Austria will take the European Commission to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) if it approves Britain’s plans for a 16 billion-pound nuclear power plant, a spokesman for the chancellor said on Sunday. The deal to pay a guaranteed price for the power produced in the plant faces opposition from a quarter of EU policymakers, who want to overturn approval from the top European regulator. A vote is expected on Wednesday.
Reuters 5th Oct 2014 read more »
Austria will take the European Commission to the European Court of Justice ( ECJ) if it approves Britain’s plans for a 16 billion-pound ($26 billion) nuclear power plant, a spokesman for the chancellor said on Sunday.
Economic Times 5th Oct 2014 read more »
One of the nuclear industry’s promises for the future is that it will turn its back on its cold war past and be more open and transparent about its dealings. So news last week that at least two of the officials assessing the safety case for new reactors at Hinkley Point C were on the pension roll of the scheme’s developers, EDF, was not encouraging.
Guardian 5th Oct 2014 read more »
The European Commission, in signalling its intention to give the green light to the British Government’s Hinkley C nuclear power plant deal under the ‘state aid’ permission procedure has failed miserably to protect British consumers against the consequences of what must be the highly likely outcome of cost overruns in building the Hinkley C plant. Instead it has issued what must be seen as a smokescreen of ‘protection’ to British electricity consumers by asking the British Government to introduce rules clawing back profits made by EDF. Observers might be forgiven for imagining that the 35 year contract for Hinkley C, underpinned by £10 billion of state loan guarantees paying higher premium prices (£92.50) than privately built onshore windfarms receive for only 15 year contracts, will give EDF and their Chinese partners big profits. However this impression is an artefact of the ludicrous propaganda perpetrated for many years that nuclear power stations are potentially profitable, competitive, operations. They are no such thing. Hinkley C is most likely to result in further major commitments being made by British electricity consumers or taxpayers to bail out the near inevitable cost-overruns of building Hinkley C. The fact that only state owned companies (French and Chinese) are prepared to undertake the risk of this project, and even then backed by what will emerge in the fullness of time as an effective blank cheque by the British state, is a testament to the sheer bankruptcy of new nuclear build as a commercial proposition.
Dave Toke’s Blog 4th Oct 2014 read more »
For Nugen – the Toshiba/GDF Suez consortium behind plans for three AP1000 reactors on a green-field site adjacent to Sellafield –the imminent decision by the EU’s competition commissioners on the legality of the range of subsidies and guarantees being offered to developers by the UK Government, represents just one of many major hurdles along the Sellafield new-build route.NuGen’s announcement earlier this year of a 3-year delay in coming to a decision on whether or not to invest in the project (from 2015 to 2018) is reflected firstly by the visible and documented absence of any tangible progress by NuGen’s investigations on the site for which it secured an option five years ago. Secondly it will reflect unease, irrespective of the EU decision, about the hurdles that lie ahead in fully developing the site. These hurdles include not only the costly and highly contentious National Grid transmission connections with their threat of giant pylons and sub-sea tunnelling under Morecambe Bay but also the site specific problems of geology and the cooling system for the reactors.
CORE 5th Oct 2014 read more »
New cracks have been found in one of the reactors at the Hunterston B nuclear power station in Ayrshire, the BBC has learned. The plant’s operator, EDF Energy, has insisted the cracking was predicted to occur as the station ages. The firm said the issue would not affect the safe operation of the reactor. But anti-nuclear campaigners said it highlighted a potential problem for similar reactors around the UK. The cracks were found during a routine inspection which began in August. Two of about 3,000 graphite bricks in the core of reactor four at Hunterston are affected.
BBC 6th Oct 2014 read more »
Donna Hume FoE: A few weeks ago the Liberal Democrats announced the five green laws they would introduce if they remain in Government after May 2015. The detail from their pre-manifesto will be debated at Conference this week. As a staunch greenie, is it always nice to see a party putting the environment at the centre of their party’s pledges. At the last election, Friends of the Earth praised the Liberal Democrats for having the greenest manifesto of the three main parties (pipped to the top spot by the Greens). But after nearly one term in office, there is now a big question over the party’s green credibility. So there are three key questions on their green laws that the Liberal Democrats need to provide the right answers to – pronto.
