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70% jump in renewable energy’s share of global electricity

Renewables jump 70% in shift away from fossil fuels,  The share of electricity that the world’s 20 major economies are generating from the sun and the wind has jumped by more than 70 percent in the space of five years, new figures show.

In a sign of the shift away from fossil fuels that is starting to take hold in some regions, G20 countries collectively produced eight percent of their electricity from solar farms, wind parks and other green power stations in 2015, up from 4.6 percent in 2010, FT reported.

Seven G20 members now generate more than 10 percent of their electricity from these sources, compared with three in 2010The seven were led by Germany, home of the Energiewende — a policy shift towards green power. Renewables made up 36 percent of its electricity mix, according to data compiled for the FT by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance research group.

The UK, Italy and France all generated more than 19 percent of their electricity from renewables while Australia and Brazil reached 11 percent and 13 percent respectively. For the 28 members of the EU, the number was 18 percent.

The figures do not include hydropower, one of the oldest sources of renewable electricity.

Instead, the data underline the growth of newer forms of green energy such as solar and wind farms that have been heavily subsidized in many countries as governments try to combat global warming.

This growth has been especially striking in the UK, which generated 24 percent of its electricity from such renewables last year compared with just six percent in 2010.

Still, fossil fuels continue to dominate the electricity supply in many countries, including the US and China, two of the most powerful proponents of the UN climate change accord struck in Paris in December.

China is the world’s largest clean energy market, accounting for nearly a third of the $329 billion invested in clean energy globally last year as the government continued to boost its renewables industry.

August 17, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

4 Year nuclear leak not fixed at FitzPatrick nuclear plant

‘Minor’ radiation leak in FitzPatrick nuclear plant has gone unfixed for 4 years By Tim Knauss |  SCRIBA, N.Y. – The owner of FitzPatrick nuclear plant has allowed highly radioactive waste to leak into a contained area of the facility for at least four years, a safety violation that poses no risk to the public but might make it more difficult to decontaminate the site after the reactor closes.The problem was cited in the most recent quarterly inspection report by federal safety regulators.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the accumulation of spilled radioactive waste in the basement of a building at FitzPatrick is of “very low safety significance” because it occurred in a locked, highly shielded area that is already highly radioactive.

“The bottom line is, we have been aware of this issue for some time, but it poses no immediate risks to any residents or the environment,” said Neil Sheehan, speaking for the NRC.

Nevertheless, plant owner Entergy Corp.’s failure to address the leak is of “more than minor significance” because the company knew about the problem for at least four years, the NRC reported.

Nuclear plant owners are required to minimize the accumulation of residual radioactive waste in their plants, which can “greatly increase the cost and complexity of future decommissioning” after a reactor shuts down, according to the NRC……..

Anti-nuclear activists said the NRC report should raise concerns about the aging FitzPatrick plant, which started operation in 1975.

“These violations highlight the ongoing dangers posed by the upstate nuclear reactors and the lax enforcement by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” said Tim Judson, of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “Entergy has known that this highly radioactive waste spill is a problem for four years, but the NRC has not imposed any fines or other penalties.”

August 17, 2016 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

More delay hampers India-Japan nuclear deal

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2flag-indiaRatification of India, Japan civil nuclear deal may face further delay THE HINDU Business Line, 
NAYANIMA BASU NEW DELHI, 16 AUGUST:   The ratification of India-Japan Civil Nuclear deal is likely to be delayed further.

“It is unlikely that the Diet (wich is likely to meet for a special session end of next month) will take up the India-Japan Civil Nuclear deal for ratification. There are still some issues that need to be discussed,” a top official, involved in the talks, told BusinessLine.

The Diet had its session last in June. However, this year it will be meeting once again, which is also known as an extraordinary session from September 26.

However, like last time, it seems even in this session the nuclear deal with India will not go through due to “domestic pressure and compulsions”, according to the official. Once the Diet ratifies the deal, the deal will be officially signed.

According to sources, Japan has not been able to build a support for the deal within its political sections, as there are apprehensions that export of Japanese nuclear technology might get routed for military purposes.

There are also “strong concerns” on the Japanese side regarding nuclear cooperation because India is still not a signatory to nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The India-Japan Civil Nuclear deal had been under discussion for over six years now………

Meanwhile, India is also concerned with the fact that technical negotiations on the deal might take a backseat as the Japanese Cabinet has undergone a major reshuffle. Japan now has a new Defence Minister Tomomi Inada, who is known to be having anti-nuclear agenda……

August 17, 2016 Posted by | India, Japan, politics international | Leave a comment

USA had secret plans to place nuclear weapons in Iceland

secret-agent-SmFlag-USAUS Debated Deploying Nuclear Weapons in Iceland, Iceland Review, 16 Aug 16  BY VALA HAFSTAD 

Newly declassified US documents reveal that during the Cold War, US authorities contemplated deploying nuclear weapons in Iceland without alerting Icelandic authorities. The documents, dating back to 1960, show that US Ambassador to Iceland Tyler Thompson opposed all such plans. He expressed his belief that if Icelanders found out about such a deployment, they might leave NATO.

The documents are discussed on the website of the National Security Archive, but until now, they have been classified. On the website, it is noted that this is not the first time clues have been discovered about such plans.

Historian Valur Ingimundarson had previously argued that a weapon storage facility built in Keflavík in the 1950s was intended for nuclear weapons. Furthermore, during the 1980s, historian William Arkin reported that a presidential directive from President Richard Nixon’s period in office treated Iceland as one of several conditional deployment locations for nuclear weapons in the event of war……..

August 17, 2016 Posted by | history, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Environmental concerns about the Olympic Games

text-cat-questionThis article looks at Brazil’ s environmental situation, particularly regarding the Amazon forest.

I wonder what concerns will be raised for the next Olympics – 2020 in Tokyo ?



2016 Olympic Games and the environment, Independent Australia  16 August 2016, Dr Anthony Horton questions how much consideration is given to environmental considerations when Olympic Games host cities are selected.

RECENT MEDIA ATTENTION on the parlous state of the environment in the vicinity of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games sites, and Brazil more generally, piqued my interest in researching the extent to which environmental issues are taken into account when deciding which city hosts the Olympic Games.

report entitled ‘The 2016 Olympic Games: Health, Security, Environmental and Doping Issues’ published by the United States Congressional Research Service on 28 July 2016, highlights the environmental commitments made by the Rio de Janeiro Organising Committee for the 2016 Olympic Games and the assessment process that each city must successfully navigate in order to be awarded the right to host the Games.

This report was quite an eye opener for me and after considering the findings, I can only conclude that environmental concerns must be more heavily weighted in future decisions regarding which city hosts the Olympic Games…….

Based on the Congressional Research Service report and the Council on Foreign Relationsinteractive report, I cannot help but conclude that environmental concerns must be more heavily weighted in future decisions regarding which city hosts the Olympic Games.,9359

August 17, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

World’s biggest offshore windfarm on track in UK

Second phase of world’s biggest offshore windfarm gets go-ahead Multibillion-pound Hornsea Project Two, 55 miles off Grimsby coast, would see 300 turbines span an area five times size of Hull, Guardian, , 16 Aug 16Plans for the world’s biggest offshore windfarm off the Yorkshire coast are to be expanded to an area five times the size of Hull after being approved by ministers.

The multibillion-pound Hornsea Project Two would see 300 turbines – each taller than the Gherkin – span more than 480 sq km in the North Sea.

Fifty-five miles off the coast of Grimsby, the project by Denmark’s Dong Energy is expected to deliver 1,800MW of low-CO2 electricity to 1.8m UK homes. The development would represent a large boost to the UK’s wind energy industry, with Dong Energy pledging to invest £6bn in the UK and create more than 2,500 jobs……

August 17, 2016 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Safety problems at Fennovoima nuclear power firm revealed by audit

safety-symbol-Smflag-Finland Safety audit flags shortcomings by Fennovoima nuclear power firm, Yle Uutiset, 16.8.2016

An audit by radiation and nuclear safety watchdog STUK has highlighted possible deficiencies by the Fennovoima power company as it prepares to build a nuclear power plant in Pyhäjoki, western Finland. Yle obtained a copy of the STUK audit, in which workers complained of poor management, workplace discrimination, and a tendency to downplay safety issues. Fennovoima has denied the allegations.

A report by Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK has flagged employee concerns over the quality of management at the Finnish-Russian nuclear power firm Fennovoima. Workers interviewed for the audit claimed to have been put under pressure, sidelined, or even “smoked out” for drawing attention to safety concerns or questionable practices.

The findings were detailed in a safety audit that STUK began in late autumn last year and which is still ongoing. Fennovoima needs a clean bill of health from the audit to qualify for a construction permit in 2018. The company hopes to complete the nuclear power plant in 2024.

In an initial report that it completed in December, STUK expressed concerns about whether or not safety was a priority for Fennovoima, and whether or not the company’s management team had adequate experience in the nuclear energy sector………

Signature changes, amateur managementThe employee survey responses also revealed suspicions that the company had changed the signatures on documents relating to nuclear safety. The report indicated that “some documents” had been approved by changing signatures, if the original experts had not agreed to sign off on them. According to STUK several respondents corroborated this claim…….

STUK: Audit report not publicYle called on STUK to provide a copy of the shortcomings flagged in the report it drew up last December. However the nuclear safety watchdog refused to hand it over, saying that the audit was still ongoing…….

August 17, 2016 Posted by | Finland, safety | Leave a comment

UK: renewables far better value for tax-payers than nuclear is

UK green energy sector needs nurturing over nuclear, Guardian, Larry Elliott, 16 Aug 16, 

Technological advances mean the cost of renewables is coming down, representing far better value for taxpayers’ money 

ritain’s need for a coherent long-term energy strategy has been woefully neglected by governments of both left and right. One example is the furore over the plan for a new and hugely expensive nuclear power station atHinkley Point. Another is provided by the latest official statistics on the sort of energy the UK uses and where it comes from.

The good news is that Britain is consuming 17% less energy than it was in 1998, and more of what is used is coming from renewable sources. But don’t get too excited. Green energy has increased from 1% of the total to just 9%……

The way forward is obvious. Put energy policy at the heart of the new industrial policy. Technological advances mean the cost of renewables are coming down all the time, and they represent far better value for taxpayers’ money than Hinkley Point C. The government should use tax breaks, procurement and its ability to borrow long-term at historically low interest rates to nurture a new green energy sector. This should have been done years ago, but it is not too late.

August 17, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment