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News 2012

News 2011

Key, reports relating to:

  • C - Government consultation
  • EMR - Electricity market reform.
  • FC - Our second formal complaint to the EC.
  • G - Shale gas.
  • I - The views of potential investors.
  • N - National commitment to 100% renewables.
  • PO - Public opinion.
  • R - The potential of renewable sources of power and their cost.
  • S - Actual or potential subsidies for nuclear power.
  • T - The timing of investment decisions.
2012

December

31 Scottish Water plans 54MW wind farm in self-sufficiency push (Business Green).

27 Solar a ‘key technology’ in updated Renewables Roadmap (Solar Power Portal).

25 Co-op supermarkets extend fridge door scheme (The Guardian).

23 French cuts could delay new nuclear power plants in Britain (This is Money).

22 The bad news from Flamanville (The Hindu).

19 Labour joins Tim Yeo in push to deliver decarbonisation target (The Guardian).

18 Coal to challenge oil's dominance by 2017, says IEA (The Guardian). If there is no policy backlash, the world faces the likelihood of an increased risk of climate change, as a result of this runaway consumption of the highest carbon fossil fuel.

18 Plans for biggest wind farm shown (The Scotsman).

17 Severn barrage backers seek investors (Financial Times).

13 Gas 'will add more to energy bills than renewables' – government advisers (The Guardian). Finding by Committee for Climate Change contradicts coalition's line on energy, despite using government's own research

13 This fracking fantasy is the delusion of fossil fuel addiction (The Guardian). See also Fracking: a flash in the pan? (The Guardian, 2012-12-13).

12 Jordan adopts renewable energy feed-in tariffs, shelves nuclear (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

12 Solution to renewable energy's intermittency problem: more renewable energy (Scientific American). A mix of offshore and onshore wind, along with contributions from solar power, could provide reliable and cost-effective power flow during all but a handful of days in a hypothetical four-year period under study. See also Renewable energy: the 99.9% solution (RE New Economy, 2013-01-22).

11 'Misleading and dangerous': Leading energy expert attacks Chancellor George Osborne's over dash-to-gas policy (The Independent). See also Fracking ‘incompatible’ with UK’s climate change commitments, politicians warned (The Scotsman, 2012-12-11).

Nuclear cleanup to take 120 years and cost £100bn (Sunday Times). Nuclear clean-up to cost £100bn and take 120 years. Britains's taxpayers will be landed with a bill of more than £100bn for cleaning up radioactive waste from sites such as Sellafield and Dounreay, according to the chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The amount represents a near-doubling of the £56bn cleanup cost announced when the NDA began operating in 2005, and could rise still more.

The fracking dream which is putting Britain's future at risk (The Observer).

Surprise side effect of shale gas boom: a plunge in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (Forbes).

Nuclear giant EDF postpones decision on new Hinkley Point reactor (The Guardian).

The environmental cost of Osborne's dash for gas (The Guardian, letters).

UK’s DECC, EC discussing claim of nuclear subsidies: official (Platts, Nucleonics Week).

Energy Bill opens door to UK-Ireland wind farm link (Business Green). "... the Energy Bill confirmed that in principle clean energy projects located overseas could access British subsidies."

UPDATE 2-Enel pulls out from French EPR nuclear project (Reuters).

Gas strategy should be 'plan Z', government's climate adviser warns (The Guardian).

Why Scotland aims for 100% renewables – and more (RE New Economy). Scotland plans to generate enough renewable energy to account for 100 per cent of its electricity needs by 2020 – mostly through onshore and offshore wind farm developments, with some hydro and possibly just a little wave and solar. According to Scotland’s climate change and environment minister, Paul Wheelhouse, the country is well on its way, reaching 35 per cent in 2011 (ahead of its target of 31 per cent), and has another interim target of 50 per cent to be met by 2015.

British economy would be £20bn-a-year better off with focus on wind power, says think tank (The Independent). See also Investment in offshore wind better for economy than gas, report shows (The Guardian, 2012-12-04).

Investment in renewable energy has halved in just three years, says alarming research (The Independent). Fundamental ideological disagreements within the government about renewable energy have turned away droves of potential investors in crucial new green electricity generators, according to damning new research.

EDF raises French EPR reactor cost to over $11 billion (Chicago Tribune). See also EDF falls on rising costs for Normandy nuclear reactor (Bloomberg, 2012-12-04).

Osborne to offer tax breaks for shale gas (The Independent).

Centrica writes off £200m to quit nuclear power project (The Independent). 

November

29 The result of the energy bill bunfight is Lib Dems 4, Tories 0 (The Guardian, Tom Burke).

29 Ed Davey Energy Statement - in full (Business Green). See also Energy Bill (DECC); Electricity Market Reform (DECC).

29 MHI and SSE partner to bring cargo container battery storage to Orkney Islands power grid (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

29 Vestas boss warns UK government is jeopardising energy investment (The Guardian).

28 Nuclear lobbyists wined and dined senior civil servants, documents show (The Guardian).

28 Lake District park authority 'concerned' over radioactive waste burial (The Guardian).

27 Severn estuary could provide more renewable energy without barrage (Green Wise).

27 U.K. energy reforms unlikely to meet climate goals, survey shows (Bloomberg).

26 German renewable energy drive brings emissions cuts success (The Guardian).

24 EDF nuclear plants get boost fom U.K. low carbon funds (Bloomberg).

23 Energy department announces new investment in U.S. small modular reactor design and commercialization (Lab Manager).

23 Government ditches Energy Bill decarbonisation target until 2016 (Business Green).

23 Coalition war leaves customers facing soaring energy bills (The Guardian, Damian Carrington).

23 Energy deal means bills will rise to pay for green power (The Guardian).

21 Solar dash precedes winter concern (Platts). Year-to-date German PV installations now stand at 6.2 GW, bringing the grand total to 31 GW. .. German solar capacity has tripled in less than three years, further squeezing gas-fired units already suffering from negative spark spreads. ... Today PV modules cost about a third of what they did two and a half years ago. Germany moved quickly to amend FiTs, but the boom has proved been hard to control. ... Solar output for the first nine months was 25 TWh, a gain of 56% on nine months 2011 (German wind achieved 32.6 TWh). May and August were particularly strong months, with solar output at around 4 TWh in each. On May 25 - a Friday - solar output peaked at 22.4 GW during midday hours. The market effect was dramatic: day-ahead peakload prices fell below those for baseload power, with EPEX SPOT settling peak at €27.31/MWh and base at €28.89/MWh. ... The rise and rise of solar has relegated traditional peaking units to the so-called shoulder peaks in the morning and after sunset. ... While solar’s overall contribution to German output remains relatively small, it’s must-take status and ability to flatten midday summer peaks is hurting conventional plant’s ability to break even.

21 DESERTEC Foundation Director Dr. Gropp: "US$12 billion in World Bank funds would be better invested in desert power than in fossil fuels" (Deserte Foundation press release).

20 Britain 'set to become a world leader in carbon capture' (The Independent).

19 Study: EU energy demand can be cut by two thirds (BMU).

19 Things aren’t quite what they seem (2) (Alan Whitehead).

19 French group Areva to produce wind turbines in Scotland (Reuters).

18 Blackout fears as energy bill is delayed again (The Independent).

17 Centrica to abandon nuclear plants in Britain as energy giant switches investment to US market (This is Money).

16 Germany abandons nuclear power and lives to talk about it (Bloomberg Business Week). See also Germany has built clean energy economy U.S. rejected in 80s (Bloomberg Business Week, 2012-11-14).

16 Decarbonisation target 'could be postponed until next parliament' (The Guardian).

16 How much do we spend on nuclear waste? (The Guardian).

14 Report touts benefits of nuclear fleet strategy (Business Green).

13 Even low-level radioactivity is damaging, scientists conclude (Science Daily).

13 Americans say global warming should be a priority for the President and Congress (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication).

13 Things aren’t quite what they seem (1) (Alan Whitehead MP).

13 The disappearing market for nuclear electricity -- report (PR Newswire).

12 Icelandic volcanoes could heat British homes (The Telegraph).

12 Jordan set to abandon nuclear power (Albawaba).

12 IEA slams 'epic failure' of global energy efficiency policy (Business Green). Report bemoans 'disappointingly slow' progress in tapping energy efficiency potential, as figures show 30 per cent rise in fossil fuel subsidies. See also IEA report reminds us peak oil idea has gone up in flames (The Guardian, 2012-11-12). The IEA's World Energy Outlook 2012 also highlights another huge problem which is throwing fuel on the fire: titanic subsidies for fossil fuels. ... The entire valuation of the world's fossil fuels has to undergo a massive downgrade, impossible without the tough global climate treaty that currently seems as far away as ever; North America leads shift in global energy balance, IEA says in latest World Energy Outlook (International Energy Agency, 2012-11-12). Fossil fuels will remain dominant in the global energy mix, supported by subsidies that, in 2011, jumped by almost 30% to $523 billion, due mainly to increases in the Middle East and North Africa.

12 Nuclear AMRC awarded funding (The Guardian).

11 Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (EEDO) (DECC). See also Energy efficiency could replace 22 UK power stations (The Guardian, 2012-11-12).

11 Future is green, Prince of Wales's men tell Prime Minister (The Telegraph). Prince of Wales's group includes the nuclear industry.

11 Letter from Ed Davey MP (The Observer).

Czechs to rely more on nuclear energy (Bloomberg Business Week). Austria has said it will use all means to try to stop the construction at Temelin.

8 Letter from Dr David Toke and others (The Telegraph, scroll down).

NAO slams ‘dire’ clean-up at Sellafield (Financial Times).

Britain's nuclear push may stall as risks mount (Reuters). Energy Fair, a research group of energy economists opposed to nuclear, said in a report last month that the true cost of nuclear could even be over 200 pounds per MWh once "hidden subsidies" are taken into account. The research group said these would include government allocations of public money to limit its liability for accidents, offset the cost of nuclear waste and decommission power stations. See also U.K. will reject EDF nuclear deal that puts burden on consumers (Bloomberg Business Week, 2012-11-06).

Nuclear power much more expensive than offshore wind power -- new calculations (PR Newswire).

Cameron set to defend coalition's position on green economic growth (The Guardian).

New calculations show nuclear is "much more expensive" than offshore wind power (Renewable Energy Focus).

Wind and solar power will continue to erode thermal generators’ credit quality (Moody's Investors Service). See also Moody's: Renewables boom poses credit risk for coal and gas power plants (Business Green, 2012-11-06).

Green economy is on the rise – but remains to be fully exploited (The Guardian). See also Cameron set to defend coalition's position on growing UK's green economy (The Guardian, 2012-11-06). Tory MPs express concern over outpouring of anti-green sentiment and attacks on renewables from within government.

Nuclear, wind and wave power chiefs in joint appeal on green energy (The Independent). Welcoming the letter John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said: “This letter shows that whilst different industries will have differing preferences for the exact mix of energy technologies, there is unity from across huge swathes of the business community on the need for a clear goal in the energy bill to take carbon almost completely out of the electricity system by 2030. “As well as helping reduce the risks of climate change, this would help counter the overwhelming sense of confusion currently hanging over the direction of UK energy policy.” See also Joint letter from heads of RenewableUK, CCS association and Nuclear Industry Association on need for 2030 carbon goal (The Guardian, 2012-11-05); Industry letter calls for decarbonisation target in energy bill (The Guardian, 2012-11-05). John Sauven, the executive director at Greenpeace, which opposes nuclear power, took the surprising step of welcoming the letter, saying: "This letter shows that whilst different industries will have differing preferences for the exact mix of energy technologies, there is unity from across huge swathes of the business community on the need for a clear goal in the energy bill to take carbon almost completely out of the electricity system by 2030."

Scots farmers to reap solar power harvest (The Scotsman). News of plans to bring solar power to Scotland on a large scale comes days after the Scottish Government announced a new target to meet half of Scotland’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2015, leading to its overall aim of becoming 100 per cent renewable by 2020. While there is no official target for solar, TGC Renewables has set itself a goal of producing one gigawatt of power UK-wide from solar by 2020 – the equivalent to the output of one nuclear power station.

4 Western Isles key to major wind-powered development (Herald Scotland).

Onshore wind farm costs plummet by over a third (Business Green).

2 The beauty of wind farms (The Guardian, Dave Toke).

1 New nuclear reactors could be eligible for subsidies, says minister (The Guardian).

Government nuclear subsidy plan will breach EU state aid rules (Dave Toke).

October

31 Coalition energy policy row as Ed Davey slaps down new Tory minister (The Guardian).

30 Pawb anti-nuclear campaign: Britain is 'odd man out' (BBC News).

30 Hitachi eyes new, riskier Horizon (Financial Times).

30 Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power by 2018, research says (The Guardian).

29 UK close to key deal on price of nuclear power (The Independent).

28 Shell attacks 'ridiculous' effects of European energy policy (The Telegraph).

25 Solar islands floated as clean energy source for crowded continents (The Guardian).

24 North Sea tax break expected to create thousands of jobs (The Guardian). The government unveiled a "brown field" tax allowance last month after a long period of lobbying from an industry that has seen drilling levels plunge despite high oil prices.

23 Doubts cast over Japan nuclear phase-out (Financial Times).

23 EDF chief accuses MP of 'jingoism’ in row over nuclear subsidies (The Telegraph). 

23 We must impose a carbon limit on new electricity generation here and now (The Guardian, Keith Barnham).

23 UK public favours wind turbines over shale gas wells, poll finds (The Guardian). See also New poll shows clear majority of people want more wind farms (RenewableUK news release, 2012-10-22).

22 Solar damages claim rises to £50m as five more companies join case (Business Green).

22 Siemens pulls out of loss-making solar power business (The Guardian).

22 Government to rip up rulebook and subsidise new nuclear plants (The Independent). See also Letters: Who pays the nuclear power bill? (The Independent, Paul Dorfman and others, 2012-10-22); Editorial: Tough choices on nuclear power (The Independent, 2012-10-22); Fresh questions raised over 'blank cheque' for new nuclear (Business Green, 2012-10-22); Government considers 'blank cheque' nuclear subsidies (The Telegraph, 2012-10-22);

19 Scotland goes from nuclear to wind and waves (Deutsche Welle).

19 Solar PV industry eyes up to 25% power share in 2030 (EurActiv).

18 Protesters call on George Osborne to recognise green economy's potential (The Guardian). Deborah Meaden, the businesswoman and TV "Dragon", on Thursday attacked what she said was the failure of the chancellor, George Osborne, to promote green energy and businesses, as she led hundreds from business, environment, trade union, faith and women's groups in a protest outside the Treasury.

18 Subsidies in the energy sector – setting the record straight (Solar Power Portal, Kate Turner, Good Energy).

17 Revealed: the UK's wave power hot spots (Carbon Trust).

16 New nuclear costs could squeeze renewables from UK energy mix (The Guardian, Tom Burke).

15 Lithuanians send nuclear plant back to drawing board (Reuters).

15 Fukushima disaster could have been avoided, nuclear plant operator admits (The Guardian).

15 Energy companies warn on green subsidies (Financial Times).

14 Britain risks falling behind in the race for clean energy (The Guardian, Nicholas Stern).

14 Business bosses attack George Osborne's policy of 'dash for gas' (The Observer).

14 Don't block the sun (New York Times, Jeremy Leggett).

12 Put green energy into local hands (Financial Time, letter from Brian Goodall, NFLA).

11 Norway to double carbon tax on oil industry (The Guardian).

UK Tories warned by EU against stifling green agenda (EurActiv.com). See also Tories warned by EU against stifling green agenda (The Guardian, 2012-10-05). Janez Potocnik, the European environment commissioner, told the Guardian that for politicians to suggest that green legislation was a burden was "very unhelpful, because it is untrue".

Scotland's North Sea energy policies 'irreconcilable with green government' (The Guardian).

Senior Tories at odds over green policy (The Guardian). See also 'Soviet-style’ wind farm subsidies to face the axe (The Telegraph, 2012-10-09).

Russia eyes stake in UK nuclear plants (The Telegraph).

Wind farms on the bog of Ireland could provide UK electricity (The Guardian).

EDF demands subsidy guarantee to build new reactor (The Times, local copy).

UK may lift curbs on shale gas, offer tax help (Reuters). See also Can George Osborne give shale gas a boost with a 'generous' tax regime? (The Guardian).

Firms call on Tories to back 2030 carbon target for power sector (The Guardian). See also Businesses threaten to withdraw investment if Government does not go green enough (The Telegraph, 2012-10-08); Gas power 'is undermining energy sector' (The Telegraph, 2012-10-07).

Government mulls underwriting risk of new nuclear plants (The Telegraph).

7 Clouds are gathering over Britain's new nuclear dawn (The Independent on Sunday).

7 LISA BUCKINGHAM: Nuclear deal is likely to leave a toxic legacy (This is Money).

7 China in secret multi-billion pound talks on UK nuclear plant stake (This is Money).

Ex Hinkley Point Worker Dishes The Dirt On nuKILLER (You Tube).

EU move to end backdoor nuclear subsidy (SNP). If nuclear operators were required to hold full insurance to cover themselves in the event of an accident, the costs to nuclear operators would climb sharply further eroding the economic viability of a new generation of nuclear power stations. EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger announced the Commission’s intentions to legislate for tougher requirements, and is quoted as saying it is not his job to “make nuclear cheaper”.

5 UK: Horizon nuclear joint venture reduced to two bidders (Power Engineering).

How lights dimmed on UK’s nuclear vision (Financial Times).

Hitachi confirms bid for Horizon; could bring UK its first BWR reactor (Independent Nuclear News).

German coal-fired generation of electricity falls while renewable generation rises (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

Japan beats path to renewable energy (Financial Times).

Areva, Guangdong nuclear decide against U.K. atomic bidding (Bloomberg Business Week).

UK is haring off down the wrong path on new nuclear power plants (The Telegraph).

EU Single Market Act II aims to boost competition (BBC News). Key aims of the act include "opening up energy markets so the 500 million citizens of the EU can chose their power supply from across the whole EU region - something the commission says could collectively save 13bn euros if all citizens switched to the cheapest tariff." The Commission hopes "that the act will be in force by the spring of 2014".

Blow for Britain’s nuclear revival (Financial Times). See also Nuclear programme sparks more uncertainty (Financial Times, 2012-10-02); British nuclear plans suffer blow as Chinese investors pull out (The Guardian, 2012-10-03).

'Hundreds of problems' at EU nuclear plants (BBC News). See also Nuclear sector needs major safety investment, report says (EurActiv).

Gardens that grow gigawatts (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

Restricting nuclear power has little effect on the cost of climate policies (Science Codex). See also Economics of nuclear power and climate change mitigation policies (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012).

1 Just 50 months to tackle climate change (The Guardian, letter).

September

30 50 months to avoid climate disaster – and a change is in the air (The Observer, Andrew Simms).

30 Renewable energy: the chancellor is misguided to back a new dash for gas (The Observer).

28 Twenty gas-fired power stations planned for the UK (The Guardian).

28 UK shale gas is more lead balloon than silver bullet (The Guardian, Damian Carrington).

27 UK renewable energy output jumps by 42% (The Guardian).

26 World wind power leader EU passes 100GW (Financial Times).

26 It's a myth that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions (The Guardian).

24 Renewables share of Denmark's power tops 40 pct (Reuters).

23 Nuclear power subsidies 'could add £70 to annual household energy bills' (The Telegraph). See also Nuclear industry should focus on cost control rather than negotiating for the highest price (The Telegraph, 2012-09-23).

21 High-carbon fuel companies should pay their way too (Financial Times). Letter from Julian Scola, Communication Director, The European Wind Energy Association, Brussels, Belgium. "The fact is that governments across Europe could save themselves a lot of money, and hasten the phasing out of support for increasingly mature renewable technologies such as onshore wind, if they first removed longer-standing subsidies for more established technologies like nuclear and coal." See also  Creating the Internal Energy Market in Europe (PDF, European Wind Energy Association): the report includes a recommendation to remove subsidies for coal, gas and nuclear power.

20 Romney Marsh nuclear waste storage plant plan rejected (BBC News).

20 No to N-dump 'would put nuclear new-build at risk' says professor (Whitehaven News). 

20 Japan floats radical ideas for energy (Financial Times).

20 Windfarms could provide windfall for local communities (The Guardian).

18 Marine grid costs 'still too high', Scottish Renewables says (BBC News).

17 British nuclear supporters issue surrender notice (Dave Toke).

15 Wind farms will not stop global warming, claims minister (The Telegraph).

14 ‘No nuclear power at any price’ says lobby group (The Telegraph). See also George Osborne urged to press the button on the nuclear energy option (London Evening Standard, 2012-09-14).

14 Japan to phase out nuclear energy by 2040 (Google).

13 The Climate Committee is right – the government created this appalling investment climate (Business Green).

13 Calculating the true cost of electricity (Deutsche Welle). Taking into account health and environmental damage, wind and solar power from new plants in Europe is actually cheaper than energy from coal and nuclear power plants, according to a new report. The report, in German, is here: Was Strom Wirklich Kostet: Vergleich der staatlichen Förderungen und gesamtgesellschaftlichen Kosten von konventionellen und erneuerbaren Energien (PDF, Bundesverband WindEnergie (BWE), August 2012). See also Studie Stromgestehungskosten Erneuerbare Energien (PDF, Fraunhofer-Institutfur Solare Energiesysteme ISE, May 2012). 

13 France seen turning to renewables in policy shake-up (Reuters).

13 UK dash for gas would be illegal, says climate committee (The Guardian). See also Gas warning reignites UK government row over energy policy (The Guardian, 2012-09-13).

11 Davey takes aim at shale gas lobby with defence of Energy Bill (Business Green).

11 Climate activists target Shell with ice protest over Arctic drilling (The Guardian).

10 No summer blackouts: nuclear scaremongering in Japan proven false (Greenpeace International).

Nuclear waste set to power spacecraft (Financial Times).

China's green industry expands in the west to offset slowing profits at home (The Observer).

Tories' dash for gas risks climate target (The Independent).

EDF considers nuclear plant reprieve (The Telegraph).

Climate change expert calls for nuclear power 'binge' to avert global warming (The Observer). See also Rapid nuclear “binge” to meet climate change targets is unrealistic and undesirable says UK expert (Responding to Climate Change, 2012-09-11).

John Gummer warns: don't dump green agenda (The Guardian).

Flooded mines could supply 40% of Glasgow's heating, say geologists (The Guardian).

Miliband slams coalition over mixed signals on green economy (Business Green).

Nucléaire: les déboires anglo-saxons d'EDF avec son EPR (Mediapart). Contains some quotes from Gerry Wolff.

New environment secretary Owen Paterson will worry greens (The Guardian).

World's conservation hopes rest on Ecuador's revolutionary Yasuni model (The Guardian). A plan to preserve the most biodiverse region on Earth from oil exploitation has put Yasuni national park at the frontline of a global battle between living systems and fossil fuels. But enthusiasm is cooling and this bold project may now be at as much at risk as the wildlife itself.

China could take key role in UK nuclear infrastructure through Hinkley Point (The Observer). See also EDF seeks Chinese nuclear partners (Financial Times, 2012-09-03).

Green taxes are adding £2bn to our energy bills (The Independent).

August

31 Light goes out for incandescent bulbs (The Guardian).

30 Dart secures $100m loan for gas extraction projects (The Herald).

30 UK wind power predictable enough to keep lights on, says think tank IPPR (The Telegraph). Wind power in Britain is predictable enough that the grid can rely on it to help keep the lights on, despite spells of cold, calm weather, while it cuts carbon emissions significantly, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said.

30 R Bavarian village rakes in $5.7m a year by selling green energy (RE New Economy).

30 R Rising tide for ocean energy: UK aims to ride the wave (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

29 New build: tackling the cost issue (Nuclear Energy Insider).

29 Wind power study says opponents' claims are unfounded (The Guardian).

29 Ernst & Young: Gas vision undermining UK clean energy investment (Business Green). See also Ernst & Young: Green investors fear UK dash for gas (Business Green, 2012-05-28).

28 R Orkney, leader in green energy, launches wave power competition (The Guardian).

28 Future of fossil fuels: back-up for renewables (RE New Economy). The two largest electricity utilities in Germany – E.ON and RWE – have declared they will build no more fossil fuel generation plants because they are not needed, challenging a widespread belief that the phasing out of nuclear in Europe’s most industrialised economy will require more coal-fired generation to be built.

27 R Huge solar power plants spring up in idle industrial complexes (The Mainichi). The construction of huge solar power plants is under way in unused industrial complexes across Japan amid expectations that solar power may become a pillar of renewable energy sources in the aftermath of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

24 Greenpeace storms Arctic oil platform (The Guardian).

23 Shetland tidal turbine will be 'world first' (BBC News).

22 R Germany's ten point energy plan (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

22 The power above: kite power seeks high altitude power (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

22 Elementary solution to the energy crisis (The Telegraph). Wind power may be costly but it is crucial for policy targets.

21 Supercable set to link Peterhead and Norway (Buchan Observer).

21 Cairngorm solar panel sales soar (The Herald).

20 Abandoned Severn tidal power project to be reconsidered (The Guardian).

20 UK nuclear policy looks to China (Financial Times).

20 Does the world need nuclear power to solve the climate crisis? (The Guardian, Oliver Tickell).

20 'Untested' nuclear reactors may be used to burn up plutonium waste (The Independent).

19 No 10 asks ministers: Can we now support £30bn Severn barrage? (The Independent).

17 France's nuclear delays, heat wave, lifts prompt to six-month high (Platts). EDF also confirmed Thursday that the current spell of hot weather in France has forced it to temporarily ramp down production at a number of its power plants, as river water temperatures have exceeded the level required to cool down a plant.

17 Lords raise 'serious doubts' over Energy Bill (Business Green). The short eight-page report echoes many of the concerns raised last month by the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee of MPs, criticising the government for continued uncertainties surrounding key elements of the bill and the decision to leave many important decisions to secondary legislation, "not all aspects of which will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny". ,,, the report criticises the lack of information on how the proposed contract for difference (CfD) feed-in tariffs will work for low carbon generators and raises concern that the process for awarding subsidies through the CfD mechanism will be largely at the discretion of ministers. ... Under the government's proposals, ministers would initially have the authority to set the guaranteed price, or "strike price", low carbon generators would enjoy through CfDs, and would also be allowed to offer unspecified "investment instruments" to project developers ahead of the full launch of the CfD mechanism.

14 Climate committee chairman Tim Yeo under pressure over industry links (The Telegraph).

13 The deal: European Supergrid sets high expectations (RenewableEnergyWorld.com). ‘Interconnectors are an incredibly effective way to counter the argument that you need to back up each gigawatt of wind with a gigawatt of gas — they quite clearly show you do not,’ said Hendry.  

13 Scottish renewables investment tops £2.8bn (Business Green). Scotland's status as one of the world's leading renewable energy markets was again underlined last week, after new figures revealed the sector has attracted more than £2.8bn of capital investment since the start of 2009. See also 100% renewable energy 'attainable' (Power Engineering, 2012-08-10). The ambition to generate 100% of Scotland's electricity from renewable sources by 2020 could be within reach, a report suggests.

12 EDF Energy puts price cap on Hinkley Point nuclear plant (The Telegraph). See also EDF chief Vincent de Rivaz's nuclear vision aims to inspire a generation (The Telegraph, 2012-08-12); Energy giant EDF wants taxpayers' cash to pay for nuclear power (This is Money, 2012-08-13).

10 Alexander prepares to attack Tories (Financial Times).

Fukushima disaster paves way for new geothermal plants (The Guardian).

Green businesses unite to pressure PM into supporting renewable energy (The Guardian).

EC gives go ahead for EDF’s Hinkley Point nuclear project (Energy Efficiency News).

U.K. woos atomic cash with best rate for early investors (Bloomberg).

Sainsbury's claims title of biggest solar power generator in Europe (The Guardian).

July

31 EDF ready to open up UK nuclear projects for partners (Reuters). See also EDF looks to spread UK nuclear costs (The Telegraph, 2012-08-01). Ratings agencies have warned that they could downgrade both EDF and Centrica if they go ahead with the project; EDF open to partners on UK nuclear scheme (Financial Times, 2012-07-31). France’s government is about to conduct a root-and-branch review of energy policy – including the future of the nuclear industry – which will affect domestic investment.

30 Exclusive: Sharp and Hitachi to launch solar loan deal (Business Green).

30 Are fast-breeder reactors the answer to our nuclear waste nightmare? (The Guardian).

30 Nuclear ‘hard to justify’, says GE chief (Financial Times). Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it has become “really hard” to justify, according to the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers of atomic equipment. See also Wind taken out of nuclear power’s sails (Financial Times, 2012-08-02); Nuclear winter (Financial Times, 2012-08-03); GE chief cools to nuclear prospects (Financial Times, 2012-08-03).

30 Minister pledges backing for nuclear build despite setbacks (The Independent).

30 Is George Osborne's energy stance influenced by Lord Howell, Greenpeace asks (The Telegraph).

29 Marine park to harness firth tides (Scotland on Sunday).

29 Osborne accused over gas lobbyist father-in-law (The Independent).

28 Foreign energy firms pressured ministers to keep wind farm subsidies high (The Telegraph).

28 The London Array: the world's largest offshore wind farm (The Telegraph). [The Government] estimates that offshore wind alone could meet Britain’s current demand for electricity 10 times over, and environmental campaigners are urging the government to make the most of its potential.

27 Why we’re fighting for green energy (WWF news release). Working on energy policy is critical for WWF. Our energy experts are part of our vitally important climate change team, reflecting the fact that the world urgently needs to move away from high-carbon fossil fuels if we’re to have any chance of avoiding dangerous levels of global warming. That’s a huge challenge - but we’re clear that the solutions lie in clean renewable energy and using energy more wisely.

27 'No new' SSE hydro power stations after subsidy cut (BBC News).

27 Why we’re fighting for green energy (WWF news release).

26 Updated: solar surge sparked 2011 renewables boom (Business Green). DECC figures show renewable electricity generation grew by a record 33 per cent last year.

25 Coalition spat on energy set to resume (Financial Times). [Ed Davey] said there would also be a £500m tax break for offshore gasfields – on top of the £3bn announced in the March Budget – and went out of his way to emphasise the “important role” gas would play in the UK’s power sector “well into and beyond 2030”. ... Greenpeace, meanwhile, attacked what it said was a “bonkers” decision to give the gas industry more support than offshore wind power, which was cleaner and would also provide many jobs.

25 Davey: renewable subsidy decision to drive £25bn in green investment (Business Green). See also Renewable energy: onshore wind subsidy to be cut by 10% (BBC News, 2012-07-25).

24 French nuclear dismantling funds may fall short, report says (Bloomberg).

24 Cameron cools on climate change (The Guardian, letters). Letter from Jean Lambert MEP Green, London, Keith Taylor MEP Green, South East England.

23 Warning of electricity prices doubling (Financial Times).

23 Strike price key to new nuclear plants (Financial Times).

23 Osborne offers deal on wind power (Financial Times).

23 Electricity market reforms ‘unworkable’ (The Guardian). See also Government energy plan 'unworkable', MPs warn (The Telegraph, 2012-07-23). Tim Yeo, Tory chairman of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee, has been accused of a conflict of interest over his decision to accept the presidency of the Renewable Energy Association.

22 Two consortiums interested in reactors (Financial Times). See also Chinese presence in UK nuclear would pose strategic risk (Financial Times, 2012-07-23).

22 George Osborne wrecking green plans to placate MPs – senior Tory (The Guardian).

22 Angel-power investment plan for millions to fire up small hydro schemes (The Herald).

22 Cheap power under our feet (The Independent). A study by Sinclair Knight Merz, engineering consultants, found deep geothermal resources could provide 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of renewable electricity, equivalent to almost nine nuclear power stations and 20 per cent of the UK's electricity demand. It could also provide more than 100GW of heat, enough to meet the UK's entire demand for heating homes and buildings. See also Geothermal Energy Potential: Great Britain and Northern Ireland (PDF, 4.6 MB, Sinclair Knight Merz, in association with the REA, May 2012).

21 Energy supply is national security issue, not for flogging off to China (Michael Meacher blog).

20 Richard Branson urges Obama to back next-generation nuclear technology (The Guardian).

20 China in talks to build UK nuclear power plants (The Guardian).

19 EDF says reported strike price of £165/MWh is “wrong”; DECC silent on upper limit (Independent Nuclear News).

19 Osborne in renewables row with Lib Dems (Financial Times).

19 Siemens and Dong energy sign €2.5bn offshore wind power deal (The Guardian).

18 S Energy projects in frame as Treasury announces £50bn in loan guarantees (The Guardian).

18 Letter from WWF and Greenpeace (The Times). EDF's claim that offshore wind will be more expensive ignores the extensive review recently published by the Crown Estate showing that the costs of offshore wind, currently being built at about £140/MWh, will fall rapidly as the technology matures, reaching about £100/MWh by the 2020s. See Offshore wind cost reduction pathways study (PDF, The Crown Estate, May 2012).

17 Investors warn against delaying wind energy subsidy cut decision (The Guardian). Jenny Banks, energy policy officer at WWF UK, said: "It appears that Treasury are actively seeking to undermine the renewables industry. It's ironic given this sector is the one shining beacon of potential growth and job creation. Osborne appears to be digging his heels in on an argument about £20m a year on the level of support for onshore wind. This is dwarfed by the £2.8bn a year reported to be required by EDF to support new nuclear power which, it has emerged, is more costly than any form of wind generation. Yet we hear nothing from the Treasury about this cost." See also Treasury accused of “actively undermining” renewables industry with subsidy delay (Business Green, 2012-07-17).

17 Ireland edges forward with plan to export wind power to UK (Business Green).

16 It's official - nuclear power IS more expensive than offshore wind (Dave Toke's green energy blog).

16 Finland's Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant delayed again (BBC News).

16 French demand high price for 'rescuing' nuclear industry with two new reactors (The Times). According to well-placed industry sources, EDF Energy has told officials that it needs about £165 per megawatt hour, almost four times the existing wholesale price of electricity, if it is to go ahead with Hinkley Point. ... The Government has warned EDF Energy, and its junior partner Centrica, that nuclear power subsidies must be lower than offshore wind power to ensure public acceptance. The company argues that the total costs of the giant new offshore wind projects planned for the North Sea will be £180 per mw/h, making nuclear slightly cheaper. See also Lies, damned lies and speculation (UK Nuclear, 2012-07-18).

16 UK powers ahead with clean energy investment (The Independent).

16 Consumers braced for double whammy on their energy bills (The Telegraph).

13 Areva confirms bid for Horizon, but Westinghouse, GEH, Rosatom remain coy (Independent Nuclear News).

12 Thorium: no silver bullet for nuclear industry (PDF, news release, July 2012). A new Briefing, authored by Oliver Tickell, explodes the idea that nuclear reactors using thorium as fuel might provide a viable alternative to reactors using uranium. The briefing itself is Thorium: not ‘green’, not ‘viable’, and not likely (PDF).

9 Government survey reveals strong public support for renewables (Business Green). While only a fifth of people said they were very concerned about current climate change a clear majority said they accepted that human activity is impacting the climate – 38 per cent said climate change was mainly or entirely caused by human activity, while 42 per cent said it was caused by both human activity and natural processes.

9 UW on politics: new-build nuclear and unclear negotiations (Utility Week).

9 Nuclear waste-burning reactor moves a step closer to reality (The Guardian).

9 David Cameron should rethink economic strategy, think-tanks say (The Telegraph). [The Centre for Policy Studies and the Institute of Economic Affairs] tell Mr Cameron to “adopt a coherent and realistic energy policy” based on rapid development of extracting gas by the controversial method of ‘fracking’ as well as coal and nuclear power plants. ... The think tanks also urge ministers to “stop building wind-farms and repeal (or suspend) the Climate Change Act”.

7 How Tepco glossed over Fukushima's vulnerability (BBC News).

7 Case for Wylfa is ‘very compelling’ says energy minister Charles Hendry (Daily Post). MP Margaret Ritchie said the Fukushima disaster in Japan proved nuclear power could never be made entirely safe, and urged Mr Hendry to focus on helping the millions living in fuel poverty. “The Government seem intent on delivering more of the same, especially in their continued obsession with the expensive and ultimately unsafe energy source that is nuclear power,” she claimed.

7 Areva confirms joint bid with China's CGNPC for UK's Horizon (Reuters). See also Wylfa B and Oldbury: Chinese and French firms in new reactors bid (BBC News, 2012-07-09).

6 France confirms renewables boost over nuclear (Wind Power Monthly). FRANCE: Newly-elected French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has confirmed the new government will uphold the target of reducing the share of nuclear power from 75% to 50% of electricity production by 2025.

Japan panel: Fukushima nuclear disaster 'man-made' (BBC News).

5 The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012 (World Nuclear Report). Only seven new reactors started up, while 19 were shut down in 2011. ... Construction costs are rapidly rising. The European EPR cost estimate has increased by a factor of four (adjusted for inflation) over the past ten years. ... Two thirds of the assessed nuclear companies and utilities were downgraded by credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s over the past five years. ... Installed worldwide nuclear capacity decreased again in 2011, while the annual installed wind power capacity increased by 41 GW in 2011 alone. ...

5 Renewable UK threatens legal action as Tory MPs call for wind policy U-turn (The Guardian).

4 Record number of radioactive particles found on beaches near Sellafield (The Guardian).

3 Ban food waste from landfill for renewable energy, urges thinktank (The Guardian).

3 E.ON heats up plans for five deep-geothermal power plants (Business Green).

3 UK Treasury ducks written evidence after draft energy bill inquiry no-show (Platts).

2 UK popular support for nuclear power rises - poll (Reuters). See also Nuclear more popular than gas but wind blows both away (The Guardian, 2012-07-03).

2 Trio of vendors submit bids for Temelin nuclear plant (Nuclear Engineering International).

June

29 France orders major nuclear site upgrades – to prevent Fukushima-style disaster (Global Post).

29 Government must give up 'dash for gas', say environmental advisers (The Guardian). See also Government must resist new 'dash for gas', advisers say (BBC News, 2012-06-29).

28 EDF Gets six years to carry out $12 billion safety measures (Bloomberg Businessweek).

27 Major changes critical for Energy Bill and Green Deal to succeed (WWF). The University of Exeter, SSE, Consumer Focus and WWF, along with representatives from 12 other organisations, today published the results of a series of roundtables on UK energy policy.

27 Coalition's plans to fuel UK with green energy at 'high risk' of failing, says watchdog (The Telegraph). The Coalition's plans to keep Britain's lights on with green electricity have a “high risk” of failing, the Major Projects Authority has warned.

26 Plans for carbon-capture power station abandoned (The Guardian).

26 UK new nuclear could boost UK economy by $7.8 billion: EDF Energy (Platts).

26 UK Energy Secretary says EDF knew royal assent for EMR by Spring could not happen (Independent Nuclear News).

26 DECC says widespread belief government would back long-term contracts for new nuclear is false (Independent Nuclear News).

26 Exclusive: Ed Davey urged to take 'foot off the gas' and focus on renewables (Business Green). New report from Friends of the Earth warns UK is heading for second 'dash for gas' as ministers prepare to give evidence to MPs over Energy Bill.

26 Leaving appliances on standby 'can cost UK households up to £86 a year' (The Guardian). Report from the Energy Saving Trust and DEFRA. 

26 Sir David King: quantitative easing should be aimed at green economy (The Guardian).

24 Overseas investors join in criticism of UK energy bill (Business Green). See also Davey vow to review energy investor fears (Financial Times, 2012-06-26).

24 PM under pressure from own cabinet to boost green energy investment (The Observer).

23 EDF boss Vincent de Rivaz leads nuclear power battle and warns there's no plan B to keep the lights on (This is Money).

22 New nuclear power – clean, cheap, safe and popular with business (Institute of Directors). See also New nuclear power – clean, cheap, safe and popular with business (Fresh Business Thinking).

21 Strict state aid rules needed to ensure fair EU energy market: EC (Platts). "We need a strict framework on what can be supported and where," Philip Lowe, director-general of the EC's energy department, told an industry seminar in Brussels. ... "There is no infant technology argument for nuclear, but there is a security of supply issue," Lowe said. ... "There is a problem in the UK and its security of supply for the future," Lowe said. "The UK government has to sort it out and the [EC's competition department] will have to examine it."

20 Row erupts over George Osborne's plan for 25 per cent cuts in onshore wind farms subsidy (The Independent).

20 Treasury ministers 'avoiding' commitee grilling over Energy Bill (The Telegraph). Energy companies and investors have said they are unhappy that the Treasury will not act as guarantor on proposed long-term contracts setting power price subsidies, as they had been expected to do. Energy ministers are thought to be trying to persuade the Treasury to take on the role. ... The industry has also raised concerns that the contracts, supposed to guarantee returns on investment, now risk being overridden by short-term Treasury caps on levies. Mr Yeo said the issue “undermines the credibility of the regime at the heart of the Bill”.

20 UK in active and positive negotiations with several parties to sell Horizon Nuclear Power (Independent Nuclear News).

18 EXCLUSIVE-Western firms tap China cash to bid for UK nuclear (Reuters). See also China could buy Areva, Westinghouse nuclear project in U.K. (Electric Light & Power, 2012-06-18).

17 RWE says won't build any new nuclear plants (Reuters).

17 Carbon capture project is a big risk, says SSE boss (The Observer).

16 Subsidies for onshore wind farms 'to be axed by 2020' (The Telegraph).

14 From the power of six to the power of thousands (The Guardian, Juliette Davenport).

14 Sharing McElroy’s discomfort as de Rivaz ‘talks his book’ (Independent Nuclear News).

14 Britain's energy future lies in renewables and energy saving, not nuclear power (Friends of the Earth).

14 UK government waters down EU energy efficiency deal (The Guardian).

14 MPs to investigate the economics of wind power (The Guardian).

13 UK’s draft electricity market reform bill rejected by industry executives as inadequate, unclear (Independent Nuclear News).

13 EDF Energy CEO committed to end-2012 final investment decision, despite EMR issues (Independent Nuclear News).

13 Offshore wind power cost 'could fall one-third by 2020' (The Guardian).

12 Greenpeace report rebukes finance sector for ignoring nuclear risks (Greenpeace news release). See also Toxic Assets - nuclear reactors in the 21st century (Greenpeace news release, 2012-06-12).

12 Energy groups attack ill-defined reforms (Financial Times). See also SSE CEO says ‘negotiation in smoke-filled room’ will set power price for EDF’s Hinkley Point C (Independent Nuclear News, 2012-06-12); SSE attacks secrecy of nuclear subsidy talks (The Telegraph, 2012-06-13).

12 UK nuclear plans 'need saving by David Cameron and Francois Hollande' (The Guardian).

11 Solar boom pushes global renewables investment to $257bn in 2011 (Business Green).

11 Global investment in renewable energy at record high (The Guardian). Renewable sources now supply 16.7% of global energy consumption, according to the report, but much of that is biomass used for cooking and heating in developing countries.

11 New review of evidence about onshore wind power to dispel myths for MPs (London School of Economics news release). See also Hay Festival 2012: Electricity from wind turbines will soon be as cheap as gas (The Telegraph, 2012-06-11). The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics predicted that the cost of putting up turbines will fall dramatically over the next few years so that by 2016 it will be as cheap to generate electricity from wind as from gas. See The case for and against onshore wind energy in the UK (PDF, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, June 2012).

11 'We’ll live to regret' handing energy subsidy to the French (The Times).

10 The government must not renege on its green pledges (The Observer). Letter from John Sauven, Executive director, Greenpeace UK, Andy Atkins Executive director, Friends of the Earth UK, David Nussbaum, Chief executive, WWF UK.

8 Nuclear: The path to power (Building.co.uk). But the whole system is subject to a legal challenge at the European Commission by protest group Energy Fair. Gerry Wolff, leader of the group, says: “The proposed ‘contracts for difference’ is a blank cheque to a nuclear industry that is already heavily subsidised.” Energy Fair’s complaint centres on the argument that guaranteeing returns to particular generating technologies, including nuclear, doesn’t meet with European competition rules. Although the government is still in discussions with the Commission to ensure its system is permissible, it is not clear when this will be fully resolved.

8 Gas ‘better than wind’ for low carbon, Policy Exchange claims (The Telegraph). See also Updated: Claims new gas plants could help cut emissions branded 'ridiculous' (Business Green, 2012-06-08).

7 Donald Trump’s hated wind farm could ‘help save £45bn’ (The Scotsman).

6 French nuclear watchdog says orders won at too-low prices (Bloomberg).

6 Chinese nuclear goes global? (China Dialogue, Antony Froggatt).

6 Anti-Wylfa B group's 3,000 job manifesto (North Wales Chronicle).

6 UK signs 'landmark' energy agreement with Norway (The Guardian).

5 £8bn green investment to create total of 8000 jobs (The Herald). Scotland is about to see a huge injection of £8bn, adding another 3313 jobs to the 4411 people already employed in the industry north of the Border. ... Last year, Scotland produced a record amount of renewable electricity, amounting to more than a third of its gross domestic consumption.... The SNP administration insists Scotland is now on track to deliver the equivalent of at least 100% of gross electricity consumption by 2020.

4 Nuclear, coal power face climate change risk: study (Reuters).

4 Tory MP calls for countryside windfarm 'bribes' (The Guardian). See also Giving power to the people can solve the wind farm stand-off (The Guardian, Damian Carrington, 2012-06-04).

4 Build more turbines: poll shows public wants wind farms (The Independent). Seven people in 10 want more wind farms built across the countryside to meet Britain's energy needs – despite a high-profile political backlash which jeopardises their future. ... Last week a High Court judge ruled that villagers' right to preserve their landscape was more important than the Government's renewable energy targets. Lincolnshire County Council is planning to use the judgment to become the first county council in Britain to prevent wind farms being built in its area, and more local anti-wind moves are expected.

2 George Osborne demands massive cuts to windfarm subsidies (The Observer).

1 Anti-nuclear group Pawb's Anglesey job creation plans (BBC News). See also We’ll bring Anglesey jobs without Wylfa B say anti-nuclear campaigners (Daily Post, 2012-06-02).

1 Is there a UK nuclear power plan B? (The Guardian, Damian Carrington). "We know [the strike price] has to be value for money and affordable," Decc says. "On price discovery, we want to see competition between technologies over the longer term. This will drive the best deal for consumers. For now, we have to work on a technology specific basis and administratively set prices – based on gathering evidence about costs." It's worth reading that last sentence again. What it amounts to is an admission that nuclear plants, after 60 years of development, cannot compete on price in an open market. That is why no nuclear plant has ever been bulit without state support. ... What is really extraordinary in all of this is that the rock-solid political orthodoxy of the last 30 years has been that the government industrial policy must not try to pick winners. Yet the political bind that Decc's obsession with nuclear has now created means the government is having to bend over backwards to pick a loser. It is energy consumers, you and me, who will pick up the tab.

May

31 Alex Salmond's £46 billion green 'gamble' with Scotland's economy (The Telegraph). Peter Atherton, Citigroup’s head of utilities research, said the SNP’s radical renewable power targets require up to £7 billion of investment a year but the figure at the moment is only £750 million. It is “borderline fantasy” that this difference can be made good because banks and international investors do not think green energy schemes provide reliable returns, he said.