Liberal Democrat Voice 4th Oct 2014 read more »
The huge jobs and skills potential that the new nuclear industry offered was emphasised by Energy Secretary Ed Davey and industry experts at the Lib Dem party conference yesterday. “The low carbon challenge for the UK is far bigger than you think” stated Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. He spoke at a fringe meeting. A huge amount of investment in generating capacity was required, especially to power the UK’s transport sector, he said, speaking at a fringe meeting hosted by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) and chaired by PoliticsHome Editor in Chief, Paul Waugh. The low carbon electricity sector was going to be “huge” over the next three or four decades, Davey stated. However, he went on to argue that the UK required a mixed energy approach to solve the energy crisis, which should include greater energy efficiency for consumers, carbon capture and storage and new nuclear.
Politics Home 5th Oct 2014 read more »
A central Europe coalition has challenged the EU’s latest package of climate policies, three weeks before they are set to be finalised in Brussels. Ministers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania stated their opposition to renewable and energy efficiency targets – cornerstones of the package of climate change policies that the EU will finalise in October.
RTCC 1st Oct 2014 read more »
The Russian government has approved $10bn credit to Belarus for the construction of a nuclear power. plant (NPP) in Belarus.
Energy Business Review 6th Oct 2014 read more »
Leaders of the extremist group, Isis (Islamic State) wish to obtain nuclear weapons, and have chilling plans for a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Shi’ite Muslims, the Sunday Times has reported.
Independent 5th Oct 2014 read more »
An exhibition at the Work Gallery details how the devastating power of nuclear weapons affected the visual culture in the early years of the cold war.
Guardian 6th Oct 2014 read more »
China has successfully launched a test missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead 10,000km – meaning the whole of Europe and parts of the US is within its range.
IB Times 5th Oct 2014 read more »
Renewables – solar
Driving the cost of solar below the price of fossil fuels will be a watershed moment for the climate and for household and business energy bills. With consistent and stable policies this ‘solar revolution’ could be realised within the next Parliament. This will be an extraordinary achievement. During your Government, solar power, which is the UK’s most popular energy source, has delivered cost reductions at a scale and speed never seen in the power markets before. This success story should be recognised by Government and built on. Instead, sudden changes in Government policy targeted at the solar industry threaten to derail industry progress, and are leading many solar companies to plan for redundancies. This makes no sense.
Solar Independence 5th Oct 2014 read more »
Last week the government announced some big changes to the support schemes for solar power. Some of these were expected, others less so. But what do they mean for the industry, and for the UK’s renewable energy transition? Renewables in the UK have been growing strongly, but people are getting nervous about the future. The mood music from government is inconsistent, ranging from cautiously positive to downright hostile, and it is not going unnoticed. The UK has fallen to seventh in the Ernst and Young index of most attractive renewable energy markets.
Left Foot Forward 5th Oct 2014 read more »
A 40% cut in energy use by 2030 through efficiency measures would increase the UK’s GDP by £62bn and create 40,000 new jobs, according to unpublished EU figures. Hitting a lower target of 30% would create 13,000 jobs and boost the economy by £17.3bn, says the study by independent consultancy Cambridge Econometrics, obtained by WWF after an access to information request. The study underlines the impact of engineering the economy to use less energy. “The benefits of energy efficiency are impressive and we need to be ambitious,” said Brook Riley, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth. “GDP gains are three times higher with a 40% reduction target than with 30%. It is significant that the countries which were hardest hit by the financial crisis – Greece, Portugal, Ireland – are among the strongest advocates of going as far as we can.”
Guardian 6th Oct 2014 read more »
A finance company established to provide loans to homeowners as part of the government’s flagship energy efficiency programme has warned it may consider voluntary liquidation at a board meeting next week. The Green Deal Finance Company, set up with more than £240m of public money, has run into potential trouble partly because it has been unable to convince the state-owned Green Investment Bank to continue funding. The GDFC said talks were continuing with the bank and the company, which is backed by the big six energy suppliers
such as SSE and British Gas, remained optimistic it would be able to obtain funding for the future.
Guardian 5th Oct 2014 read more »
Farmers fear they could face financial ruin from government plans to allow fracking beneath their land without compensation, the National Farmers’ Union has warned. Ministers pushing for shale gas exploration cannot take the support of rural communities for granted and are turning farmers against the process by appearing to brush side their concerns, it warned. The Government is pressing ahead with new laws that would strip people of power to block fracking beneath their property or land. It has insisted no compensation will be paid to individual home and landowners, because they should not be affected by the gas or oil extraction deep beneath them.
Telegraph 6th Oct 2014 read more »