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Costs falling fast, as wind energy booms in Europe

Europe’s offshore wind industry booming as costs fall  The European Union’s push away from fossil fuels toward renewables, along with falling costs, has seen offshore wind thrive with turbines being installed from the Irish to the Baltic Seas, reports Environment 360, Guardian, Christian Schwägerl, 2q1 Oct 16  “……In Europe, offshore wind farms like the one at Burbo Bank are undergoing a boom. While still significantly outnumbered by windfarms on land, the importance of windfarms at sea has grown dramatically in the past several years. Until 2011, between 5 and 10% of newly installed wind energy capacity in Europe was offshore. Last year, almost every third new wind turbine went up offshore. That growth has helped boost the share of wind energy in the European Union’s electricity supply from 2% in the year 2000 to 12% today, according toWindEurope, a business advocacy group.

New investments for offshore projects totaled $15.5bn in the first half of 2016 alone, according to WindEurope, and newly installed offshore wind energy capacity will double to 3.7 gigawatts this year compared to 2015. More than 3,300 grid-connected turbines now exist in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Irish Sea, and 114 new wind turbines were linked to the grid in European waters in the first half of this year alone. This is in stark contrast to the US and Asia, where offshore wind use is only just getting started.

The offshore wind boom is part of a wider move from fossil fuels to renewable energy across the European Union. The overall share of renewable electricity sources in the EU – hydropower, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal – has gone up from about 15% in 2004 to roughly 33% in 2014, according to data from Eurostat and Entso-E, the association of grid operators. Along with solar photovoltaic power, wind energy is driving this expansion. Newly installed wind energy capacity amounted to 13 gigawatts in 2015, twice as much as newly installed fossil fuel and nuclear capacity combined. WindEurope claims that all European wind turbines taken together can now generate enough electricity for87m households.

This is not only a result of government subsidies and incentives, but also of dramatically reduced production costs for wind energy. The price for a megawatt hour is now between €50 and €96 for onshore wind and €73 to €140 for offshore wind, compared to around €65 to €70 for gas and coal. Electricity generated from onshore windfarms is now the cheapest among newly installed power sources in the UK and many other countries. If environmental costs are considered, the picture looks even more favorable for wind power.

Germany now meets one-third of its electricity demand with renewable energy, Denmark 42%, and Scotland as much as 58%. On some sunny or very windy days, renewables can now fully supply the electricity demand in these countries.

The picture isn’t entirely rosy, though. The European wind industry says that grid and storage infrastructure hasn’t expanded fast enough to soak up surplus wind energy, and that the fossil fuel and nuclear industries are trying to sabotage what is called Energiewende, Germany’s transition from coal andnuclear power to renewable energy. The wind energy boom, with its recurrent surges of surplus energy, has led to a dramatic decline in electricity prices in spot market trading at the European Electricity Exchange, with the price per kilowatt hour falling by as much as 50% in the last five years. With preferential treatment from EU governments, wind energy is now outcompeting coal-fired power plants, posing major challenges for utilities heavily invested in fossil fuels.

Out in the Irish Sea, however, Dong Energy’s Sykes shows no mercy for the fossil fuel industry. “Wind power on land is becoming the cheapest form of newly installed electricity capacity,” he says. “And even out here at sea, we can’t say anymore that there are technical hurdles.”………

To long-term players in the field such as Henrik Stiesdal, a Danish wind power pioneer and former chief technology officer of Siemens Wind power, the situation is ironic: “While there were warnings in the past that wind energy would never be able to meet demands, politicians are now confronted with its abundance,” he said. Stiesdal sees storage technologies and better grid integration as opportunities, rather than problems – wind energy’s “golden bullets”.

“Once these problems are solved, wind will be able to cover the greatest part of the world’s electricity needs,” he says. The WindEurope business group says it could easily double the amount of wind electricity for EU consumption to almost 30% by the year 2030. The group argues that the recent ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change means the EU will have to pursue a more ambitious energy transition.

A visit to Dong Energy’s Burbo Bank project demonstrates the rapid progress the industry has made from its modest beginnings in the 1990s. It will take engineers and workers just a few months to assemble a facility that will provide electricity for a quarter-million households.

