Innovation Funding for Low Carbon Technologies: opportunities for bidders. Industry has set out plans to develop up to 16GW of new nuclear power by 2025. However, a significant expansion in nuclear power generation, beyond the immediate target of 16GW may be required if CO2 emission targets are to be met. A cross-government review, undertaken in response to the House of Lords’ Science and Technology Committee’s report on UK nuclear research and development (R&D) capabilities, has resulted in the publication of a suite of documents available on the Government website. These include the Nuclear Industry Strategy, a Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap, a Nuclear Industrial Vision Statement, a Long Term Nuclear Energy Strategy, and a Civil Nuclear Research and Development Landscape Review. Investment in innovation will help to decrease costs, increase capacity, decrease delays to construction and demonstrate efficient waste and decommissioning processes. It has been estimated that investment in nuclear innovation could provide benefits valued between £5 billion and 40 billion by 2050 and £5 billion and 90 billion by 2100. It would also help create UK based business opportunities that could contribute between £1.5 billion and 13 billion to GDP by 2050.
DECC 8th Jan 2014 read more »
The Doosan Keltbray Consortium has been chosen as preferred bidder for £28m worth of decommissioning work at Magnox’s Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station in North Wales. The contract covers the deplanting and demolition of the site’s former cooling ponds complex, as well as dismantling and removing pipework, tanks and cooling equipment. DKC was chosen in part for its past work with Magnox, which operates on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Formed in 2011, DKC has already been awarded contracts as part of a demolition framework set up by Magnox, including deplanting and asbestos removal at Bradwell Power Station in Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex.
Construction News 7th Jan 2014 read more »
The University of Leeds will lead a consortium of 10 universities in a national research programme looking at ways of dealing with Britain’s nuclear waste. The £8 million project, funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will start in February and bring together the nuclear industry, the Government’s nuclear advisors and the country’s leading academic researchers. More than 40 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers will work over the next four years on issues including how best to handle different types of spent fuels, packaging and storing waste, and dealing with nuclear sludges in ponds and silos at nuclear power stations. Professor Simon Biggs, Director of the University of Leeds’ Institute of Particle Science and Engineering, who will lead the University consortium, said: “The project is primarily focused on developing new technologies and providing confidence in the safe storage and disposal of legacy waste. The UK is a technology leader in this field and the core aim of this project is to maintain and further develop that skill base.”
Phys.org 8th Jan 2014 read more »
NucNet 8th Jan 2014 read more »
A Chatteris business is seeking to create jobs and develop the skills of the next generation of engineers after being chosen to progress to the next phase of a Government-backed scheme to boost the UK’s civil nuclear supply chain. Metalcraft, which employs 162 people, already manufactures vessels, tanks and heat exchangers for nuclear clients including Sellafield and Rolls-Royce. It is one of only a handful of manufacturers so far to be selected for the assessment phase of the Civil Nuclear Sharing in Growth (CNSIG) programme, which will support significant growth in the UK’s civil nuclear supply chain over the next four years. CNSIG is managed by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) with support from industry leaders including Rolls-Royce, and part-funded by the Regional Growth Fund. The programme aims to develop the UK manufacturing supply chain for civil nuclear – in new build, operations and decommissioning – and help UK companies win work in the nuclear industry at home and overseas.
Fenland Citizen 9th Jan 2014 read more »
Ely Standard 8th Jan 2014 read more »
One of Britain’s biggest energy companies has refused to pass on the full savings made by cutting green levies on energy bills to customers on fixed-term deals. Npower yesterday said that only its variable rate customers would see their bills fall by £50, in line with the Government’s decision to cut green tarriffs last month. Ministers achieved the saving by cutting ECO, an insulation programme funded by levies on bills, and switching the funding for a £135 rebate for pensioners on to general taxation. The German-owned supplier has become the fourth of the so-called “Big Six” energy companies to prevent households on fixed deals from benefiting from the discount after similar moves by E.ON, ScottishPower and EDF Energy. The industry had promised to pass on the savings in full to their customers. Clare Francis, the editor-in-chief of Moneysupermarket. com, said: “The Government announcement was intended to benefit all bill-payers. Those being penalised are the ones who have done the right thing and taken action against spiralling bills by fixing their energy prices.” Some 500,000 npower customers on a fixed-term electricity deal will only get a £12 saving from the change in funding of the pensioner rebate, while 54,000 of those on a fixed-term gas deal will not see any saving.
Times 9th Jan 2013 read more »
Domestic energy consumers are £53 a year worse off today than they were back in January 2013, even after the government has reduced green and social obligations on power companies, according to new calculations. As npower became the last of the big six suppliers to trim back earlier bill increases, uSwitch said consumers were still paying on average £1,264 a year – 4.3% more – for their energy than 12 months ago.
Guardian 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Ed Davey, energy secretary, has ordered a review of how power companies responded to the disruption to electricity supplies caused by the severe Christmas storms. In the worst Christmas weather in years, high winds downed power lines across southern England, leaving many families without electricity on Christmas day. At its height, some 750,000 households lost their power supply. Most of them were reconnected within 24 hours, but in some areas struck by severe flooding, engineers could not reach affected houses for days.
FT 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Businesses will be paid to use electricity generated by wind farms during the middle of the night, according to proposals put forward by National Grid. Such an idea would save the company tens of millions of pounds in constraint payments – the fees it currently pays to wind farms to switch off their turbines during off-peak hours when energy demand is low.
FT 7th Jan 2014 read more »
Business Green 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Stimulated by Ed Miliband’s 2013 Labour Conference ‘reset’ speech, I decided to ‘switch’; to examine my energy bills with more care than I normally do; and to write a blog about it. Switch is the term used to describe an energy customer moving from one energy supplier (in my case from buying gas from British Gas (BG) to Good Energy (GE), which I already buy my electricity from). I describe the switch below but this blog has become about (1) confirming the incredibly unreadable and unhelpful bills sent to customers by BG; (2) how there is no explanation of what a fixed charge is made up of or what the relationship is between a fixed charge and the bill constituents (ie gas costs, distribution costs etc); (3) how the retail market review (RMR) requirements on suppliers seems unlikely to be successful in making customers feel more at ease with their bills; (4) how important it is to read your meter and let your supplier know what you have used; and (5) how closing an account is irritatingly difficult.
IGov 8th Jan 2014 read more »
An agreement between Greenland and Denmark governing uranium extraction in the Arctic territory will be in place by the end of the year, the Danish prime minister said on Wednesday. Under Greenland’s home rule, former colonial power Denmark maintains control over foreign affairs and defence policy. An agreement between Copenhagen and Nuuk governing uranium mining was needed because “it’s quite clear that Denmark has obligations with regards to security and defence policy,” Thorning-Schmidt said. “A cooperation agreement is essential to actually beginning” mining, she added. Greenland hopes its vast mineral wealth will wean it off Danish subsidies, which currently account for about half of its economy. To that end, in October the country’s parliament revoked a ban that had existed since 1988 on exploiting uranium.
Global Post 1st Jan 2014 read more »
Japan – TEPCO
ABP, the Dutch pension fund, has dumped its stake in Tokyo Electric Power, joining other foreign institutional investors in shunning the troubled Japanese utility. The Amsterdam-based fund, one of the biggest in the world with almost 300bn Euros ($407bn) in investments, on Tuesday said it had taken the rare step of selling a position worth about 18m Euros after Tepco failed to respond to safety concerns raised during a meeting in late 2012, and in a formal letter a year later.
FT 8th Jan 2014 read more »
The candidate set to become the Czech Republic’s next industry minister was quoted on Tuesday as saying he backed a plan to build two new units at the Temelin nuclear power plant but that he favoured some delay.The plan of majority-state owned Czech electricity producer CEZ to build the units at an estimated cost of over $10 billion has already been clouded by rising safety costs and a drop in wholesale electricity prices, which could spell big losses for nuclear power stations.The plan has also been hit by appeals by France’s Areva , which was excluded from the bidding. Toshiba unit Westinghouse and a consortium including Russia’s Atomstroyexport remain in the tender.
Reuters 7th Jan 2014 read more »
The implementation of the landmark nuclear deal reached in November between Iran and the six world powers has hit roadblock over Tehran’s plan to continue research on advanced centrifuges. Under the terms of the 24 November interim accord agreed by Iran and the leading world powers – Britain, China, Russia, France, Germany and the US – Tehran is allowed to carry on with research and development, but its freedom to install new centrifuges is restrained.
