear power. The reactor was shut down in 1976. The remaining cost to decommission the plant once and for all -– cleaning up lingering radiological dangers, dismantling the remains — will be about $441 million, according to its owner, PG&E Corp. The question is who will pay — for Humboldt Bay, and for dozens of other reactors that are in the process of closing or might soon. Nuclear operators like PG&E are supposed to lay up enough money to cover the costs, similar to how corporations fund pensions. Turns out, most haven’t.
Bloomberg 4th May 2015 read more »
Canada – radwaste
A nine year review of a proposal by Ontario Power Generation to bury radioactive wastes immediately beside Lake Huron is about to enter its final days, with the federal Joint Review Panel required to file its report by Wednesday, May 6th. Thirty-three days of hearings ended in September 2014. Since that time, the three-person panel – appointed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the federal Minister of the Environment – have been considering the tens of thousands of pages of written submissions, including OPG’s proposal, and hearing transcripts. Final comments were filed by hearing participants – including public intervenors, Saugeen Ojibway Nation, government departments, the CNSC and OPG – in October. Submissions outlined numerous outstanding issues and uncertainties related to the OPG proposal.
News About Nuclear Waste 4th May 2015 read more »
Belgium – renewables
Four Belgian energy ministers, the federal minister, and three regional ministers commissioned three scientific partners as part of an effort towards evolving the Belgian energy system in 2011. The three partners are the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB), the Council of Institute and Studies in Sustainable Development (ICEDD), and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). The consortium is to bring to light the possibilities of the Belgian energy system transitioning exclusively to the use renewable energy. A Belgian energy mix of all renewable energy by 2050 is the goal.
Planet Save 3rd May 2015 read more »
France and Saudi Arabia believe that any future deal between Iran and six major powers must ensure not to destabilise the region further and threaten Iran’s neighbours, the two countries said ahead of a summit in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Reuters 5th May 2015 read more »
The Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, commonly known as the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), has helped curb the spread of nuclear weapons since 1970. Over the next month, diplomats from around the globe will gather at the United Nations to review progress on the accord. Its future depends on the commitment of member states to reduce existing stockpiles and address new proliferation challenges. Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow Adam Mount offers three things to know about the NPT.
Council on Foreign Relations 4th May 2015 read more »
A GROUP of anti-nuclear protesters who occupied a “sacred” city centre church have hit back at criticism, saying they chose the site on purpose and were careful to avoid causing any damage. Last month the Tamarians, the local branch of the Trident Ploughshares campaign group, set up camp at the blitzed Charles Church in a demonstration against government spending on nuclear submarines, prompting outrage from veterans who said the protest was “completely disrespectful”.
Plymouth Herald 5th May 2015 read more »
Renewables – solar
CAMPAIGNERS are calling for more homes and businesses to make use of solar power after figures showed there was enough sunshine last month to power electricity supplies. Around 35,000 homes and 600 business premises in Scotland currently have solar panels. Data from WeatherEnergy showed that sunshine in Edinburgh in April generated more electricity than is used in an average home – 113 per cent – while in Aberdeen the figure was 111 per cent, 106 per cent in Glasgow and 104 per cent in Inverness. For homes fitted with solar hot water panels, there was enough sunshine in the cities to cover average usage. WWF Scotland is now calling on more home and business owners to make use of the technology. Director Lang Banks said: “For the tens of thousands of Scottish households that have already installed solar panels, there was enough sun to effectively meet all of their electricity or hot water needs, helping to reduce our reliance on polluting fossil fuels.
Scotsman 5th May 2015 read more »
SOLAR-powered Scottish homes saw 100% of their electricity needs met by the sun during April, it was revealed today. Environmentalists are calling for more homes and businesses to embrace solar power as new figures reveal there was enough sunshine in April to have met more than 100% of the electricity needs of an average house. Wind turbines in Scotland also generated enough electricity on average to supply the electrical needs of 69% of Scottish households – the equivalent of 1.66 million homes.
Deadline News 4th May 2015 read more »
Energy Voice 4th May 2015 read more »
See News Renewables 4th May 2015 read more »
Click News 4th May 2015 read more »
Energy Business Review 4th May 2015 read more »
Directors Talk 4th May 2015 read more »
In Kenya, where less than a quarter of the 45-million population has access to electricity, a solar lamp project is helping rural communities save money on expensive and harmful fuel while reducing carbon emissions. The Use Solar, Save Lives initiative was set up in 2004 by Evans Wadongo, 29, an engineer who experienced the dangerous effects of kerosene lamps growing up in a western Kenyan village. Studying close to an open flame, he was exposed to kerosene smoke, notorious for provoking breathing and vision defects, which left him with permanent eye problems.
Guardian 5th May 2015 read more »
Many UK businesses are unaware of a new European Union directive which comes into force at the end of the year that will oblige them to carry out an ‘energy audit’ to reduce their carbon footprint and significantly increase production and cost-efficiency across their operations. Companies with 250 or more employees, or an annual turnover in excess of €50 million, must become ESOS-compliant by the deadline of 5 December 2015.
Scottish Energy News 5th May 2015 read more »
Perhaps the biggest short term significance of the Musk home batteries which will store power generated by solar pv arrays (or wind turbines) is that they will help grassroots renewable energy generators fight back against monopolistic utilities in countries such as the USA and Australia. Various of these dinosaurs are trying to strangle the decentralised energy revolution at birth by refusing to pay much for solar pv ‘exported’ to their systems, or, even worse, in some cases, by actually charging the home generators for the privilege of using their electricity wires. Hence these batteries will be of good practical use in helping the renewable generators fight back. They will be able to store their production when it is generated and use it when it is not sunny, or windy. They won’t need the dirty power from the wires owned by the utilities! If the utilities were more enlightened and had any foresight (unlikely in many cases) they would encourage local renewable generators to utilise storage systems in order to avoid spending money on grid upgrades and power stations. But don’t expect the bog boys to rush at this one.
Dave Toke’s Blog 1st May 2015 read more »
Late Thursday, Tesla unveiled a suite of new battery products for homes, business, and even utility scale applications. The home product, dubbed the Tesla Powerwall, will store either 10 kilowatt-hours worth of energy (for $ 3,500) or 7 kilowatt-hours (for $3,000). Importantly, though, these costs do not include the cost of installing the battery or the cost of a power inverter, meaning that what a customer actually pays could be substantially more. The company says it will start to deliver the batteries in “late summer.” For those closely following developments in the energy storage space, there are two key details here that are worth considering — the cost of the battery itself, and what it would actually mean to have 10 kilowatt-hours of backup energy or energy storage in your home.
Washington Post 1st May 2015 read more »
Friends of the Earth
Craig Bennett has today been confirmed as Friends of the Earth’s new Chief Executive Officer. Since 2010 Craig has led the Charity’s campaigns department as its Director of Policy and Campaigns. Under his campaign leadership, the organisation achieved a number of notable successes including ensuring the UK remains frack-free and securing a National Pollinator Strategy to reverse the decline of bees. Prior to this role at Friends of the Earth, he was Deputy Director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and Director of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change from 2007 to 2010, where he built the Group into one of the most influential and progressive business voices in the international climate debate. Craig replaces Andy Atkins, who steps down this summer as CEO after seven years in the role.
FoE 29th April 2015 read more »