Gas power stations won the largest share of the 54GW of deals awarded, as auction clears at a lower than expected £6.95 per KW per year. Battery storage projects are to deliver 2.7GW of back-up power to the grid having secured contracts in the latest capacity market auction for next winter.
Business Green 6th February 2017 read more »
Industry officials have criticised a lack of encouragement for green energy projects after battery storage won just over 10MW of combined capacity in the latest capacity market auction, well down on the success enjoyed by the technology in December’s T-4 bidding process. The latest Early Auction (EA), which sought capacity to cover from the start of winter 2017 to the beginning of winter 2018, awarded 2.7GW worth of provisional contracts to storage projects, the majority of which went to pumped hydro. The two battery contracts were awarded to Kiwi Power (5.77MW) and Limejump (4.62MW) which will provide capacity over the one year length of the contract. Both companies also won separate contracts to provide demand side response and grid balancing from their aggregated capacity. The rest of the auction, which cleared at the record low figure of £6.95/kW, was dominated by existing fossil fuel generation, predominantly coal-fired and CCGT plants. DSR won 209MW of capacity, with 583MW of projects exiting before reaching the clearing price.
Solar Power Portal 6t Feb 2017 read more »
With plans to build a new nuclear power station on the island of Anglesey, improved links to the mainland are regarded as a priority. Thomas Telford’s original Menai Suspension Bridge opened in 1826 and Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge followed in 1850 to carry the railway. An upper deck for A55 road traffic was added to the Britannia Bridge in 1980 but is often congested. A third crossing is now on the agenda. It could be partly paid for by carrying National Grid cables. Wales’ economy and infrastructure secretary, Ken Skates, said: “I have long been clear in my commitment to a third Menai crossing, and the obvious benefits it would bring to local communities and the economy. The current system is often at or over capacity and with major projects such as Wylfa Newydd in the pipeline it’s imperative that we act quickly to look at how we can improve accessibility.
Construction Index 6th Feb 2017 read more »
Plans to build a nuclear plant on Anglesey will face big challenges if the UK leaves a European nuclear cooperation institution due to Brexit, according to an expert. Prof Dr Glyn O Phillips said leaving Euratom would make it difficult to get staff for projects like Wylfa Newydd. The UK will leave the body if the bill to trigger Article 50 to start the process of leaving the EU is approved. Wylfa Newydd’s developers said it was confident any issues could be resolved. But Prof Phillips, winner of international science awards, said that withdrawal from Euratom “will be destructive to any nuclear work in the UK” as European resources have been centralised at Cern in Geneva, Switzerland. “They are trying to build a centre now in Manchester, to bring some kind of training but, in the end, all our researchers go back and forth to Cern,” he said. “If that link is cut and we can’t keep the connection, then I can’t see how we could ever produce the workforce that is vital to maintain the new power stations that they are talking about.”
BBC 7th Feb 2017 read more »
The decommissioning of nuclear facilities is one of the major challenges of the coming decades for Europe. A precise agenda of decommissioning is not available yet, but Europe will face a large number of closed down facilities. It is inevitable that facilities will stop, either because their planned lifetime comes to an end, otherwise because of economic, industrial or security reasons. According to statistics from the World Nuclear Association (association gathering producers of energy coming from nuclear power), 14 reactors have stopped operating as a result of an accident or a serious incident, 22 were shut down because of political choices and 97 were closed for economical profitability reasons.
Nuclear Transparency Watch 6th Feb 2017 read more »
There was a point during BBC 4’s Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield when the scale and complexity of dealing with certain types of nuclear waste was made clear. One of the site’s ponds was home to spent nuclear fuel, isotope cartridges and reactor components that had been in situ for 50 years. The plan was to remove it, encapsulate it in concrete and then put it into steel containers. But moving waste of a certain vintage is fraught with hazards and during the broadcast workers at the plant demonstrated to the show’s presenter Prof. Jim Al-Khalili how ROVs and robotic arms were being employed to investigate the pond’s contents and how they might best be removed. Nuclear waste management and decommissioning is high on the agenda at Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017, which takes place in London between February 28 and March 1. It is also at the forefront of a funding round from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Innovate UK, who are making £3m available to businesses that can develop technologies that will help dismantle facilities at the Sellafield nuclear site, which shifts into full-scale decommissioning and waste management by 2020.
The Engineer 6th Feb 2017 read more »
The energy system within Great Britain has to decarbonise whilst maintaining security and affordability, and this requires coordinated action across the whole energy system. The energy system is already undergoing fundamental change due to a wide range of technological, social and economic drivers, and there is some consensus that direction of travel is towards decentralisation and the demand side. These changes are much closer to people and there is a need to recognise, and value, the central role that they play within the energy system, not only in terms of creating demand, but also in terms of adopting technologies, changing behaviour and accepting change in the places that they live and work. This paper explores these issues by taking a high level overview of the energy system and the pressures it faces and by examining how systems are beginning to change and how they might change. This leads to a number of key findings including the need to put end users at the centre of the energy system to enable engagement, gain meaningful consent and to build legitimacy and trust. In addition, the central role that governance plays in enabling this to happen is highlighted, along with its importance for facilitating a coordinated approach to a demand focussed, future energy system. This requires a new fit for purpose governance framework.
IGov 6th Feb 2017 read more »
Despite claims that Britain is on the brink of blackouts and amid forecasts of a looming cold snap, all is calm inside the room where a score of engineers and analysts work to ensure the lights stay on. The way that the UK maintains its electricity reserves is evolving, with a new system for subsidising backup power being brought in next winter. Last Friday £378m worth of contracts were awarded for the capacity market, most of which will be paid to old gas, coal and biomass power stations that will be ready to provide power at short notice if there is a surge in demand or dip in supply. But the sources of the UK’s power are changing fast, from a small number of fossil fuel and nuclear power plants to a greater reliance on renewable providers such as windfarms, backed up by gas power plants and undersea power lines connected to continental Europe and Ireland. The grid says the transformation does not make its job harder – just different.
Guardian 6th Feb 2017 read more »
Radiation levels have been detected at the crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant that are being described by some experts as “unimaginable”. According to the Japan Times Tepco, the company that ran Fukushima, detected atmospheric radiation levels of 530 sieverts an hour. That’s 100s of times more than a lethal dose for humans and even brief exposure would be fatal. This will be a major blow to the operator which faces a cleanup that some say could take almost 40 years to complete.
Huffington Post 6th Feb 2017 read more »
Russia is ready to lend Hungary all the money it needs to build the new Paks Nuclear Power Plant if the right agreement can be signed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week. After meetings with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on 2 February, Putin told reporters the project is worth €12bn, and the two new Russian-designed reactors would double Hungary’s electricity supply, while creating 10,000 jobs.
Global Construction Review 6th Feb 2017 read more »
What impact will the climate-sceptic, coal enthusiast President Trump have on the prospects for renewable energy? How will Brexit affect the UK’s renewable sector? And what’s driving the growth of clean energy in Asia? These were key questions for participants at a Guardian roundtable on the future of wind and solar power, supported by Julius Baer. And the answer to the Trump question? Precious little impact at all. The sheer strength of the renewables sector – driven by plummeting costs and a growing appetite among consumers and business alike – means it will continue to thrive despite the new administration’s doubts. That was the near-unanimous view of the participants. And it might even win over the president himself, as his business brain engages with the potential of clean energy on the one hand, and coal’s lack of it on the other.
Guardian 7th Feb 2017 read more »
Renewables – small wind
An IT company has joined forces with a green technology firm to develop wind turbines which attach to lamp-posts. The NVT Group’s partnership with Own Energy Solutions is set to create 25 jobs over the next 12 months which it hopes will rise to about 300 within three years. The scheme harvests wind using a small wind turbine and inverter system. As a result, metered, clean energy could be fed directly into the National Grid. The company said that as a result, each suitable lamp-post conversion would save half a ton of carbon being released into the atmosphere.
BBC 6th Feb 2017 read more »
Access to financing is one of the major barriers cities face in their sustainability efforts, as identified in new C40 research. Mayors and city officials from around the world are responding to this challenge by pursuing innovative, strategic private sector partnerships and pioneering business models to reach their goals. There are powerful strategies that cities have available to them to help access the large existing pool of private sector and market-based finance available for municipal infrastructure. Despite the challenges they face, many cities have charged ahead to finance projects in new ways. Here are four strategies cities shared at the C40 Mayors Summit, which took place in Mexico City last year, on how to access new sources of funding and finance.
C40 2nd Feb 2017 read more »
Energy customers who find themselves paying over the odds for their heating can simply switch to a cheaper deal. But there’s a hidden, but rapidly growing, number who estimate they’re paying up to three times more than the expected price… but don’t have the right to switch. In most cases, they are stuck with the same supplier for 25 years or more. They are among the 220,000 households signed up to District Heating networks which power entire estates by sending hot water and steam via insulated pipes from a central generator, instead of having a boiler in each home. The system, often fuelled by natural gas or biomass, is supposed to point the way to a greener future and has the enthusiastic backing of government. However, the suppliers are unregulated and customers of only five of them have the right to turn to the energy ombudsman if things go wrong. On the face of it, the schemes are good news. Unlike condensing power plants, that only use around a third of the electricity generated, district networks use 90%. Waste energy can be recycled, households no longer have to maintain their own boilers, and heating bills are supposed to be cheaper. Last year the government announced it was investing £320m in expanding the system across the UK and predicts that it will supply 8 million households by 2030. In London, where new developments are required to be zero carbon, it is being used in most large estates.
Observer 5th Feb 2017 read more »
Scotland could be left without a fossil fuel power station after SSE confirmed yesterday that it was reviewing the future of its Peterhead gas plant, putting 120 jobs at risk. The 1.2-gigawatt power station failed last week to secure a subsidy contract to help to keep the lights on next winter, losing out to other sites that could provide the electricity generation capacity Britain needs at a lower cost. The Times reported on Saturday that Peterhead was at risk of closure. SSE said that higher network charges faced by the plant because of its remote location in the northeast of Scotland put it at a disadvantage in the subsidy scheme and that it would review future options for the station.
Times 7th Feb 2017 read more »
The number of new cars registered in the UK hit a 12-year high in January, with electric vehicles taking a record share of the market, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The industry body had warned of a slowdown in the motor trade in 2017 because of the impact of the weak pound, but there was no sign of deceleration in the first monthly numbers of the year. Drivers registered 174,564 cars in January, up 2.9% on last year, to reach the highest monthly level since 2005, the trade body said. Alternative fuel vehicles, mainly electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, increased by a fifth to reach a record 4.2% share of new vehicle registrations, beating a previous high of 3.6% in November last year. Petrol cars were also up strongly, gaining 8.9%, with diesel car registrations down 4.3%, continuing the fall seen in December, amid suggestions of higher taxes to curb emissions.
Guardian 6th Feb 2017 read more »
Global methane emissions from oil production between 1980 and 2012 were far higher than previously thought – in some cases, as much as double the amount previously estimated, according to a new scientific study. The reason for the discrepancy is simple. The author of the study − which also includes emissions of another gas, ethane − says it is the first to take into account different production management systems and geological conditions around the world.
Climate News Network 6th Feb 2017 read more »