News

 News 2013

Key, reports relating to:

  • C - Government consultation
  • EMR - Electricity market reform.
  • FC - Our second formal complaint to the EC.
  • - Shale gas.
  • - The views of potential investors.
  • N - National commitment to 100% renewables.
  • PO - Public opinion.
  • - The potential of renewable sources of power and their cost.
  • - Actual or potential subsidies for nuclear power.
  • SF - Safety issues.
  • T - The timing of investment decisions.
2014

April

23 Wind and solar generation half the cost of nuclear (RE New Economy).

19 Gas can spark prosperity if we work with EU (The Telegraph). ... the UK regulator Ofgem’s recent proposal to refer the energy supply and generation market for a full competition review ...

18 Inflatable turbines: the windfarms of the future? (The Telegraph).

17 DECC's triple for renewables (The Ecologist).

17 New solar, wind with gas back-up cheaper than new nuclear: German study (Platts). See also Renewable energy is much more cost effective than nuclear in the fight against climate change (Agora Energiewende, 2014-04-17).

16 The truth about the UK’s community energy potential (Good Energy).

16 North Wales nuclear waste burial plan (Daily Post).

15 Up to 1,000 times more methane released at gas wells than EPA estimates, study finds (Climate Progress).

14 Subsidies for European nuclear fuel manufacturers (World Nuclear News).

14 Study on health impact of new Wylfa nuclear plant (NewsWales).

10 Nuclear industry says weak carbon price justifies state funding (Reuters). [The Commission] issued new funding guidelines on Wednesday, which replace renewable subsidies with a market-based system of open tenders. The new rules omitted nuclear energy, meaning any plans to fund new nuclear generation will be assessed by the Commission on an individual basis.

10 ČEZ cancels Temelín tender after government says no to guarantees (Radio Praha). See also UPDATE 1-Czech president wants new tender for nuclear project (Reuters, 2014-04-10).

9 German renewable energy act reform is not a “feed-in tariff 2.0” (World Future Council).

9 Minister sought to dissuade MSP from role in EU inquiry (Herald Scotland). See also Attempts to freeze Scotland out of investigation (SNP, 2014-04-04).

8 Hinkley C - a nuclear subsidy too far (The Ecologist, Paul Dorfman).

7 Nuclear subsidies and Hinkley C challenged (The Daily Wales).

6 Big business dodges nuclear clean-up bills (Herald Scotland).

4 Solar farms 'will not spread unrestricted across British countryside' (The Guardian). See also The UK’s rooftops to become power stations (DECC press release, 2014-04-04).

4 Nuclear power - the Hitachi ABWR is not justified (The Ecologist).

4 European Commission inquiry to examine if UK State Aid for two new power plants is inline with EU legislation (UCL Energy Institute). See also Response to European Commission consultation, 2014-04-04.

3 Gas company special payments dwarf constraint payments to windfarms (The Guardian). National Grid made special payments of £300m over the last 12 months to big energy companies – sometimes for switching off their power stations in an attempt to "balance" the system. The huge payout dwarfs the £37m paid to windfarms to remain offline over the same period to the end of February – a figure used by critics to question the advisability of supporting renewable energy.

2 Paper: Construction cost overruns of Olkiluoto reactor rival skyscrapers, Pyramids and Taj Mahal (Bellona).

March

27 An Taisce - the National Trust for Ireland - today successfully obtained leave to take its Hinkley Point legal challenge to the Court of Appeal in London (An Taisce press release).

27 Britain one of the lowest producers of renewable energy in the EU (The Independent).

27 Nuclear will add 'considerable cost' to energy bills (Newsnet Scotland).

27 Hinkley Point faces challenge from Irish National Trust (Institution of Engineering and Technology).

25 Fracking won't crack our dependence on Russian gas imports (The Guardian, John Sauven).

25 Time to back renewables policy with finance (The Scotsman).

25 Italy, Spain, Germany hit commercial solar grid parity in 2013 (RE New Economy).

25 E.ON threatens premature closure of nuclear plant (RE New Economy).

25 Europe's new nuclear experience casts a shadow over Hinkley (The Guardian).

25 Siemens wind farm factory to create 1,000 UK jobs (The Telegraph).

24 UK government reviews Russian nuclear deal (Argus).

23 Small firms urge break-up of Big Six energy giants (The Telegraph). The Federation of Small Businesses and the consumer watchdog Which? have called for the “Big Six” energy companies to be broken up, adding pressure on regulators to refer the energy companies to competition authorities this week. The trade group, which represents 200,000 small firms, has written to regulators in a joint letter with Which? demanding a full scale competition inquiry into the UK energy market.

