The conclusion of a consultation with EDF’s Central Works Council yesterday has cleared the way for a final investment decision (FID) to be made on the Hinkley Point C project. In addition, the French state-owned company said the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union is no barrier to the new nuclear power plant project, which is based in Somerset, England.
World Nuclear News 5th July 2016 read more »
The future of Hinkley is still shrouded in uncertainty, says the region’s Green MEP. Three unions representing workers of EDF, the state owned French company due to build the new nuclear reactors, issued a statement saying that the Brexit vote added new elements of uncertainty to the Hinkley Point project. Meanwhile, company bosses and the French government have said Britain’s referendum vote was not a barrier to the project and still expect the deal to be finalised in September. Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, said: “The Hinkley charade continues and is in as much disarray as ever following the Brexit vote. Unions want out and EDF bosses want in. Following the vote to leave the EU we have entered an era of Plan B’s, so let’s add a Plan B for our energy supply to the list. “For months I have been calling for a plan based on the region’s huge renewable energy resources, which has the potential to provide more than 100% of the region’s energy needs and create thousands of new jobs. What is needed is political backing for a genuine energy transition away from dirty fossil fuels and dangerous and costly nuclear towards community owned renewables. We will also need an increase in public investment to bring this about as we will need to replace the private investment that will falter due to Brexit.”
Green Party 4th July 2016 read more »
EDF is pushing its board to make a final decision on the £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point before David Cameron leaves office. The French state-owned power giant insisted that the Brexit vote would have no impact on the scheme, which if built would generate 7 per cent of the UK’s electricity. Its statement followed a meeting with French unions; EDF had been pressured by the French government into a 60-day consultation period that ended yesterday. The unions fear that the project could cripple EDF, which has debts of 37 billion (£31 billion). Jean-Bernard Levy, the chief executive, is pushing for the board to meet this month. The date of the meeting is highly sensitive and is likely to be settled by President Hollande. The French state owns 85 per cent of the company. “EDF . . . considers that the [Brexit] vote does not change the fundamental features of the project nor the willingness of those involved to go ahead with it,” the statement said. “EDF reconfirms its confidence in the HPC [Hinkley Point C] project which has now reached the stage for the board’s final investment decision.”
Times 5th July 2016 read more »
Anglesey County Council in collaboration with Horizon Nuclear Power has unveiled the line-up of preferred contractors to deliver up to £70m of road improvements. The framework firms will be used to deliver the highway work for Wylfa Newydd as well as other projects linked to the County Council’s Energy Island Programme. Eight of the 11 firms that have been successful are from North Wales, with the remaining three companies based in Manchester, Warrington and Derbyshire.
Construction Enquirer 6th July 2016 read more »
Government ministers involved in plans for a new multi-billion pound nuclear power station in Suffolk have issued firm commitments in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European EU. The recent Brexit referendum vote prompted some Government advisors to speculate that the economic uncertainty facing the nation meant it was “extremely unlikely” the French energy giant EDF would invest in its planned projects in the UK – Hinkley Point and Sizewell C. Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, chairman of the Commons energy and climate select committee said Hinkley is “bedevilled by uncertainty”. And Joan Girling, of Together Against Sizewell C, said the vote had created “another complication for what is an already outdated and explosively expensive project”. More recent comments, however, have seen UK and French government ministers make assurances over their commitment to the already long-delayed project in Somerset, which is considered to be the trigger for progressing the £16 billion dual-reactor plant on the Suffolk coast.
East Anglian Daily Times 5th July 2016 read more »
The nuclear industry is celebrating breaking records that have stood for a quarter of a century—but a new update on its successes still fails to disperse the clouds over its future. Ten new nuclear reactors came on line last year worldwide and more new reactors are being built than at any time since 1990. According to the report by the World Nuclear Association (WNA), there were 66 power reactors under construction across the world last year and another 158 planned. Of those being built, 24 were in mainland China. In what it promises will be an annual update of the industry’s “progress,” the WNA presents a rosy picture of the future of the industry, which it hopes will produce ever-increasing amounts of the world’s power. Aside from new build, there is great emphasis in the report on the continued operation of nuclear power stations well beyond their original design life. It says that, in many cases, there is no reason why, with regular refurbishment, many nuclear reactors could not continue in service permanently. In many cases, it says, it would be cheaper to refurbish an existing station than to build a new one.
Ecowatch 5th July 2016 read more »
Andrea Leadsom, the Tory leadership candidate and campaigner to leave the EU, vowed on Tuesday to continue with the UK’s commitments to tackle climate change and decarbonise the energy supply. She said that reducing greenhouse gases was a duty to future generations, and pledged to continue with the UK’s carbon budgets to set a limit on emissions. Her promises, ahead of the first round of the Tory leadership vote among the party’s MPs, were significant. Many in the Brexit camp have disparaged climate change commitments and made abandoning the EU’s plans on emissions a key plank of their platform.
Guardian 5th July 2016 read more »
COUNTER-TERRORISM police officers on the Sellafield site are appealing to the public to report anything suspicious. A new campaign – Project Servator – launched by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) will see an unpredictable police presence around the nuclear plant. This is designed to make it difficult for potential terrorists to plan their attack. Officers insist there is no direct threat to Sellafield but urge the public to be vigilant as nationally the threat remains severe. The tactics used as part of the project have been used regularly by the City of London Police, British Transport Police and by Police Scotland during the Commonwealth Games. “There’s no specific threat to the county or the site but the national threat is still severe – which means an attack is highly likely – so we don’t want people to be complacent,” said project leader Chief Inspector Tony Cole.
NW Evening Mail 4th July 2016 read more »
THE £20 million nuclear archive being built in Caithness could double in size at a future date. The details emerged when members of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group were given an update on the centre, which will store records from all the civil nuclear sites in the UK. Charles Skinner, chief executive of Restore Scan – the company which will manage the facility on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) – said there was potential for the centre to be extended.
John O Groat Journal 5th July 2016 read more »
Argentina has reaffirmed plans to build two nuclear power plants backed by China.
Argus Media 5th July 2016 read more »
Following more than two years of work, a commission looking into the storage of Germany’s high-level radioactive waste has today submitted its final report to the country’s government. The report provides a recommended method for the disposal of the waste in a geologic repository.
World Nuclear News 5th July 2016 read more »
The Germany government has already begun procedures to shut down all of the country’s nuclear reactors. A committee called to make a plan for the country’s nuclear waste problem has said it may take until next century. In 2011, Chancellor’s Angela Merkel’s government announced that all of Germany’s nuclear reactors would be slowly phased out and shut down by 2022, leaving the country with a pressing need to find a storage facility for its atomic waste. However, a two-year investigation by top scientists, industry leaders and representatives of civil society announced on Tuesday that such a facility may not be ready until the next century. Presenting their final report, even the decades-long timetable was described by leading committee member Michael Müller as “ambitious.” The panel had hoped to arrive at a solution where a facility would be ready by 2050, but Müller said such a schedule was logistically impossible.The first challenge is to find an appropriate site. One possible place is the controversial, and small, waste facility in Gorleben in Lower-Saxony, which has long been the flashpoint of intense confrontation between police and anti-nuclear activists. Though Müller said that other sites were also being looked at, and there had been no decision on Gorleben as of yet.
Deutsche Welle 5th July 2016 read more »
A 700-page document prepared by a special commission outlines the required criteria for Germany’s yet-to-be-decided final disposal site for nuclear waste. The report has revived a long and controversial debate. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Socialist Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) finally agree on something: “We have come up with a good compromise,” announced Ursula Heinen-Esser (CDU) and Michael Müller (SPD) Tuesday in Berlin. “But it was hard work.” For the last two years, both politicians have co-chaired a commission with a complicated task: What characteristics must a final disposal site for nuclear waste in Germany have? Questions involved geological formations – that is, salt, granite or clay; depth below the earth’s surface; various methods; and how citizens might participate in the search for an appropriate site. It all sounds technical and a bit boring, but to date, every debate related to nuclear energy in Germany has been highly political and very emotional. And so it is here.
Deutsche Welle 5th July 2016 read more »
The construction of a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Ukraine poses “significant safety risks for the whole of Europe” because of numerous rule and standards violations, Ukrainian environmentalists warn. The Ukrainian Greens Association, a non-profit environmentalist organization, listed the risks in a statement released on Monday. “We are deeply concerned about plans to build a spent nuclear fuel storage in the upper reaches of the Dnepr River close to densely populated places,” the statement said, citing a speech made by the association’s spokeswoman, Anna Rak, at the first Nuclear Energy Policy Forum in Brussels on June 30.
Russia Today 5th July 2016 read more »
May demands Trident vote as anti-nuclear campaigners condemn Tory leadership favourite over stance.
The National 6th July 2016 read more »
Theresa May has backed renewing Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent, calling for a vote in parliament ‘before the summer recess’ so we can ‘get on with getting it built’. Writing in the Daily Mail today, the Home Secretary and frontrunner for Tory leader, and thus Prime Minister, made a strong pitch on defence issues.
Left Foot Forward 5th July 2016 read more »
The Brexit result was just a short time ago and already much has been written about its potential impact on the UK’s renewables industry. Common themes that have emerged are loss of investor confidence, concerns over energy security and delays in much needed investment into the UK’s energy infrastructure. At best, the commentary can be described as well informed speculation. The truth is that nobody can predict the impact with any degree of certainty. Certainty is something that has been sadly lacking for some time within the context of the UK’s renewables industry, and Brexit, coupled with potential for a second Scottish independence referendum, will only serve to extend and most likely intensify the uncertainty. We should not lose sight of the fact that the UK will remain a member of the EU for at least the next two years, however the intense debate that is likely to surround the exit negotiations may well delay decisions by the UK government which are of fundamental importance to the renewables industry, for example, the next CfD allocation round.
Energy Voice 6th July 2016 read more »
The UK is almost certain to miss its EU 2020 targets for renewable energy, the National Grid has said. The firm has produced UK future energy scenarios covering four different approaches in policy. Even in the most environmentally minded scenario, the UK is projected to fail in its target of producing 15% of total energy from renewables. The government no longer claims the 2020 target will be hit but a spokesman said the UK was making good progress.
BBC 5th July 2016 read more »
Edie 5th July 2016 read more »
The UK’s energy supply is changing rapidly, marching on a path which will likely see it diversify, decentralise and decarbonise significantly over the coming decades. However, the pace of change, technological improvement and relative proportion of energy generated from renewables are extremely difficult to project, potentially varying considerably depending on a host of factors. Meanwhile, in order to plan for the future, crucial decisions concerning the UK’s energy supply up to 2050 need to be made within the within the next decade. With these considerations in mind, the National Grid today published its latest Future Energy Scenarios (FES) report, which plots four possible pathways towards 2050, each of which vary based on the UK’s green energy ambition, economic development, and the future prosperity of consumers. Drawing on industry-wide engagement with 362 stakeholders across academia, government, industry, trade associations and charities, the report takes into account different policy and economic landscapes to understand the potential impact on energy supply and demand. In a best-case scenario, the UK will still miss its 15 per cent renewable energy target for 2020.
Business Green 5th July 2016 read more »
Renewables – offshore wind
Danish giant Dong Energy has won the right to develop and build 700MW of offshore wind farms in the Borssele 1 and 2 zones in the Netherlands. The winning strike price bid excluding transmission costs is €72.70 per megawatt-hour. The price support will last for 15 years. Both 350MW projects will be built by mid-2020 with an additional year of flexibility available under the contract. “With Borssele 1 and 2, we’re crossing the levelized cost of electricity mark of €100/MWh for the first time and are reaching a critical industry milestone more than three years ahead of time. This demonstrates the great potential of offshore wind.” A total of 38 bidders were vying for the rights to build at Borssele. A further 700MW of projects will be auctioned later this year in the zone, followed by further action in the Holland North and Holland South areas later this decade.
RENews 5th July 2016 read more »
Renewables – solar
Business rates for rooftop commercial solar power panels will rocket by up to eight times current rates across the UK in April 2017, unless the Government intervenes between now and then. Public authorities, schools and community buildings that have solar on their roofs are also at risk of being affected by this tax rise. The Solar Trade Association has been in talks with the Valuation Office Agency and its equivalent bodies that administer business rates in devolved administrations in Scotland and N. Ireland to minimise or remove the intended tax increase. However the problem lies with the way business rates legislation is worded and therefore requires attention from government.
Scottish Energy News 6th July 2016 read more »
The UK solar industry broke a new record in June, generating as much as 23.9% of UK electricity demand, according to the UK Solar Trade Association. The UK solar industry had plenty of reasons to celebrate its third “Solar Independence Day” on Monday, with the UK’s solar trade body, the Solar Trade Association (STA), announcing that solar generation peaked early in June at 23.9% of UK electricity demand — a new record for the UK. According to the STA, the UK now has almost 12GW of solar PV installed, across homes, offices, schools, warehouses, and a number of solar farms. This equates to being able to power the equivalent of 3.8 million homes.
Renew Economy 6th July 2016 read more »
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union frees up the nation to set environmental rules independent of the other 27-nations in the bloc, raising the risk for renewable energy developers that restrictions will be loosened on coal power. Only one of the five candidates vying to replace Prime Minister David Cameron in September has a defined energy policy, according to Michael Jacobs, a former government climate adviser now at the Institute for Public Policy Research. Bloomberg New Energy Finance wrote in a research note that a new Tory leader may opt to ditch a commitment to phase out coal by 2025. “Anything that changes policy at this point is a huge problem,” Jacobs said, “The coal phase-out should create some space for gas and renewables, which is good for investment and jobs.”
Bloomberg 5th July 2016 read more »