The energy mix is changing rapidly and large-scale solar is unstoppable, according to numerous presenters at a major solar conference held in Sydney this week. Solar and wind will beat new coal and gas on price, and on top of that storage is arriving in a big way, as are all the other different technologies that will usher a dramatic change in our energy mix from a fossil fuelled “baseload” to a flexible system based around wind and solar. “Get used it”. That was the simple but powerful message to the energy incumbents from Leonard Quong, a lead analyst from Bloomberg New energy Finance, in highlighting the rapidly changing “energy paradigm” in Australia and across the world.
Renew Economy 4th April 2017 read more »
Children in a region of the US were born smaller after the area switched from nuclear plants to coal-fired power stations, new research has found. The study looked at of the impact of nuclear power plant closures in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979 – the most serious such accident in US history – in which one of the power station’s reactors underwent a partial meltdown. “At the time policymakers thought they were protecting public health by scrutinising nuclear power plants, given the partial meltdown that happened in Three Mile Island,” said Edson Severnini, author of the research from Carnegie Mellon University in the US. “But they didn’t anticipate this indirect effect that happened through the relocation of electricity generation from nuclear to coal.” While the study is based on a historical incident, experts say the results are pertinent given the shift from nuclear to coal power in Japan and Germany following the Fukushima accident in 2011, and the eagerness of the Trump administration to embrace coal.
Guardian 3rd April 2017 read more »
Nuclear power’s share of total UK energy capacity has been falling for 23 years. That’s according to a new report from the UK Government, which says its capacity share rose from 0.9% (220MW) in 1956 to 17% (12.7GW) at its peak in 1994. By the end of 2016 this figure had fallen to 9.3GW, only 9% of installed capacity. However, nuclear’s share of generation through 2016 was 21%, greater than installed capacity might indicate. This is because nuclear power plants spend more time in operation than other forms of generation – its load factor was 77% last year. This compares to provisional average load factors of 46% for gas-fired generation, 22% for coal, 24% for onshore wind, 37% for offshore wind and 11% for solar. The opening of the 3.2GW plant Hinkley Point C in 2023 is expected to boost the share until existing capacity closes.
Energy Live News 3rd April 2017 read more »