31 The energy bill is misleading, manipulative and destructive (The Guardian, George Monbiot).

31 Jordan's parliament suspends plans for nuclear reactors (Power Engineering).

30 R Germany's renewable energy revolution leaves UK in the shade (The Guardian). See also Germany plans to build wind power grid (Financial Times, 2012-05-30).

30 Fitch affirms EDF ‘A+’ rating, but warns of ‘no financial headroom’ at current rating level (Independent Nuclear News).

30 ‘Energy is what I say it is’ said the Mad Hatter to Alice (Michael Meacher MP, blog). Game, set and match to the fossil fuel lobbies, and contempt and shame to the Tory/LibDems who still talk green, but act dirty brown.

30 IEA: electricity market reform may cost businesses (Business Green).

30 UK and Iceland sign energy agreement (DECC news release). See also Geothermal energy could meet a fifth of UK's power needs – report (The Guardian, 2012-05-30); When energy begins to flow long distance (IPS, 2012-06-05).

29 A crossroads for Japan: revive nuclear or go green? (Environment 360). In contrast to the divisions in the central government, Japan’s prefectures (states), big cities, and other local governments are virtually all committed to a shift to sustainable energy. This fact matters a great deal because local governments represent about two-thirds of total government-sector spending in Japan. They are investing 52 billion yen ($654 million) of their own funds directly into renewable energy in this fiscal year, while their investments in conservation and energy efficiency are many multiples of that. They are also introducing an array of indirect supports to encourage citizen power cooperatives, bulk-buying of solar panels, and other policies to promote the diffusion of renewables.

29 The truth about renewable energy: inexpensive, reliable, and inexhaustible (Grist). "A new analysis [PDF] conducted by Synapse Energy Economics on behalf of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid found that adding more wind power to the electric grid could reduce wholesale market prices by more than 25 percent in the Midwest region by 2020 — $3–$10 per megawatt hour (MWh) in the near term, and up to nearly $50 per MWh by 2030. ... New high-voltage transmission lines are large infrastructure investments, but are the smallest part of a typical electricity bill — less than 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. ... World-class renewable resources from wind in the Great Plains to solar in the Southwest could power the whole country more than a dozen times over."

29 EDF and Centrica deliver blows to UK nuclear (Power Engineering). "Earlier this month UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry conceded that the CfD’s could fall foul of European state aid rules. He told the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Committee that the mechanism which the industry wanted was undeliverable under EU rules. 'We have put forward a package which we believe most complies with EU requirements, while industry has other thoughts, and we will try to find a balance that gives certainty and comfort to investors,' he said. But committee chairman Tim Yeo said: 'There will be serious alarm politically if it appears that some interpretation of EU state aid rules prevents Britain from having the best market structure.'"

29 Future of UK nuclear power hangs in balance as it emerges state funding deals could break EU law (This is Money).

29 Are solar, wind and marine power too intermittent to be useful? (The Guardian, Grantham Research Institute and Duncan Clark).

28 Hinkley and Sizewell will cost us £155 billion over 30 years under the CfD (Tom Burke blog). To be very clear, the total cost to British businesses and householders of a CfD for 30 years that will be necessary to induce EDF to order Hinkley and Sizewell will be £155 billion. This calculation assumes that the reactors will be built on time and to budget, a feat which has so far eluded Areva, EDF’s reactor supplier. If they are not, it will rise. That is an addition to electricity prices of at least £5.2 billion/year.

28 Britain's climate change policy is going up in smoke (The Guardian, George Monbiot). "Through a series of subtle prestidigitations, both coal and gas plants have been exempted from any targets for cutting carbon emissions: and with that the 2008 Climate Change Act goes up in smoke. ... Throughout this inferno of a bill there is not a single new commitment to energy efficiency. It relies only on the government's green deal. But this will reduce the number of installations of cavity wall insulation from the 800,000 envisaged this year under the last government's programme to 100,000. The government's own figures show that almost the same number would have been insulated with no programme at all." See also The price is right to tackle climate change (The Guardian, Ed Davey MP, 2012-05-29).

28 Always look on the bright side… (Alan Whitehead MP). Of the thirty nine clauses dealing with what one might call ‘actual EMR’ six go about setting up what are called ’Investment Instruments’ which are, not to put too fine a point on it notes of comfort for nuclear generators ahead of the actual date on which Contracts for Difference can actually start. They certainly won’t be notes of comfort for anyone else, because they will all be able to obtain Renewables Obligation Certificates until 2017: so a whole section devoted to shoring up EDF ahead of whatever else comes out of the Bill.

28 Ernst & Young: green investors fear UK dash for gas (Business Green).

27 Centrica concerned at state aid for N-plants (Financial Times).

27 EDF puts planned Somerset nuclear plant on hold (The Guardian).

27 Greens warn of a return to era of 'dirty coal' (The Independent on Sunday). See also Scotland's green targets blown by Westminster (Herald Scotland).

27 Spent fuel rods drive growing fear over plant in Japan (New York Times).

26 Germany sets new solar power record, institute says (Reuters). See also Solar power generation world record set in Germany (The Guardian, 2012-05-28).

25 A Gosplan for the UK energy market (Financial Times).

25 Alex Salmond predicts million-strong movement for Scottish independence (The Guardian). "The first minister was the first to sign the new "yes declaration", an open-ended pledge to make Scotland a "greener, fairer and more prosperous" independent nation, which won backing from actors such as Brian Cox and Alan Cumming, and a scattering of left-of-centre political figures such as the Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie." See also Sign up to the Yes Declaration (Yes Scotland).

24 EDF will make spending in France a ‘priority,’ Proglio says (Bloomberg).

24 Energy minister visits Horizon headquarters (DECC press notice). A group of very talented and experienced staff who have worked extremely hard over the past three years to make Wylfa and Oldbury two of the most attractive sites in Europe to invest in new nuclear.

23 Busting the carbon and cost myths of Germany's nuclear exit (The Guardian, Damian Carrington). See also The truth about Germany's nuclear phase-out (The Guardian, Duncan Clark, 2012-05-28).

23 Overseas investors join in criticism of UK energy bill (The Guardian).

23 I Draft energy Bill may deter investment, Citigroup warns (The Telegraph).

22 Western Europe has highest global risk of a nuclear disaster, new study warns (Click Green). Based on the operating hours of all civil nuclear reactors and the number of nuclear meltdowns that have occurred, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz have calculated that [major reactor accidents] may occur once every 10 to 20 years (based on the current number of reactors) — some 200 times more often than estimated in the past.

22 Nuclear has too many problems to be viable; Letters (Waste Management World). ... the Energy Fair group show that by the time any new nuclear plant could be built in the UK, the market for its electricity will be disappearing. This will be largely due to the development of the European internal market for electricity and rapidly falling costs of photovoltaics and other renewables.

22 Nuclear plants earmarked for closure could stay open (The Telegraph). See also Nuclear reactor reprieve puts UK energy plans in doubt (The Guardian, 2012-05-22); Talks over power stations (The Scotsman, 2012-05-23).

22 Only renewables - not nuclear - could be too cheap to meter (The Guardian, Damian Carrington blog). Germany's long support for wind and solar energy is delivering zero-cost electricity at times. In contrast, the UK's new energy policy seeks to underwrite the rising cost of nuclear.

22 Energy Bill debuts with a whimper, not a bang (Business Green, James Murray blog). The government has provided a bit more detail on the framework they will operate under, at the same time as confirming that the industry will have to wait until next year to get the numbers they need to calculate the viability of future offshore wind farms, nuclear reactors, or biomass power plants. ... The simple fact is that low carbon energy investment will not really begin to flow until the government confirms the strike price at which CfDs will be offered for different technologies. ... It is the prospect of this two-year investment hiatus that has prompted the government to take the remarkable decision to try and give the secretary of state the unprecedented power to offer wonderfully named "letters of comfort" to selected low carbon developers, reassuring them that they will be guaranteed returns ahead of the launch of the CfD programme. Leaving aside the fact these letters could prove worthless given they are entirely dependent on the EU granting state aid approval for the new regime, they look like a staggeringly direct intervention from the government as ministers desperately try to get new low carbon projects underway.

22 Written Ministerial Statement:Draft Energy Bill (Pre-Legislative Scrutiny) (DECC, Ed Davey MP). Through the work on Final Investment Decisions (FID) Enabling we are committed to working with developers to enable some of this investment to come forward in advance of the CfD regime coming into force, and the Bill contains measures to support this process.

22 Nuclear reactor reprieve puts UK energy plans in doubt (Business Green).

22 Government announces biggest energy reforms in 20 years (The Guardian).

22 Energy bill: will it help the UK meet its climate goals? (The Guardian).

18 Renewables far less risky than nuclear; Letters (Western Daily Press, reproduced in Waste Management World). ... the Energy Fair group show that by the time any new nuclear plant could be built in the UK, the market for its electricity will be disappearing. This will be largely due to the development of the European internal market for electricity and rapidly falling costs of photovoltaics and other renewables.

17 Scotland's first tidal turbine starts powering homes and businesses (Click Green).

16 Hinkley Point: nuclear prospects remain on track, insists Energy Minister Charles Hendry (The Independent).

16 Hollande effect has left Britain facing prospect of nuclear meltdown; Government waits on EDF before inviting foreign bids for new power plants, writes Oliver Wright (Power Engineering).

15 I Energy companies blame abandonment of nuclear plans on lack of cash (The Guardian). Investing billions in new nuclear power stations would have forced a credit-rating downgrade on energy giant RWE, the company's chief executive has revealed.

15 EDF confident Hollande will not hurt UK deal (Financial Times).

15 UK Energy Minister Hendry still sees three consortia building new nuclear in UK (Independent Nuclear News).

15 S New UK nuclear plants threatened by EU state aid rules (The Telegraph). Charles Hendry, the energy minister, said ... that the Government could not provide the direct Treasury-backed guarantees investors want, because of EU state aid rules.

15 Critical time for UK government and industry (World Nuclear News).

15 Plans to reform electricity market 'unworkable', say green businesses (The Guardian).

15 S Utility execs concerned that UK government won’t guarantee power price for new nuclear (Independent Nuclear News). Minister of State for Energy Charles Hendry ... said the government chose to use the National Grid [as the counterparty] because it was more likely to pass muster with the European Commission. ... Costs for subsidising the power price under the CfD are ultimately borne by UK energy consumers, Hendry said.

14 Hinkley nuclear power station delay deals blow to government hopes (The Guardian).

13 Whatever happened to Cameron, the idealistic young eco-warrior? (The Independent).

10 Doomsday scenarios spread about No. 4 reactor at Fukushima plant (The Asahi Shimbun).

9 Whatever happened to carbon capture in the fight against climate change? (The Guardian).

9 A land of opportunity which sees no need for new nuclear reactors in foreseeable future (Enformable). In the wake of last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan, Brazil said that there is no foreseeable need for any new nuclear technology, said Deputy Energy Minister Marcio Zimmermann.

9 The Times (UK): French election may leave nuclear no longer an option (World Nuclear Industry Status Report).

9 Government confirms plans for electricity market overhaul (The Guardian). See also Queen's speech: 'reform of the electricity market' (DECC press release, undated); Queen's Speech 2012: energy laws will send bills soaring (The Telegraph, 2012-05-09). Government estimates suggest the new subsidies will put an extra £205 a year on the average household electricity bill over the next 15 years; UK to legislate electricity market reform this year: Queen's speech (Platts, 2012-05-09); Greenpeace response to electricity market reform bill in Queen’s speech (Greenpeace press release, 2012-05-09). Responding to the inclusion of the Energy Bill in today’s Queen’s Speech, Jim Footner, head of Greenpeace’s climate and energy campaign, said: “People normally dread energy bills, which have been soaring due to rocketing gas prices. But the Energy Bill announced today by the Queen could actually save people money. “It can do this by taking the side of the bill-payer, and not the side of energy companies like Centrica, who want us to fork out for expensive gas imports and nuclear energy. Our household budgets just can’t afford a new dash for imported gas nor for nuclear reactors which are going to cost at least £7billion each.

9 Fukushima owner saved from collapse by Japanese government (The Guardian).

8 New-build nuclear power: a high-risk gamble (Utility Week). Based on Energy Fair news release.

8 UK nuclear build requires taxpayer rescue -Citi (Reuters). A report from the Times newspaper on Monday said French nuclear developer EDF had raised the cost of building a nuclear power plant to 7 billion pounds from 4.5 billion pounds last year. ... Factoring in the new 7 billion pound construction cost and a standard 15 percent return on investment, EDF would charge about 166 pounds per megawatt hour of electricity produced from its proposed atomic plants - requiring a government handout of 115 pounds per megawatt hour, [Peter Atherton] said. ... Current power prices are far too low - at 51 pounds per megawatt hour - to justify commercial investment into nuclear power without government help. ... Five groups, including Chinese, U.S. and Middle Eastern investors, are interested in buying E.ON and RWE's Horizon venture, a senior industry source said, highlighting international investor appetite for generous UK government handouts.

7 Wind farms 'have major economic benefit' (The Independent).

7 The Fukushima nuclear plant's slow recovery offers lessons to the US (The Guardian). Rising radiation levels within one of the reactors, the highest recorded so far, and evidence of a leak in the critical cooling system demonstrate that the situation is still far from stable.

Nuclear power is more expensive than offshore wind (Dave Toke's green energy blog).

4 The eye-watering expense of nuclear power (The Guardian, Jonathon Porritt).

4 Two Chinese consortia eye UK nuclear investment (Building.co.uk). The Financial Times reports that both China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) and China Guangdong Nuclear Power (CGNP) are interested in partnering with Japanese firm Toshiba to buy the Horizon Nuclear Power project, which was put up for sale by its German owners in March.

4 Five groups eye E.ON, RWE UK nuclear venture Horizon (Reuters). Parties interested in purchasing the venture include U.S.-based Westinghouse, owned by Japan's Toshiba (6502.T), a Chinese investor, U.S. power company Exelon (EXC.N) and Middle Eastern investors, the source said without giving further details.

3 UK must go green to stimulate growth, says Chris Huhne (The Guardian).

3 Nuclear power is only solution to climate change, says Jeffrey Sachs (The Guardian).

2 Greenpeace activist paraglides into French nuclear plant (Reuters).

2 UK needs competitive nuclear electricity sector to aid FiT CfD regime (ICIS Heren).

2 Report: government to delay electricity market reforms (Business Green).

1 Solar panel demand down nearly 90% following subsidy cut (The Guardian).

April

30 Three charts that illustrate why solar has hit a true tipping point (Climate Progress). As the economics of solar PV continue to improve steadily and dramatically, McKinsey analysts conclude that the yearly “economic potential” of solar PV deployment could reach 600-1,000 gigawatts (1 million megawatts) by 2020. ... When factoring in real-word limitations like the regulatory environment, availability of financing, and infrastructure capabilities, the actual yearly market will be closer to 100 gigawatts in 2020. The report may be downloaded via Solar power: darkest before dawn (PDF).

30 David Cameron, it's time to show leadership on climate change and energy (The Guardian, Caroline Lucas).

30 The nuclear wheeze goes critical (Michael Meacher).

29 China powers up £6bn nuclear bid (Express.co.uk).

28 Crown Estates go with the tide as wave power tests get green light (The Scotsman).

28 Admission that nuclear is less cost-effective than renewable (Financial Times, letter from Dr Dave Toke). See also Policy misgivings muddy nuclear’s future (Financial Times, 2012-04-20).

27 C Building new nuclear: the challenges ahead (Energy and Climate Change Committee, call for written evidence). Closing date 2012-07-02.

27 C S Consultation on the amendment of the Nuclear Waste and Decommissioning (Finance and Fees) Regulations 2011 (DECC, call for written evidence). Closing date 2012-06-08. 

26 Green energy 'cheap within years', says 'passionate' PM (BBC News). Renewables can be one of the cheapest forms of energy within years, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

26 Cameron to praise Britain's leadership over renewable energy (The Guardian). See also Green groups round on Cameron (Financial Times, 2012-04-26); David Cameron's remarks to Clean Energy Ministerial meeting (The Guardian, 2012-04-26); The greenest government ever - or never? (The Guardian, 2012-04-26).

25 Final decision on Hinkley 'this year', says de Rivaz (Utility Week). See also EDF boss piles pressure on government over nuclear plans (Building.co.uk, 2012-04-25).

25 Rosatom could build two nuclear power stations in Britain (The Telegraph).

25 Energy secretary takes a swipe at George Osborne over green economy (The Guardian). See also Davey: 'We should state more strongly the business case for going green' (Business Green, 2012-04-25).

24 Smart grid could save £19bn to UK’s electricity infrastructure upgrade (Green Wise).

23 85% back clean energy legislation (This is Jersey). Friends of the Earth’s “clean British energy” campaign – launched to urge the Government to stop the big six energy companies locking the UK into dependence on imported fossil fuels and to drive forward renewables – is backed by TV “dragon” Deborah Meaden. The Dragons’ Den star said: “Gas, coal and nuclear are the technologies of the past. Our country has the skills and the talent to be world-beaters in the renewable energy technologies of right now.”

23 Nine out of 10 people want more renewable energy (The Guardian).

23 Renewables 'help jobs and growth' (BBC News).

23 UK's Centrica still committed to new nuclear build but clarity needed (Platts).

23 Could 'floating wind turbines' solve UK's energy crisis? (The Telegraph). A poll by Friends of the Earth reveals 85 per cent of Brits would like to see the Government increasing the use of clean British energy and reducing the use of overseas gas. Deborah Meaden, the entrepreneur who appears on Dragon’s Den, urged the Prime Minister to listen to the public. “David Cameron needs to listen to the public and say ‘I’m in’ to clean British energy, opening up a multibillion pound opportunity for British businesses,” she said. “Gas, coal and nuclear are the technologies of the past. Our country has the skills and the talent to be world-beaters in the renewable energy technologies of right now.” See also Floating offshore wind kit gets spur from U.S., Britain (Bloomberg Business Week, 2012-04-23).

22 The Fukushima nuclear disaster is far from over (Huffington Post).

21 Missed renewable energy targets will cost UK dear, warns study (The Guardian).

20 I Centrica threatens nuclear pull-out (Financial Times). See also Policy misgivings muddy nuclear’s future (Financial Times, 2012-04-20).

20 S Ministers planning 'hidden subsidies' for nuclear power (The Guardian). Green campaigners are threatening to bring a legal challenge when the plans are made public later in the year. ... But the plans are likely to come under severe attack in the European parliament. The Guardian understands that the Greens in Europe are preparing to take legal action against the government, arguing that the plans amount to state aid for nuclear. Claude Turmes, a leading Green in the European parliament, told the Guardian: "We think these plans for feed-in tariffs for nuclear are state aid for nuclear power, which would not be allowed. We are looking at this very closely and we are going to fight this." The Decc official said: "We don't think it should be seen as state aid and are in discussion with the commission on that." See also Household bills will help subsidise nuclear plants (The Telegraph, 2012-04-21).

19 Post-Fukushima nuclear allergy spreads in France (The Japan Times).

19 Hendry says EDF not stipulated carbon or strike price needed for Hinkley C; EC OK pending (Independent Nuclear News).

18 Fiona Hall MEP writes: Subsidies for nuclear energy go against Coalition agreement AND economic common sense (Liberal Democrat Voice).

18 Setback for UK wind industry as Doosan scraps investment plans (The Guardian).

18 McKinsey: solar will be cost competitive within a decade (Business Green).

17 Greens hit out at plans to 'reclassify' nuclear power (The Parliament). Commenting on the reports, Greens/EFA joint leader Rebecca Harms said, "This latest move to give a boost nuclear power by the nuclear industry's last remaining cheerleaders is a desperate attempt to prop up a flagging technology."

16 I GDF Suez's nuclear reservations hit government energy policy (The Guardian).

16 I Nuclear: a toxic investment (The Guardian).

16 Wales should ditch nuclear power, says environment minister (Wales Online). “Nuclear has a role to play, and I think many environmentalists take that view now, that if we are going to adequately meet the challenges of climate change then certainly in the transitional period before we get to much greater renewable energy capacity, then nuclear must be part of the overall energy mix.”

15 Green deal under fire from climate change sceptics (The Guardian).

13 Stop the nuclear industry welfare programme (The Guardian).

13 S Four states seek EU nuclear power subsidies: report (EU Business). But see France, Britain deny seeking subsidies for nuclear industry (EU Business, 2012-04-13). See also Four countries call for EU subsidies for nuclear power (Deutche Welle, 2012-04-13); France calls for EU nuclear power subsidies (The Local, 2012-04-13); Austria rejects EU subsidy proposal for nuclear power (ShanghaiDaily.com, 2012-04-13);

12 Greece, Italy see solar as path to economic stability (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

12 RWE may invest in photovoltaic plants on lower costs (Bloomberg).

11 Clegg attacks "ludicrous" green energy scare stories (Business Green). See also Clegg's hymn to green economy clears stage for Cameron's solo (The Guardian, 2012-04-11).

11 Iceland's volcanoes may power UK (The Guardian). See also How the Supergrid could help keep the lights on (The Independent, 2012-04-13).

11 Clegg vows to shake up electricity market (Financial Times).

11 David Cameron paves way for Japanese to build nuclear power stations in UK (The Telegraph). See also Japan-UK nuclear cooperation framework (World Nuclear News, 2012-04-10).

11 Sellafield owner tried to cover up £300m error (The Independent).

11 Wylfa: Russian operator Rosatom 'eyeing Horizon Nuclear Power' (BBC News). See also Russian nuclear giant that built Chernobyl confirms interest in erecting generators in Britain (This is Money, 2012-04-10).

10 Denmark plans to be energy independent by 2050 (Hydrogen Fuel News).

10 Barker backs tougher EU emissions targets ahead of Denmark talks (Business Green).

9 Russia: we would build safe UK nuclear plants (The Telegraph).

8 RWE and E.ON prepare to sell UK nuclear project (The Independent).

7 I UK nuclear programme is at risk in Moody’s credit alert (This is Money). Britain's nuclear programme faces a new threat after the revelation that ratings agencies could downgrade French energy giant EDF and British Gas owner Centrica if they decide to build four reactors.

4 Renewable power cuts into baseload in Germany (Renewables International).

4 David Cameron to make keynote environment speech (The Guardian).

3 Greece eyes jobs, growth impulse from solar energy export (Bloomberg).

2 Rosatom reportedly looking at U.K. market (The Moscow Times).

2 Moody’s says German withdrawal ‘credit positive’; decision gives EDF bargaining power (Independent Nuclear News).

2 Plans to build a nuclear fast reactor at Sellafield come a step closer (The Independent).

2 Nuclear industry dreams dashed by current economic reality (The Guardian).

1 Toshiba may power up nuclear reactors (Power Engineering).

1 Energy giant EDF prepares for nuclear future without Centrica (The Independent).

March

31 French say no to stake in Horizon nuclear venture as EDF rules out taking over from Germans (This is Money).

30 I Expert: nuclear power is on its deathbed (US News).

30 Nuclear and gas blow outs show where the dumb money is (The Guardian). The government of course abhors the idea of "backing winners" but appears happy to back the nuclear, oil and gas losers.

29 Horizon sale curbs Britain’s nuclear ambitions (Financial Times).

29 N A true 'all of the above' energy policy: Denmark affirms commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050 (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

29 Is the UK's nuclear future in jeopardy? (BBC News Business, Robert Peston).

29 Wylfa B nuclear plant: firms pull out of plans, reports say (BBC News). See also RWE and E.On halt UK nuclear plans at Wylfa and Oldbury (BBC News Business, 2012-03-29); RWE, E.ON confirm UK nuclear new build exit (Reuters, 2012-03-29); RWE npower and E.ON abandon nuclear plant development (The Independent, 2012-03-29); E.ON and RWE scrap UK nuclear power plans (The Telegraph, 2012-03-29); Charles Hendry comment on Horizon nuclear power (DECC press release, 2012-03-29).

28 Bulgaria quits Belene nuclear power plant project (Novinite.com).

28 Market for nuclear electricity will be ‘disappearing’ by 2020 - report (ICIS Heren).

28 Why Germany is phasing out nuclear power (Grist, David Roberts). ... what’s needed to complement renewables  — to cover that “residual load” — is not baseload, not big, steady, always-on power plants. The residual load will fluctuate in ways that are only partially predictable. To cover it you need options that are flexible and responsive.

28 I The nurture of nuclear power (The New York Times).

27 New-build nuclear 'a high-risk gamble' (One World Group).

27 S Aiding and betting? (Utility Week). Decc is gambling that EMR - particularly measures to support new nuclear - will clear state aid rules. Paul Brennan and Hilda O'Connor are not so sure.

27 I New nuclear electricity costs hit utility ratings - Moody’s (ICIS Heren). The analyst also pointed to political risk as another factor acting as a "turn-off" for nuclear power. "We became aware that political risk [regarding nuclear power] is there and may be rising - it's something that plays into our view of future cash flows. If there's a risk that plants will be closed down then clearly they won't be generating cash flow as we thought they would be," the source continued. The comments coincided with the release of a report on Tuesday by UK-based think tank Energy Fair into the financial risk of investing in new nuclear facilities. The study pointed out that nuclear power is "vulnerable to political action" arising from events like the Fukushima disaster in Japan. It highlighted political risk as one "major type of risk for any investor considering putting money into new nuclear plants."

26 FOE Four publish first of six briefings in campaign to get UK to abandon new nuclear (Independent Nuclear News). The briefing is here: Subsidising the nuclear industry (A briefing for the government from
Tom Burke, Tony Juniper, Jonathon Porritt, Charles Secrett, 26 March 2012).

26 Denmark aims to get 50% of all electricity from wind power (The Guardian).

23 Gamesa announces plans to build £125m offshore windfarm facility (The Guardian).

21 Blowing away nuclear power (Business World Online).

21 I Investment climate not good, govt support for nuclear needed, financial analyst says (Independent Nuclear News).

21 Budget 2012: oil and gas industry gets £3bn tax break to encourage drilling (The Guardian). Environmental groups were united in their condemnation. Craig Bennett, policy and campaigns director at Friends of the Earth, said the tax breaks could not be justified, especially at a time when the Tories had raised questions about the affordability of subsidies to the wind and solar industries. "It's absolutely shocking, after months of government complaining about subsidies to renewables, that Osborne hands out billions of subsidies for deepwater drilling. This will do nothing to get us off the hook of high fossil fuel prices." Bennett said there was a "massive difference" between supporting a developing industry such as renewables and funding the oil and gas sector, which has been operating for more than 150 years.

21 Budget 2012: chancellor fires starting gun on dash for gas (The Guardian). ... the measure to help combined heat and power generation – an efficient way of cutting carbon emissions by reusing the heat from electricity generation – was not as green as it appeared, warned Graham Meeks, director of the Combined Heat and Power Association. By removing charges from the heat generated by such plants, the chancellor was only partially restoring a tax break he took away last year. Before that, CHP plants did not pay the climate change levy on power that they sold to the grid. "That was what allowed these plants to compete in the power market," explained Meeks. "He has not restored this, and that's very negative." He said companies now did not have an incentive to opt for this more efficient form of generation. ... The chair of a new committee that will report to George Osborne on how the UK's "natural capital" is being used was also named as part of the budget announcements. Dieter Helm is an economics professor at Oxford who has long been one of Osborne's most prized advisers, particularly on energy, and he is a keen supporter of gas. In his new role, he will give advice on when, where and how natural assets – including water and land – are being used unsustainably.

20 I Nuclear electricity investment could risk utility credit ratings – analysts (ICIS Heren).

19 Germany’s $263 billion renewables shift biggest since war (Bloomberg).

19 S Decc admits state aid approval could come too late for nuclear developers (Utility Week).

19 Winds of change blow through China as spending on renewable energy soars (The Guardian).

19 Consumers told: club together to buy energy in bulk (The Independent).

18 S UK carbon tax will leave British companies uncompetitive, warns Energy Select Committee chairman Tim Yeo (The Telegraph).

16 Richard Branson letter to David Cameron on renewable energy (The Guardian).

15 Why I am urging David Cameron to act against Friends of the Earth (The Guardian, George Monbiot).

15 Nuclear not offshore wind will power UK in future says Sir David King (The Telegraph). Professor Sir David King said the UK will have to move all heating and transport on to electricity to cut emissions from fossil fuels. This will mean producing twice as much electricity but it must be from low carbon sources.

15 Use nuclear waste to power UK, says top scientist (The Guardian). Global supplies of uranium will begin to run out in 2023 when UK will rely on domestic nuclear supply, predicts Sir David King. While renewable energy – wind, solar, tidal power and others – should also be pursued, King said that experience so far showed that these forms of energy would not be enough by themselves to produce the energy needed to meet future electricity demand, which is expected to rise strongly as road transport and heating are electrified. See also UK's ex Chief Scientist advises against GE Fast Reactor Scheme (Wall Street Journal, 2012-03-14).

14 I EON to cut costs of building offshore wind farms 40% by 2015 (Bloomberg).

14 I Third nuclear power station at Heysham plans on ice (BBC News). See also EDF Energy statement regarding Heysham grid connection (EDF Energy statement, 2012-03-15).

14 I E.ON says its commitment to nuclear is fading (Reuters).

14 I E.ON's UK bill payers fund German nuclear shutdown (This is Money).

14 I Gas power construction is 'twice government predictions' (The Guardian). See also 'Dash for gas' plans anger campaigners (The Guardian, 2012-03-17); 'Dash-for-gas' means its the Big 6 vs consumers for the UK's energy future (The Guardian, 2012-03-19).

13 High gas prices hasten UK energy crunch (Financial Times).

13 How the UK is handing control of its energy future to France (The Guardian, Jonathon Porritt). See also Letter to the Prime Minister about nuclear power from Jonathon Porritt, Tom Burke, Tony Juniper and Charles Secrett, 2012-03-13.

13 David Cameron is on track to subsidise French nuclear power (The Honeyball Buzz).

13 Twin Creeks unwraps new tool, process to slash silicon solar PV costs (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

13 UK nuclear plans 'put energy in French hands' (BBC News). See also UK "over a barrel" on new nuclear, campaigners warn (Business Green, 2012-03-13).

12 Poland vetoes EU pathway to deeper emissions cuts (Business Green).

12 Message to world leaders: Fukushima is a reminder; end the threat of nuclear power (Greenpeace).

12 Protestors mark Fukushima anniversary by blockade of EDF nuclear site (Energy & Environmental Management). The government is prepared to abandon its nuclear programme if there is sufficient opposition from the public, and has in place an alternative strategy which involves a stop-gap implementation of combined heat and power plants, Stop New Nuclear's spokesperson Camilla Berens told Energy and Environmental Management. She claimed that Chris Huhne told her this last year, when he was energy secretary, at a meeting arranged by the organisation. "He said the strategy was that to start with most of these CHP plants would be fuelled by conventional gas, which would be replaced over time by an increasing amount of zero carbon gas from anaerobic digestion," she said. This would fill the energy gap until a sufficient amount of renewable electricity come online from other sources: offshore wind and marine.

12 Thousands form anti-nuclear human chains in Germany, France (The Mainichi Daily News). See also Protesters link arms around the world to decry nuclear power (AFP, 2012-03-12); Japan earthquake and tsunami anniversary: 45,000 rally against nuclear power (The Telegraph, 2012-03-11).

11 Wylfa B nuclear protesters mark Fukushima anniversary (BBC News).

11 S UK opposes a 2030 renewable energy target (The Observer). See also Renewables industry calls for clarity on post-2020 energy targets (The Guardian, 2012-03-13), Davey hits back at ‘misleading’ article which claims nuclear will be rebranded as renewable (Solar Power Portal, 2012-03-12).

10 I The dream that failed (The Economist). In 2010 the world’s installed renewable electricity capacity outstripped its nuclear capacity for the first time. ... In 2010 nuclear power provided 13% of the world’s electricity, down from 18% in 1996.

9 The German switch from nuclear to renewables – myths and facts (Renewables International).

9 Nuclear energy - a fading dream (The Huffington Post, John Sauven).

9 How Fukushima is leading towards a nuclear-free Japan (The Guardian).

8 I Dramatic fall in new nuclear power stations after Fukushima (The Guardian).

7 Nuclear contamination - a year after Fukushima, why does Brussels still back nuclear power? (Corporate Europe Observatory).

7 Updated: Fukushima hopes "world's first floating offshore wind farm" will spark post-tsunami recovery (Business Green).

7 UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows (The Guardian). Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as being vulnerable now, with others in danger from rising sea levels and storms in future decades. They include all of the eight sites proposed for new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.

7 Stateless terrorists with a dirty bomb now real threat for UK, says Clegg (The Telegraph).

5 No nuclear nirvana (Huffington Post). Nearly four decades after the Three Mile Island accident, nuclear power remains expensive, dangerous, and too radioactive for Wall Street. The industry won't grow unless the U.S. government props it up and the public bears the risks.

5 Controversial green energy report 'very, very poor', says government economist (The Guardian).

2 Why nuclear is in meltdown (The Telegraph, Geoffrey Lean).

1 What market reform? (Energy Live News). Labour MP Alan Whitehead has questioned the whole point of the electricity market reform.

1 Local opposition to onshore windfarms has tripled, poll shows (The Guardian).

February

29 UK power blackouts now unlikely, research shows (The Guardian).

29 UK EPR design issues could push resolution into 2013, delay construction of Hinkley Point C (Independent Nuclear News).

29 UKERC: first predictions of how much electricity will cost upto 2040 (The Guardian).

29 The abuse of political power is as dangerous as nuclear power itself (The Guardian, John Vidal).

29 Analysis reveals folly of betting UK's energy future on cheap gas over wind (The Guardian, Damian Carrington).

29 UK misses out as foreign firms and workers do bulk of windfarm work (The Guardian).

29 Windfarms that float – or fly – could be the future of energy generation (The Guardian).

29 German energy giants set to push the button on Welsh reactor (The Independent).

28 S Wind power still gets lower public subsidies than fossil fuel tax breaks (Business Green). Gas, oil and coal prices were subsidised by £3.63bn in 2010, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, whereas offshore and onshore wind received £0.7bn in the year from April 2010. All renewables in the UK benefited from £1.4bn over the same period, according to data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc). ... Almost 90 per cent of the fossil fuel subsidy comes from the reduced rate of VAT paid by households.

28 Who is in charge of Britain's energy policy? (The Guardian, Catherine Mitchell). ... a letter in 2010 from National Grid set out its decision to not require new nuclear power plants to pay for the additional costs they will impose on the electricity network. The letter ended saying this was because, at £160m per plant per year, it would make nuclear power uneconomical. Renewable energy, on the other hand, has to pay the costs of connections. Or take the EU Renewable Energy directive, intended to help renewable electricity by ensuring that it is "taken" before generation from other sources of electricity, thereby reducing investment risk. The UK has mostly sidestepped the spirit by letter of law actions. However, recently even the letter of the law has been broken with National Grid favouring nuclear over wind in its management of energy at peak times of demand.

28 Scotland's spectacular scenery 'being wrecked by windfarm vultures' (The Guardian).

28 Opposition groups kick up storm over windfarms in Wales (The Guardian).

28 Lessons from Fukushima (Greenpeace International press release). It has been almost 12 months since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began. Although the Great East Japan earthquake and the following tsunami triggered it, the key causes of the nuclear accident lie in the institutional failures of political influence and industry-led regulation. It was a failure of human institutions to acknowledge real reactor risks, a failure to establish and enforce appropriate nuclear safety standards and a failure to ultimately protect the public and the environment. Download the Full Report.

28 Wind turbines bring in 'risk-free' millions for rich landowners (The Guardian).

27 Wind power still gets lower public subsidies than fossil fuel tax breaks (The Guardian).

27 Renewable energy (Greenpeace International).

27 Debate whether windfarms are ugly but not their efficiency, says Lord Turner (The Guardian).

26 UK firms in danger of missing out on nuclear plant contracts (The Telegraph).

26 Battle against emissions gives nuclear a new chance (The Independent).

26 Wind energy companies fear government's commitment is cooling (The Guardian).

26 Anti-wind power MPs may have Cameron's backing (The Guardian).

25 5 new countries go nuclear despite Fukushima: U.N. (Japan Today).

23 UK power plant investment needed to keep lights on, warns Centrica chief Sam Laidlaw (The Telegraph).

22 EDF’s U.K. Hinkley nuclear power site faces protests next month (Bloomberg Businessweek).

22 Hendry: UK's nuclear reactor fleet could be extended beyond 2025 (Business Green).

22 CBI calls on Chancellor's Budget to support nuclear power (Energy & Environmental Management).

21 British Gas offers £50 insulation incentive (The Guardian).

21 David Cameron defends windfarm plans to Tory MPs (The Guardian). See also Full letter from MPs to David Cameron on wind power subsidies (The Guardian, 2012-02-05).

20 Centrica seeks clarification ahead of plans for closer nuclear ties with France (The Telegraph, Roland Gribben).

20 UK could become leading exporter of wave and tidal power, say MPs (The Guardian).

17 3,000 Bedouins attack Egyptian reactor site (World Tribune).

17 Activists occupying new nuclear site accuse EDF of 'ignoring democracy' (The Guardian). Picture includes Marianne and Gerry's "DIM NIWCS" placards.

17 No more nukes? (Tom Burke blog). It seems the Treasury has baulked at taking on the counterparty risk of the proposed CfD/FITs that were supposed to deal with this. It is now looking as if these will be regulatory instruments rather than justiciable contracts. Hardly a confidence booster for investors in risky, high capital, long-life projects.

17 Why we must phase out nuclear power (The Guardian, Caroline Lucas). Despite persistent denials by ministers, [the carbon price floor] is clearly a subsidy by another name, making a mockery of the coalition pledge not to gift public money to this already established industry. The Energy Fair group is arguing that the cap on liabilities for nuclear accidents is technically a subsidy and therefore illegal under EU law – and is now taking the case to the European commission.

17 I Nuclear power is an expensive gamble that may (or may not) pay off (The Guardian, John Vidal).

17 I Centrica faces big questions on nuclear despite Franco-British summit (The Telegraph, Damian Reece).

17 UK and France sign nuclear energy agreement (BBC News).

14 Germany powers France in cold despite nuclear u-turn (Reuters).

14 Sellafield faces nuclear option as overspending threatens plant's future (The Independent).

13 French experts say 60-year power reactor life most favorable scenario (Platts).

10 Renewables helped France avoid freezing in the dark (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

9 Ed Davey throws weight behind green energy by opening giant UK windfarm (The Guardian). 

8 Energy minister Greg Barker says decision to cut feed-in tariffs was justified by fall in cost of solar panels (The Guardian). Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Climate Change, said "There is the potential for solar power to become competitive with fossil fuels without subsidy within the lifetime of this parliament [before May 2015]. Solar has gone from being one of the most expensive forms of renewable energy to one of the cheapest."

7 Leaping UK carbon emissions deliver two red-hot lessons (The Guardian, Damian Carrington). The biggest single cause of the first rise in the nation's carbon footprint since 2003 [two-thirds of the entire rise] was from the increased heating of homes during cold weather at the start and end of 2010. ... Virtually all of the rest of the leap in the UK's carbon emissions comes from technical problems forcing nuclear power stations to shut down. The biggest reactor in the country, Sizewell B, was offline for six months, meaning more coal and gas had to be burned to fill the electricity gap, pumping more climate-warming gases into the air. Other reactors had problems too in 2010 and more recently events as varied as a rogue school of jellyfish and winter tornadoes have closed atomic energy plants. When a wind turbine explodes, as in a recent storm, a megwatt of power is lost. When a nuclear plant falls off the grid, 1000 megawatts is lost. The comparison puts the lie to the sceptics charge that wind power is "unreliable".

7 Letter from Andy Atkins Chief executive, Friends of the Earth, David Nussbaum Chief executive, WWF, John Sauven Executive director, Greenpeace (The Guardian, scroll down).

7 KPMG refuses to publish controversial green energy report (The Guardian).

6 Nuclear somersault: New Energy Secretary changes his tune and says he won't block reactor plans (Daily Mail). Ed Davey said ‘There have been understandable concerns given the expensive mistakes made in the past which the taxpayer is still paying for. But the Coalition agreement is crystal clear – new nuclear can go ahead so long as it’s without subsidy.’

6 All work on Hinkley Point C nuclear power station must be halted (Stop Nuclear Power Network UK). Katy Attwater, Stop Hinkley’s spokesperson, said: "This scrupulously researched report shows that two of the National Policy Statements, EN-1 and EN-6 [2], approved by Parliament, are based on false information and the public has no alternative but to deem them invalid. MPs have, likewise, no alternative but to consider them fraudulent, re-open the debate and bring those responsible for this corruption to account."

6 Computer systems of French reactors need reinforcement: NPCIL (IndianExpress.com). The assessments were done post-Fukushima. “The report indicates that EPR has several evolutionary safety features, which had evolved through operating experience. The lessons learned from past nuclear accident had been incorporated into the design. EPR design has features for prevention and mitigation of severe accidents such as core catcher etc. It has aircraft/missile resistant containment for reactor building and fuel building, which allows much higher margin to sustain natural calamity of higher order,” said an NPCIL official.

4 The nuclear industry quietly pulls out of the nuclear business (SimplyInfo). See also U.S. should bring an end to the nuclear era (US News, Jim Riccio, Greenpeace).

4 Anglesey windfarm developers invite public to learn more about plans (Daily Post).

3 French nuclear set to become more expensive than wind power (European Wind Energy Association).

3 A nuclear-free future: if Germany can do it, why can't we? (Stop Nuclear Power Network UK).

1 Falling solar prices good for climate, bad for firms (AlertNet). The falls in prices for photovoltaic components, pushed down by economies of scale and fierce competition from China, have made solar nearly as cheap as conventional sources in Germany's electricity grid. ... due to plunging prices for components, solar power prices in Germany have been halved in the last five years and solar now generates electricity at levels only a few cents above what consumers pay. The subsidies will disappear entirely within a few years, the German BSW solar association says, when solar will be as cheap as conventional fossil fuels.

January

31 France must extend nuclear reactor lifespans-audit (Reuters). France has no option but to extend the lifespan of existing nuclear plants, because any investments in new nuclear capacity or an increase in its reliance on other forms of energy would be too costly and come too late, the French Court of Audit said.

31 Siemens supplies 100 MW of wind turbines to Morocco (Renewable Energy Focus).

31 Ministers 'misled MPs over need for nuclear power stations' (The Guardian). The report is here: A corruption of governance? (PDF, Association for the Conservation of Energy and Unlock Democracy, January 2012). See also Can the UK achieve its carbon targets without nuclear power? (The Guardian, 2012-02-01).

31 Burying electricity power lines 'cheaper than National Grid claims' (The Guardian).

30 Prospects for nuclear power in 2012 (Commodities Now). In the UK, despite the political rhetoric that a new nuclear program would receive no public subsidies, what is now likely to be on offer are Feed-in-Tariffs and longterm Contracts for Differences. These effectively ensure that all power from nuclear plants is guaranteed to be sold at a predictable price set outside the market.

EDF is the most likely developer in the UK. Whether it will go ahead with an EPR in the UK is likely to depend on whether the design can survive the problems at Olkiluoto and Flamanville and on how fully the CfDs are guaranteed to cover costs. Since the terms of these contracts will be regarded as commercially sensitive, the public will never know what it has signed up to. But, if construction goes ahead, it can be assumed strong cost-recovery guarantees are in place. How the European Commission will view such contracts, which are blatantly unfair state aid and therefore presumably illegal, remains to be seen.

30 Nuclear disaster prompts rise in renewable deals (The Independent).

26 Germany eyes cutting solar incentives faster (Reuters). Germany added a record 7.5 gw of photovoltaic installations in 2011 after setting a previous record of 7.4 gw in 2010. Germany now gets about 4 percent of its electricity from solar power. Germany has a total of about 25 gw of installed photovoltaic capacity -- about half of the world's total.

26 Japan losing hope for its pricey ‘dream reactor’ (The Washington Post). Japan’s long and expensive pursuit of a super-efficient nuclear reactor — a model once touted as the key to its energy future — now teeters on the brink of failure amid new government concerns about its runaway costs.

26 Japan's ex-premier turns anti-nuclear activist (Wall Street Journal).

26 Japan's stricken nuclear operator set for $13 billion bailout (Reuters).

24 Plans for Sellafield plutonium reactor rejected (The Guardian).

23 Dutch utility puts off plan for nuclear power plant (Reuters).

21 Rally backs farmer refusing to sell land for Wylfa B (BBC News).

20 Department of Energy study shows potential for ocean power production (RenewableEnergyWorld.com). Waves and tidal currents could generate up to one-third of America's electricity usage per year, according to two reports released by the U.S. Department of Energy that assessed the potential for ocean power off the east and west coasts.

17 ČEZ fails to make economic case for expanding Temelín, study says (Czechposition.com). See also Westinghouse moves on Temelin-3, -4 bid as project financing in question (Independent Nuclear News, 2012-01-30).

17 The green deal will be the biggest home energy programme of modern times (The Guardian, Greg Barker).

17 Alstom and SSE announce plan for “world’s largest” wave farm (Business Green).

14 Europe's reliance on nuclear energy a costly obstacle to green power (The National).

13 Germans oppose new plants next door (Spiegel Online). According to European Union law, neighboring countries have the right to raise objections to the construction of new reactors across their borders. The countries undertaking the construction, however, are under no obligation to listen.

13 Distributed energy delivers big, green results in London (Forbes). Combined heat and power (CHP) and district-heating systems delivered a whopping 36,392 tons of avoided carbon emissions in 2010, which accounted for 50% of all carbon emissions reductions, according to an analysis released last week by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

13 Green deal suffers setback as loft insulations set to plummet (The Guardian).

12 Green energy investment soars to $260bn (The Guardian).

12 China's renewables surge dampened by growth in coal consumption (The Guardian).

11 Shale gas bubble: insiders suggest fracking boom is a bust (Huffington Post).

11 French rivals to compete on wind farm bids (Financial Times). See also ScottishPower owner leads wind farm bid (The Herald, 2012-01-12).

11 Child leukaemia doubles near French nuclear plants-study (AlertNet).

11 France 'imagines the unimaginable' (Nature). See also Get tough on nuclear safety (Nature, 2010-01-11). "Whatever happens in the long term, the French plans have an immediate benefit: they raise the post-Fukushima safety bar for other countries. Those governments, regulators and companies that have yet to propose anything close to such far-reaching measures must now explain why not."

9 Investment can cut emissions, UK cities told (Financial Times). "Prof Andy Gouldson of the University of Leeds, who led the research, said it was an attempt to prioritise which areas should attract scant resources. ... Prof Gouldson is calling on the government to underwrite local authority investment programmes. Birmingham is investing £130m to fit thousands of council houses, schools and buildings with solar panels. Money has come from loans, energy companies and commercial banks, who will be paid back through levies on energy bills."

9 Are wind turbines increasing carbon emissions? (The Guardian).

7 Study: Fukushima killed at least 14,000 people in the US, mostly babies, in weeks following disaster (Natural News).

6 China increases target for wind power capacity to 1,000 GW by 2050 (RenewableEnergyNews.com).

4 Renewable sources continue explosive growth (RenewableEnergyWorld.com).

3 French nuclear plants told to prepare for disasters (Reuters).