Like Stiesdal, Dong’s Sykes sees a bright future for offshore wind. He expects no impact from the UK’s Brexit and notes that the Burbo Bank extension is co-owned by an unlikely player in power production: the parent company of Lego, the toymaker. “Offshore is a reliable and increasingly cheap source of energy, with no lasting harm to the environment,” Sykes says. “It will soon be simply unbeatable.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/20/europes-offshore-wind-industry-booming-as-costs-fall

October 20, 2016 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

October 20 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ European researchers announced the development of an offshore wind turbine which can be completely assembled and commissioned in controlled harbor conditions before being towed to its offshore location. This process makes the costly and rare heavy-lift vessels currently used in offshore wind projects unnecessary. [CleanTechnica]

ELISA wind turbine ELISA wind turbine

¶ Scientists have accidentally discovered a way to reverse the combustion process, turning carbon dioxide back into the fuel ethanol. Because the materials used are relatively cheap, they believe the process could be used in industrial processes, for example to store excess electricity generated by wind and solar power. [The Independent]

World:

¶ It’s certainly not a law yet, but a Polish newspaper has reported that the Ministry of Energy wants to introduce “low-emissions zones” in cities where only electric vehicles could enter. This would be an obvious solution to the dirty air that…

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toshiba-Westinghouse AP1000 New Nuclear Power Station Piping Defects Appear Never-Ending; Any Part You Want, As Long as It’s Defective?

Mining Awareness +

On September 29th, the US NRC reported piping deviations for the Vogtle AP 1000 “two flanges identified with deviations on Passive Core Cooling System pipe spools for the Vogtle Unit 3 AP1000r project had incorrect raised-face dimensions. This appears to have been caused by the two flanges being transposed due to an inadvertent fabrication error that occurred at the pipe spool supplier’s facilities (CB&I Laurens). The error was subsequently discovered after delivery to the fabrication facility (Aecon Industrial).” And, what does this mean? Did they replace it? Or? An expert assures me that this means that they did the equivalent of forcing a door shut, which doesn’t want to go. It should have been replaced rather than corrected: “The flange configuration was corrected and the Q223 Mechanical Module was delivered to the Vogtle Unit 3 site…http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2016/20160929en.html Thus, Aecon is potentially producing defective “modules” in…

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate Change — Seas Are Now So High it Only Takes a King Tide to Flood the US East Coast

robertscribbler

“It gets higher every year. I imagine it will be worse next year.” Guido Pena, Miami marina employee commenting on water levels during king tides.

*****

King tide. It’s a new term for an old phenomena. One that few people noticed before human-forced climate change began to push the world’s oceans higher and higher.

During spring and fall, the sun lines up with the moon and other astronomical bodies to produce a stronger gravitational pull on the Earth. This pull, in its turn, affects the tides — generating higher and lower tides over certain regions of the world.

(Rising ocean levels due to human-forced climate change is resulting in worsening instances of tidal flooding at times of high tide. In this video, a simple…

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Amy Goodman Speaks After North Dakota Judge Dismisses “Riot” Charges for Covering Pipeline Protest

Mining Awareness +

By Democracynow.org:
VIDEO: Amy Goodman Speaks After ND Judge Dismisses “Riot” Charges for Covering Pipeline Protest OCTOBER 17, 2016 2016 WEB EXCLUSIVE

A North Dakota judge has dismissed the “riot” charges against Amy Goodman for covering the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. Just after the decision was announced, Amy addressed supporters outside the Morton County Courthouse. Her attorneys, Tom Dickson and Reed Brody, spoke first.
http://www.democracynow.org/2016/10/17/breaking_riot_charges_against_amy_goodman

TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: First of all, I would like to introduce my lawyer, Tom Dickson, and also—who is here from Bismarck, who will make a brief statement. As you may have heard, I was going into court today at 1:30 to face riot charges. Tom will speak, and then my other attorney, Reed Brody, will speak. And then I’d like to introduce you to the Democracy Now!team.