23 Opinion: European Commission is right to demand Ed Davey and the Coalition re-thinks on nuclear power (Liberal Democrat Voice, Andrew Warren).

23 Exclusive: Renewable energy from rivers and lakes could replace gas in homes (The Independent).

22 Pressure mounting over £16bn nuclear site for Hinkley Point (The Independent).

21 Regulators may launch investigation into big six energy companies next week (The Guardian).

21 Nuclear industry hopes Ukraine crisis to boost business in Europe (Reuters).

21 Tidal lagoon power 'cheaper than wind' (The Guardian). See also Lagoons ‘competitive’, claims Pöyry (RE News, 2014-03-21).

20 Wind industry’s new technologies are helping it compete on price (New York Times).

20 UN warning over nuclear power plant (Yahoo News). See also Hinkley: UN has "profound suspicion" of government over nuclear plans (Heart, 2014-03-20). The United Nations has accused the UK Government of suspicious actions over plans to develop its first nuclear power station in a generation in Somerset.

20 France’s nuclear power generation cuts due to increased wind and solar output (Enformable Nuclear News).

20 George Osborne is preparing to kill off Britain's renewable energy revolution (The Guardian).

19 Glastonbury Council urges Hinkley opposition (South West Green Party).

18 Letter from the UK's Environmental Audit Committee to the European Commission (DG Competition).

18 EDF's Hinkley Point returns 'substantially higher' than other projects (The Telegraph).

16 Japan’s first new geothermal power plant in 15 years to open next month (The Telegraph).

16 Fallon begs green firms to lobby for nuclear deal (Sunday Times).
Anger as minister pleads for backing in EU probe over huge Hinkley subsidies.

15 PAWB Anti Wylfa B campaigners announce public meeting (The Daily Wales).

14 Convention on environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context (United Nations, Economic Commission for Europe, Implementation Committee).

14 Plymouth Energy Community's solar share scheme backed by council (The Independent).

12 CAMECO - stop promoting radiation junk science (Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)).

11 European Commission: Hinkley C subsidies are unfair State Aid (The Ecologist).

11 Nottingham City Council to set up energy firm to rival 'big six' (Edie Energy).

11 NPD Solarbuzz upgrades UK PV market forecast to 2.5GW in 2014 (Solar Power Portal).

11 Wylfa B: Anti-nuclear campaigners stage protest on Menai Suspension Bridge (Daily Post).

11 Russian state nuclear firm in talks to build power station in the UK (The Guardian).

10 EDF to miss its own deadline for Hinkley Point nuclear decision as EC state aid investigation drags on (The Telegraph). See also Hinkley Point decision delay is no surprise given the history (The Telegraph, 2014-03-10).

9 Lessons of Fukushima still to be learned – International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group “INRAG” founded (International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group, press release).

8 Let the sun shine (The Economist). The future is bright for solar power, even as subsidies are withdrawn.

7 Work begins on £1bn link between Hunterston and Connah's Quay (BBC News).

7 State aid - UK: Invitation to submit comments pursuant to Article 108(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (European Commission).

6 PAWB announce rally to commemorate Fukishima disaster (Daily Wales).

4 How the IEA exaggerates the costs and underestimates the growth of solar power (Energy Post).

4 Hinkley Point C deal comes at massive and unjustified cost to consumers says watchdog (Utility Week).

2 The perovskite lightbulb moment for solar power (The Observer).

February

27 Michael Liebreich: Clean energy needs less regulation, not more (Conservative Home). In most sunny parts of the world it is cheaper to generate power from photovoltaic modules on your roof than to buy it from your utility. The best newly-built wind farms are selling power at the equivalent of 3p/KWh before subsidies, which neither gas, nor coal, nor nuclear power can match. LED light bulbs can be bought for a few pounds, providing home-owners a quick and cheap way of cutting their utility bills. The fact is that wind and solar have joined a long list of clean energy technologies – geothermal power, waste-to-energy, solar hot water, hydro-power, sugar-cane based ethanol, combined heat and power, and all sorts of energy efficiency – which can be fully competitive with fossil fuels in the right circumstances. What is even more important is that the cost reductions that have led to this point are set to continue inexorably, far out into the future. ... Before the Fukushima accident in 2011 there was much talk of a nuclear renaissance, and some countries remain committed to building new plants.  However, the UK experience is instructive: the government had to offer a power price of £92.50/MWh, adjusted for inflation over 35 years, to get new nuclear power stations built.  Nuclear power works and it is low-carbon – but it’s not cheap and most likely never again will be.

27 IEA says wind and solar can carry bulk of energy transformation (RE New Economy). The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report in which it concludes that the integration of large amounts of renewable energy can be achieved by any country at only a small increase on whole system costs, compared with the current fossil-fuel heavy electricity systems. Making the conclusion even more startling is that the IEA used present-day costs for solar PV and wind, with the two most widely-deployed renewable energy technologies set to provide the bulk of the generating capacity in these transformed electricity systems.

26 Offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes before they reach land, Stanford-led study says (Stanford News).

26 Why we need an outright ban on fracking in the UK (The Guardian).

26 Achim Steiner: shale gas rush 'a liability' in efforts slow climate change (The Guardian).

25 Nuclear power only insurable by 'gullible governments' (Utility Week). Nuclear power is only economically sound because taxpayers will have to pay to clean up after any radioactive incidents during decommissioning, according to Labour MP Paul Flynn.

25 Brussels probes UK state aid for Drax power station project (Financial Times).

23 Nuclear leaks bill will be paid by taxpayer (The Observer). "Confirmation of the indemnity was made at the start of this month, when the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) slipped out a departmental minute relating to the Magnox reactors. ... The minute explains that the firms 'are not prepared to accept liability' and states that 'because of the nature of nuclear activities, the maximum figure for the potential liability is impossible to accurately quantify' ". See also Nuclear power only insurable by 'gullible governments' (Utility Week, 2014-02-25).

22 Why has Britain signed up for the world’s most expensive power station? (The Spectator, Peter Atherton). MPs owe it to the taxpayer to throw out the Hinkley Point deal.

20 Why the economics don't favor nuclear power in America (Forbes, Mark Cooper).

17 UK nuclear State Aid challenge takes shape (Platts Power in Europe).

17 Solar PV continues to shoot down the cost curve (RE New Economy).

16 Water shortages could disrupt Britain's electricity supply, researchers warn (The Guardian).

14 Which? calls for power sector reforms after big six receive 5.5m complaints in a year (The Guardian).

11 Grantham: Wind, solar to replace fossil fuels within decades (RE New Economy). “The idea of “peak oil demand” as opposed to peak oil supply has gone, in my opinion, from being a joke to an idea worth beginning to think about in a single year. Some changes seem to be always around the corner and then at long last they move faster than you expected and you are caught flat-footed.”

10 Wind of change sweeps through energy policy in the Caribbean (The Guardian).

10 Analysis: Nuclear scores over renewables under EC proposals (Wind Power Monthly).

7 How to square the circle: hitting the 2020 targets at the lowest possible cost (Solar Power Portal). The government is seeking ways to minimise the cost of hitting the renewable targets within the £7.6 billion budget set out in the Levy Control Framework (LCF) and effectively puts a price on CO2 emissions.

7 UPDATE 2-EU to rule on controversial British nuclear deal this year (Reuters). "From a market investor's point of view, it would be safer to give up hope that the UK government can convince the European Commission and to opt for a realistic assumption that the deal is off," said Doerte Fouquet, a Brussels-based lawyer at Becker Buettner Held who specialises in EU energy policy.

7 UPDATE 1-EU wants to decide Hinkley nuclear case by year-end (Reuters).

6 UK 'still to notify EC on back-end nuclear waste management plan': DECC (Platts).

6 World's largest power-generating lagoon planned for Swansea Bay (The Guardian).

6 Contingent liability: indemnification by the nuclear decommissioning authority (Gov.uk).

6 The true cost of disaster insurance makes nuclear power uncompetitive (The Ecologist).

4 Europe links 15 power markets in biggest shift since 1990s (Bloomberg News).

3 Solar panels better than a pension, says minister (The Telegraph).

2 Ireland's rural protests over wind energy (BBC News).

UK nuclear deal with EDF could waste 17.6bn, says Brussels (Financial Times).

2 Brussels says state aid deal for Hinkley Point is illegal (The Times).

1 Nuclear insanity – is the EU seeing the nuclear light? (Aquamarine Power). If marine energy could secure just half of what Hinkley Point would get in a year, it would be transformative for our industry.

January

31 Nuclear setback as EC attacks Hinkley Point subsidy deal (The Telegraph).

31 U.K. support for EDF atomic deal may distort market, Europe says (Bloomberg News). See State aid SA. 34947 (2013/C) (ex 2013/N) – United Kingdom Investment Contract (early Contract for Difference) for the Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station (European Commission, 2013-12-18).

30 China sets new world record for solar installations (The Guardian).

28 Rooftop solar PV will soon be cheaper than coal (RE New Economy). Having households able to produce electricity at the same cost of coal – not including the network, distribution, and retail costs that are added to centralised generation – is likely to dramatically change the business metrics of the utilities industry.

27 GE Hitachi pays $2.7 million to settle a case of false information on a nuclear reactor design (Greenpeace International).

26 Nuclear chief’s despair over Sellafield firm NMP revealed in letters written by UK nuclear decommissioning boss (The Independent on Sunday). Dr David Lowry, an independent environmental policy and research consultant and a member of Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates, obtained the letters. He said: “This is a massive indictment of NMP’s failure to deliver – and then to give them an extension is almost inexplicable. “If Clarke carries on as the chief executive he is going to have to work with NMP for another five years when he clearly doesn’t have any confidence in them. When it comes to Sellafield, it doesn’t matter how you manage it, costs are hyped up year after year.”

26 Exclusive: Beat the Big Six power companies - Coalition offers new £10m fund for DIY energy schemes (The Independent on Sunday).

24 Renewable energy loses out in Europe's "lame-duck" climate plan (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

23 French regulator orders EDF to make additional atomic safeguards (Bloomberg Business Week).

22 EU to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 (The Guardian).

22 Loss of renewable target is backward step in fight against climate change (The Guardian). The government also ignored the key question of whether offering the French nuclear company EDF a guaranteed income of at least £80bn from energy bill-payers – which it did late last year to ensure that a new nuclear power station is built in Somerset – represented a triumph of market forces. The offer to EDF, partly owned by the French government, was nearly double current electricity prices.

22 EU 2030 climate action: a big step that is not enough (The Guardian).

22 UK must cut green goals back in line with Europe's, manufacturers say (The Telegraph).

22 European Commission to ditch legally-binding renewable energy targets (The Telegraph).

21 Energy efficiency must be on par with HS2 and airport expansion decisions (Edie Energy).

20 EC ocean energy plan 'could create 20,000 UK jobs' (The Scotsman). The European Commission has unveiled a new action plan for the fledgling renewable ocean energy sector in Europe, which could create up to 20,000 jobs in the UK in the next two decades.

20 European Greens consider challenge to UK tax breaks for shale gas drilling (The Guardian).

20 Jose Bove pledges to help Britons resist Total fracking (The Guardian). Bove and the other European Green party candidates lambasted Britain for backing nuclear power, describing it as "anti-democratic". ... "Nuclear energy does not go with our ideas of democracy or local energy production. There is no sense of ownership with nuclear. It's not clean and [uranium mining] is creating terrible landscapes," said German MEP Ska Keller, a former spokesperson of the Federation of Young European Greens. ... Italian MEP Monica Frassoni accused commentators who backed nuclear power as a way to reduce emissions of "cheating"....

20 Progress on approaches to management of separated plutonium (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority). In summary, this work has resulted in NDA concluding that ... there are three credible reuse options: - reuse as MOX in light water reactors, reuse in CANDU EC6 reactors and reuse in PRISM fast reactors.

20 Tidal energy: Pentland Firth 'could power half of Scotland' (BBC News).

17 Windfarms supplying UK won't get tax subsidies (Independent.ie).

16 Joaquín Almunia attacks UK and US over phone tapping claims (Financial Times).

15 BP study predicts greenhouse emissions will rise by almost a third in 20 years (The Guardian).

14 Solar panels on half a million UK buildings, figures suggest (The Guardian).

13 'We're going all out for shale,' admits David Cameron (The Guardian).

10 China: nuclear and coal giants go solar (The Ecologist).

10 Is nuclear power the answer on climate change? (Reuters).

7 EU urged to set 2030 renewable energy target by ministers (The Guardian).

6 Hinkley Point C nuclear plant legal challenge fails (Utility Week).

6 Energy policy – Europe takes power (Financial Times).

4 Why will Hinkley Point C cost £16 bn? (Millicentmedia.com).

2 Europe wants to block UK wind farm subsidies (The Telegraph). Connie Hedegaard: “My view is that if you have mature technologies, renewables or not, they should not have state aid. If they can manage themselves why have state aid?”

1 Can we turn unwanted carbon dioxide into electricity? (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).