IB Times 9th Jan 2014 read more »
THE daughter of a nuclear bomb test veteran who believes she has inherited genetic diseases is campaigning to help other families who could also have been passed the toxic legacy. Shelly Grigg recently celebrated her 49th birthday but has been told by a doctor that she has the bones of an 80-year-old.
Northern Echo 8th Jan 2014 read more »
BBC4 plans to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb with a “visceral” study of the history of nuclear near-misses. Acclaimed documentary-maker Eugene Jarecki is adapting Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser’s book Command And Control as a feature-length documentary for the Storyville strand, to air in 2015. Storyville editor Nick Fraser said the film would keep people “focused” on the issue of nuclear science in the anniversary year of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.
Broadcast Now 9th Jan 2014 read more »
Renewables – Biomass
A project launched to meet a council’s commitments to renewable energy and tackling fuel poverty resulted in a £11.5m loss, according to a watchdog. Caithness Heat and Power (Chap) was launched in 2004 to provide a wood-fuelled heating system to up to 500 houses in Wick. But it experienced problems in 2009 and was later scrapped. The report by Audit Scotland for the Accounts Commission criticised Highland Council’s handling of the project. Chap, which was run by a community-run enterprise before being taken over by the local authority, was described in the report as an “innovative heating system”. It was also consistent with Highland Council’s commitment to renewable energy and tackling fuel poverty.
BBC 9th Jan 2014 read more »
Scotsman 9th Jan 2014 read more »
Renewables – Solar
A recent report from Deutsche Bank singled out installers as a particular driver for a “second gold rush” in solar technology, mirroring the first rush for capacity that occured between 2005 and 2007, before being hit by the global economic downturn. The firm took a broadly bullish position on PV solar in a research note issued this week. “We expect another gold rush by downstream installers to add recurring MW ahead of policy changes over the next two to three years,” the note stated, adding that residential leasing would be a particularly hot area.
Business Green 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Clean Energy Regulator says Australia now has 2 million small scale renewable energy systems – enough to power Perth, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra. Australia has now installed more than 2 million small scale renewable energy systems – reaching the target just eight months after the country achieved its first one million rooftop solar systems.
Renew Economy 9th Jan 2014 read more »
Guardian 9th Jan 2014 read more »
SSE is leading a £5.4 million programme to help tackle fuel poverty for 2,000 homes in rural Scotland. SSE, under its Scottish Hydro brand, will provide up to £4 million for the project under its Energy Company Obligation (Eco), and this will be complimented by £1.4 million from the Scottish government’s Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland (HEEPS). Housing and welfare minister Margaret Burgess said: “To help tackle fuel poverty we are actively working with councils and energy companies to ensure Scotland continues to get its fair share of funding for energy efficiency programmes like these.”
Utility Week 8th Jan 2013 read more »
Climate change may be to blame for the flooding and severe storms seen across Britain in recent weeks, David Cameron said today. The Prime Minister said that he “very much” suspects that the extreme weather seen over December and the new year could be attributed to rising global temperatures. Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said that Britain was seeing “more abnormal weather events”. He continued: “Now, colleagues across the House can argue about whether that is linked to climate change or not. I very much suspect that it is, but the point is that whatever one’s view it makes sense to invest in flood defences, it makes sense to invest in mitigation, it makes to sense get information out better and we should do all of those things.”
The Times 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Telegraph 8th Jan 2014 read more »
Business Green 8th Jan 2014 read more »
It won’t have escaped many people’s attention that the UK has been battered by a series of particularly vicious weather systems recently. In Reading, where I am professor of climate science at the University, nearly 160 millimetres of rainfall fell over the three-week period between December 15th and January 5th, about a quarter of our annual expected rainfall. While individual storms or successions of storms cannot be linked directly to climate change, there are some aspects of a warming climate that are relatively well understood and have implications for the severity of impacts we suffer. As temperatures rise, basic physics dictates an increase in the amount of atmospheric moisture, which is the fuel for heavy rainfall events. That means whenever we have heavy (and prolonged) rainfall events in the future, we can expect them to be more intense – along with the risk of flooding. It’s these changes in atmospheric moisture that explain scientists’ projections of increased risk of flood-inducing storms in the UK in the coming decades. Changes in the jet stream appear to be a secondary factor, and the likely impacts are far less certain.
Carbon Brief 8th Jan 2014 read more »