TOM DICKSON:…

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 19 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ Bristol University, as reported earlier this week, is pioneering a technology which aims to prevent coastal nuclear and coal-fired power plants from being disrupted by swarms of jellyfish. In one case, the 1200-MW Torness Nuclear Power Station was offline for a week because of a swarm of moon jellyfish. [Power Engineering International]

Jellyfish Jellyfish

World:

¶ The latest report into the South Australia blackout by the Australian Energy Market Operator has blown away two of the biggest myths about wind energy that its critics were using as reasons for the state-wide outage. Neither intermittent wind power nor excessive wind speed causing turbines to shut down was a factor. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched the second phase of the city’s air quality consultation, which includes proposals to introduce the planned Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) a year earlier than…

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Testing of Seawater Off Fukushima Daiichi

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Results of seawater testing off the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant by Tarachine, the Mother’s Radiation Lab & Clinic of Iwaki, Fukushima

Item measured: Cesium 137 (method by treatment with phosphomolybdic acid)

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https://www.actbeyondtrust.org/campaign/pledge/tarachine/jp/

October 20, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Another Chernobyl or Fukushima risk plausible: Experts

The “flawed and woefully incomplete” public data from the nuclear industry is leading to an over-confident attitude to risk, the researchers warned.

The study, which put fresh pressure on the nuclear industry to be more transparent with data on incidents, also called for a fundamental rethink of how accidents are rated, arguing that the current method (the discrete seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale or INES) is highly imprecise, poorly defined, and often inconsistent.

For example, the Fukushima accident and the Chernobyl accident are rated 7 — the maximum severity level — on the INES scale.

However, Fukushima alone would need a score of between 10 and 11 to represent the true magnitude of consequences, the researchers said.

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Catastrophic nuclear accidents like Chernobyl disaster in the US that took place in 1986 and the more recent Japan’s Fukushima disasters in 2011 may not be relics of the past. But the risk of such disasters are still more likely to occur once or twice per century, a study has warned.

The study found that while nuclear accidents have substantially decreased in frequency, this has been accomplished by the suppression of moderate-to-large events.

The researchers estimated that Fukushima and Chernobyl-scale disasters are still more likely than not once or twice per century, and that accidents like 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island in the US are more likely than not to occur every 10-20 years.

For the study, a team of international risk experts analysed more than 200 nuclear accidents — the biggest-ever analysis of nuclear accidents — which provided a grim assessment of the risk estimated by the nuclear industry.

The “flawed and woefully incomplete” public data from the nuclear industry is leading to an over-confident attitude to risk, the researchers warned.

“We have found that the risk level for nuclear power is extremely high,” said lead author Spencer Wheatley, Professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

“The next nuclear accident may be much sooner or more severe than the public realises,” added Benjamin Sovacool, Professor at the University of Sussex in Britain.

Further, the standard methodology used by the International Atomic Energy Agency to predict accidents and incidents — particularly when focusing on consequences of extreme events — is also problematic, the researchers said.

The study, which put fresh pressure on the nuclear industry to be more transparent with data on incidents, also called for a fundamental rethink of how accidents are rated, arguing that the current method (the discrete seven-point International Nuclear Event Scale or INES) is highly imprecise, poorly defined, and often inconsistent.

For example, the Fukushima accident and the Chernobyl accident are rated 7 — the maximum severity level — on the INES scale. However, Fukushima alone would need a score of between 10 and 11 to represent the true magnitude of consequences, the researchers said.

To remove a possibility of such disasters would likely require enormous changes to the current fleet of reactors, which is predominantly second-generation technology, Wheatley noted.

But, “even if we introduce new nuclear technology, as long as older facilities remain operational — likely, given recent trends to extend permits and relicense existing reactors — their risks, and the aggregate risk of operating the global nuclear fleet, remain,” Sovacool said.

The results were published in the journals Energy Research & Social Scienceand Risk Analysis

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/another-chernobyl-or-fukushima-risk-plausible-experts-116092000813_1.html

 

 

October 20, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Rainwater flood in Shika nuclear plant raises concerns at NRA

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The Shika nuclear plant in Ishikawa Prefecture operated by Hokuriku Electric Power Co.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has instructed Hokuriku Electric Power Co. to further investigate and prevent a recurrence of flooding that short-circuited the emergency lighting system at its Shika nuclear plant in Ishikawa Prefecture.

The 6.6 tons of rainwater that entered the No. 2 reactor building at the Shika plant in late September also came close to drenching power batteries prepared for emergency use.

It was never imagined that such a volume of rain would flood the building,” NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said Oct. 19. “There was the possibility of losing an important safety function.”

The Shika plant is currently offline, but the flooding incident could prompt the NRA to review the screening process required before the nuclear reactor is cleared to resume operations.

Hokuriku Electric President Yutaka Kanai apologized for the incident at a special meeting with the NRA on Oct. 19 and acknowledged that the downpour caught the company off-guard.

Measures to stop flooding were an afterthought because the altitude of the plant site is comparatively high,” Kanai said. “There was a delay in dealing with the warning signals because of a weak sense of crisis among those on duty at the time.”

According to the utility’s report submitted to the NRA, a drainage ditch next to the reactor building was partially covered for road construction work. The rainfall on Sept. 28 flooded the road, and some of the water entered cable piping leading to the reactor building because a lid had been partially moved to allow for passage of a temporary cable.

The rainwater eventually reached the first floor of the reactor building, and power sources for emergency lighting short-circuited. Some of the rainwater leaked through cracks in the floor and fell as far as the second floor basement, according to the report.

The water reached the floor just above the room on the first floor basement where power batteries are kept. Those batteries are a crucial power source for the plant’s operations in the event electricity is cut off in an earthquake.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, as much as 26 millimeters of rain fell per hour on that day.

The 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was caused in part by the loss of emergency power sources in the tsunami that swamped the plant.

That accident led to the creation of stricter safety standards on measures to prevent flooding of reactor buildings, including erecting levees against tsunami and installing watertight doors.

However, not much attention was focused on the possibility of flooding through piping.

Anti-flooding measures were not high on the priority list at the Shika plant because there are no nearby rivers. Piping into the reactor building was also not required to be sealed off.

The NRA will ask Hokuriku Electric for new safety measures when it screens the No. 2 reactor at the Shika plant under the utility’s application to resume operations.

The NRA is also expected to wait until Hokuriku Electric presents a more detailed report before looking into whether the incident was unique to the Shika plant or whether there is a need to expand the safety measures to other nuclear plants when conducting screenings before operations can resume.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201610200027.html

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October 20, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Radiation Lab & Clinic in Iwaki, Fukushima

A radiation measuring center organized and run by independent citizens, after being lied, betrayed and abandoned by the Japanese Government.

 

About them :

http://www.iwakisokuteishitu.com/english/aboutus.html

Here is the page of Tarachine in English with donation information using PayPal.

Iwaki Radiation Measuring Center NPO “Tarachine”

http://www.iwakisokuteishitu.com/english/e-donations.html

And some of their participating actions:

http://www.kuminosato.com/

Fukushima Children Fund

https://dunrenard.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/fukushima-children-fund/

East Japan Soil Measurement Project of Minna no Data, Dec.2015 to Sept. 2016

https://dunrenard.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/east-japan-soil-measurement-project-of-minna-no-data-dec-2015-to-sept-2016/

 

October 20, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Apples Are Very Hot In Cocktails

Here is another propaganda article on Forbes from James Conca, the highest paid pro-nuke shill, wanting us to believe that Fukushima Apples are dynamite in cocktails.

They are certainly not dynamite, but surely hot!

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Fukushima Apples Are Dynamite In Cocktails

The 42nd World Cocktail Championships, which kicked off in Tokyo this week, is an unusual event to discuss a nuclear disaster. But that is exactly what Yoshikazu Suda, a bartender in Tokyo’s Ginza district who hails from Fukushima, is doing.

And his demonstration of solidarity with farmers and the people of Fukushima is in the form of some very cool drinks.

Bartenders and mixologists from over from 53 countries will gather in Tokyo to take part in the drink-creating championships. But the International Bartenders Association is no ordinary group. Founded in 1951, the IBA represents the National Bartender Guilds in 64 countries around the world. Over 500 bartenders and mixologists will gather at the event, which is being held in Japan for the first time in 20 years.

The International Bartenders Association is committed to responsible drinking and dispelling myths about alcohol. But this World Cocktail Championship will dispel a completely different type of myth – that Fukushima food is contaminated by radiation. It certainly is not.

During the contest at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, several varieties of fruit will be used, but only Fukushima-grown apples will be used in the fruit-cutting event, specifically apples grown by Fukushima farmer Chusaku Anzai.

Five years ago, a magnitude 9 earthquake on the Tohoku Fault off the east coast of Japan sent a 50-foot tsunami crashing into the coast with almost no warning, flooding over 500 square miles of land, killing almost 20,000 people and destroying a million homes and businesses.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/10/19/fukushima-apples-are-dynamite-in-cocktails/#288bea9c16c3

 

October 20, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Abe’s Nuclear Japan Goals Face More Ballot-Box Battles in 2017

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– Anti-nuclear candidates win in Niigata, Kagoshima prefectures

– Three gubernatorial races next year in regions facing restarts

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambition to restart the country’s fleet of nuclear reactors may face further challenges from local elections.

The victory of an anti-nuclear gubernatorial candidate in the central prefecture of Niigata on Sunday, following a similar win in the southern Kagoshima region earlier this year, is complicating efforts by the country’s ruling party to revive Japan’s nuclear fleet. There will be at least three such elections next year in areas where utilities are vying to restart reactors.

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Even as the Abe administration remains committed to including nuclear power as part of Japan’s energy mix, implementing this vision will require overcoming ever-more-dogged resistance from local communities and their representatives,” Tobias Harris, a vice president with Teneo Intelligence in Washington D.C., said in a note Monday. “The restart process will continue to proceed unevenly at best.”

Almost all the country’s reactors remain shut because of new safety regulations and public opposition following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Only 2 of Japan’s 42 operable reactors are producing power commercially as of Oct. 6, when Kyushu Electric Power Co. shut its Sendai No. 1 unit for maintenance. 

Local Approval

Sendai’s return to service may be delayed due to the recently elected Kagoshima governor’s strong opposition to its operation. Local government approval — including endorsement from the governor — is traditionally sought by Japanese utilities before returning plants to service.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. fell the most in almost four months on Monday after Ryuichi Yoneyama was elected governor of Niigata over the weekend. Yoneyama won’t support restarting the prefecture’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant without a deeper review of the Fukushima meltdown and Niigata’s current evacuation measures.

Elections will be watched closely as support from local governments are crucial to get more nuclear reactors back online, according to Syusaku Nishikawa, an analyst at Daiwa Securities Co. About 57 percent of the Japanese public oppose restarts, according to an Asahi newspaper poll earlier this month. Lawsuits have also threatened reactor operations.

Public opposition and the slow pace of returning reactors will be a challenge to Abe’s goal of having nuclear power provide at least 20 percent of Japan’s electricity by 2030, Harris said.

Gubernatorial races are held within about 30 days of when the current term ends, which will happen in 2017 in the following prefectures, according to the local-government websites and data compiled by Bloomberg:

Shizuoka

Chubu Electric Power Co.’s only nuclear power plant is in Shizuoka prefecture, where two of the Hamaoka facility’s units are under review by the nation’s regulator. The current governor, Heita Kawakatsu, said Monday the issue of nuclear restarts should be thoroughly debated during the election, according to Chunichi newspaper. He said in May the prefecture should hold a public referendum on whether the reactors restart, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

While an exact date for the election hasn’t been decided, it will likely occur as early as June, according to the prefecture’s administrative office. Chubu Electric declined to comment on next year’s gubernatorial race and the current governor’s stance. The governor’s office wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Miyagi

Tohoku Electric Power Co. asked the national nuclear regulator to review the safety of the No. 2 reactor at its Onagawa nuclear plant in 2013. Yoshihiro Murai, governor of Miyagi prefecture since 2005 and not affiliated with any party, will not take a position on the restart until after the review, according to an official from the prefecture’s nuclear safety policy division. Tohoku Electric declined to comment.

Ibaraki

Ibaraki prefecture is in a similar position as Miyagi.

Japan Atomic Power Co. asked for a federal safety review in 2014 of its Tokai Dai-Ni plant. Politically-independent Masaru Hashimoto, governor since 1993, said in an NHK interview earlier this year he’ll make a decision on the restart after the review is complete. Japan Atomic declined to comment. The governor’s office wasn’t immediately available to comment.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-18/abe-s-nuclear-japan-goals-face-more-ballot-box-battles-in-2017

October 20, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment