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China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) acquires 75% stake in Swedish wind power project

Reuters 18th July 2018 , China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has acquired a 75 percent
stake in a Swedish wind power project from Australia’s Macquarie Group
and GE Energy Financial Services, state news agency Xinhua reported on
Wednesday. The North Pole wind power project, located in Pitea, Sweden, is
expected to be operational by the end of 2019 with a capacity of 650,000
kilowatts, making it the single largest onshore wind power park in Europe,
Xinhua said.


July 20, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, China, renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

66% of UK voters support onshore wind power

Independent 16th July 2018 , Two-thirds of British people think the government should ditch the policies
that have all but killed off the UK’s onshore wind industry, according to a
new poll.

Since new rules governing the construction of onshore turbines
were introduced following the election in 2015, planning applications for
new wind farms have plummeted by 94 per cent. As the government struggles
to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions targets, experts have criticised
the effective ban on technology that is widely considered the UK’s cheapest
new power source.

Aside from the environmental and industry arguments for
promoting onshore wind, the technology has considerable support from the
British public, as the government’s own data on public attitudes to
renewable energy have shown. Now, a new opinion poll by YouGov has revealed
66 per cent of voters would support a change in policy that allowed onshore
wind farms to be built in places where they have local backing. Current
policies were initially introduced following a Conservative promise to
“halt the spread of onshore wind farms” which “often fail to gain public

July 18, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s academic and government experts now agree that renewable energy, not nuclear power, is Britain’s future

Telegraph 15th July 2018 , Support for renewable energy is no longer the preserve of eco-warriors, nor
the enemy of the sceptical pragmatist. Experts from academia and government
agree that after years of heavy subsidy, renewable energy is close to
paying its own way.

“Few would have imagined that by 2018 we would be
talking about a subsidy-free future for renewables,” admits Mateusz Wronski
of Aurora Energy Research. “Yet this is where we have arrived – and our
research highlights clearly the enormous prize and potential in the market,
not only in Great Britain but across Europe.”

Aurora broke ranks with traditional energy rhetoric earlier this year by publishing data showing
that new renewable energy projects are now the cheapest source of
electricity in the market and hold the promise of a multi-billion-pound
investment boom for Britain. “The subsidy-free revolution is here, and it’s
big. This is a £60bn investment opportunity in north-west Europe alone,”
Wronski says, with Britain poised to gain far more than any other country
from the coming revolution.

A rapid shift in the economics of energy has
brought renewables to the brink of a major tipping point only a few years
away. Britain could begin to host onshore wind and solar projects without
the need for subsidies from the early 2020s, to unlock about £20bn of
investment between now and 2030. At the end of the next decade, offshore
wind will follow suit.

Last week, the renewable agenda found a fresh ally.
Sir John Armitt, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission,
made the most hard-headed case for renewable energy yet. In the first ever
independent assessment of Britain’s infrastructure needs, the commission
dealt a blow to the Government’s nuclear ambitions by warning ministers
against striking a deal for more than one follow-up to the Hinkley Point C
project before 2025.

Instead, government should focus its efforts on
rolling out more renewable power. The pace of the zero-subsidy roll-out
could become quicker if developers are allowed to enter their “zero” bids
into the flurry of auctions held by National Grid throughout the year to
guarantee generation and an optimal frequency for the grid. By taking part
in the subsidy auctions, wind developers would soon be able to cast a bid
at or below the cost of wholesale power prices, which would effectively
mean zero added costs to bills. This would provide certainty to investors,
lower the project’s risk and reduce the cost of capital needed to bring the
projects to life. In turn, consumers would be in line for lower bills.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Smart householders don’t just switch energy providers, they go solar

Guardian 5th July 2018 , Emeritus Professor Sue Roaf: You should talk to people in the solar
industry about the future for domestic solar power rather than just relying
on “predictions”. As a non-executive director of AES Solar Ltd in Forres,
Scotland, I can tell you that our order books are healthy, despite the
government’s solarcoaster tariffs.

We are seeing real, steady growth
because, for instance, where better to spend a small part of a pension pot
than to put in a solar water heater, PV electrics and a battery system,
thus decoupling the household budget from soaring energy prices from the

Smart householders don’t just switch energy providers, they go solar,
not least those looking for a financially safer old age. That is the sort
of compelling reason why solar has a brilliant future in the UK, not a dark

July 7, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, UK | Leave a comment

Germany’s biggest utility E.ON to merge with its biggest competitor RWE

Energy Post 26th June 2018 , It came as a great surprise to me some weeks back that Germany’s biggest
utility E.ON reached an “agreement in principle” with its biggest
competitor RWE to acquire its grid and retail business Innogy via a
wide-ranging “exchange of assets,” including RWE taking over the
renewables and other power generation businesses of E.ON.

The result, if the various competition authorities and regulators allow the deal to take
place, will be the biggest European grid company and energy retailer in the
form of E.ON, with RWE becoming the second biggest power generator in
Europe and third biggest owner of renewable assets. In addition, as part of
the deal, RWE will keep a minority stake in E.ON which ties the companies

July 2, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, ENERGY, Germany | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear lobby appears to be winning, but the Tidal Lagoon Energy movement has not given up

BBC 29th June 2018 Developers hoping to pitch new tidal power stations to the UK government
have vowed to carry on with their plans despite the rejection of the
Swansea Bay lagoon.

One called on ministers to set up a competitive
tendering process. Energy Secretary Greg Clark said he was “enthusiastic”
about the technology if it could prove to be value for money. The company
behind the Swansea Bay scheme is considering its next steps.

Tidal Lagoon Power’s (TLP) £1.3bn “pathfinder” project, touted as a world-first, was
turned down by the UK government on Monday. after it was deemed too
expensive. The aim was for it to lead to a fleet of larger, more powerful
lagoons in Cardiff, Newport, Bridgewater Bay, Colwyn Bay and off the coast
of Cumbria. The decision came 18 months after an independent review,
commissioned by the UK government, had urged ministers to plough ahead.

Other developers also looking to build lagoons have been following the
situation closely. Henry Dixon, chair of North Wales Tidal Energy (NWTE)
said the government had made the “wrong decision” but that would not deter
his company from “continuing to develop and promote” its own plans. He
claimed NWTE’s proposal for a £7bn lagoon, stretching from Llandudno
eastwards towards Talacre in Flintshire, would stack up in terms of costs
as it could generate more energy and revenue than the much smaller Swansea
scheme. There were also added benefits in terms of flood prevention, he
claimed. Dale Vince, who founded Ecotricity, one of the UK’s biggest
providers of renewable energy, believes he can build cheaper lagoons in the
Solway Firth. This approach differs to TLP’s as the lagoons would be
entirely offshore, instead of being attached to the coastline. “There is
plenty of time to have a competitive tender and to get this right – as the
government have said this week,” Mr Vince said. “Swansea Bay was too
expensive and it doesn’t make sense to do it, especially when not just
other forms of renewable energy are much cheaper but other approaches to
tidal energy are too.” “We’re hoping that the government now turns round,
on the back of this decision, and creates a proper competitive process for
tidal lagoons.”

June 29, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Tidal Lagoon energy project – would be costly to build, but very cheap for 120 years thereafter

Times 28th June 2018 , Professor Chris Binnie: Greg Clark says that the Swansea tidal
lagoon was rejected as it is three times as expensive as Hinkley C, but his
calculations are suspect. The tidal lagoon would be expensive to build, but
once built it could go on for 120 years with minimal refurbishment cost.
And letter Prof Roger Kemp: The government’s rejection of the Swansea tidal
lagoon is extremely disappointing. Greg Clark says that wind energy is
cheaper, bu t it’s a false comparison: we can predict the tides years in
advance but it is difficult to look more than a week ahead with wind.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Theresa May’s UK govt rejects renewables, promotes nuclear – and cancels promising tidal energy project

Bloomberg 27th June 2018 The U.K. government earmarked 200 million pounds ($262 million) to smooth
the way for the next nuclear power plants just two days after rejected the
case for an experimental project that would generate power from the tides.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said its
Nuclear Sector Deal will fund technology and skills needed to maintain the
industry that the government is backing to be part of its future energy
mix. About 56 million pounds will go to help eight vendors of modular
reactors carry out technical studies.

The decision puts further distance
between Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration and the possibility
of government support for cutting-edge renewable technologies. May’s
government has scaled back subsidies for wind and solar, halted onshore
wind farms and declined to back Tidal Lagoon Power Ltd.’s proposal for a
1.3 billion pound project to demonstrate its technology.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Renewable energy thriving across Asia

Physics World 27th June 2018 Dave Elliott: Renewables are booming across Asia, but there are variations
in pace and rival options also play a role. An interesting paper by Indian
academic Nandakumar Janardhanan looks at competition in renewables in
developing countries in Asia, focusing on India and China.

Janardhana notes that “India and China, being major developing economies and having huge
energy appetite, focused heavily on strengthening their respective
alternative energy sector” so as to reduce their over-reliance on
conventional fossil fuels. He adds that “India depends on external oil
supplies to meet two thirds of its oil demand, one third of oil demand in
China is met by imports”.

As a result, the renewable energy sector has
gained great momentum in these two countries and “as innovation and
development began to lead the growth of alternative energy sector,
opportunities for expansion within their respective borders as well as
outside emerged as promising avenues for the industry from both

June 29, 2018 Posted by | ASIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Despite everything, Japan’s power companies are still loyal to nuclear power

Utilities reaffirm faith in nuclear power despite safety concerns, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, June 28, 2018

Nine power companies said they are eager to restart their nuclear plants at their shareholder meetings on June 27, shunning calls to move toward renewables despite skepticism about the safety of relying on nuclear energy.

At the Kansai Electric Power Co. meeting, major shareholders such as the Kyoto and Osaka city governments called for nuclear power plants to be decommissioned.

“Kansai Electric should stop relying on nuclear power as soon as possible,” said Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa.

In reply, Shigeki Iwane, president of Kansai Electric, said, “While giving top priority to the safety of nuclear plants, we intend to continue utilizing nuclear plants.”

He did not rule out the possibility of constructing new reactors.

Kyushu Electric Power Co., which is now operating four reactors, showed reluctance about a major shift to renewables.

A proposal to “significantly bolster” renewable energy was turned down at its shareholder meeting.

We cannot ensure the stability of frequency if we accept solar power more than at the current level,” said Michiaki Uriu, president of Kyushu Electric, noting the output of solar energy generated within the utility’s jurisdiction has reached the ceiling of 8.17 gigawatts.

At the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. meeting, a proposal was made to freeze preparatory work toward the planned resumption of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture.

“Why does TEPCO bother to pursue nuclear power generation despite the Fukushima nuclear disaster?” said one shareholder. However, the proposal was rejected.

“The nuclear plant will continue to play an important role,” said Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of TEPCO Holdings, referring to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, one of the largest in the world. “We will strive toward the restart by soul-searching and taking a lesson from the unprecedented accident.”

Some shareholders hailed the company’s decision to decommission the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant, announced by Kobayakawa, although they said the decision came belatedly.

But others voiced their regret over the decision, saying the plant is too good to be decommissioned.

The Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant was damaged in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, but it managed to avert a meltdown, unlike the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant nearby, where a triple meltdown occurred.

Another shareholder proposal concerned an end to providing financial support to Japan Atomic Power Co., which intends to resume operations at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.

The same proposal was also made and rejected at a shareholder meeting of Tohoku Electric Power Co. the same day. Both TEPCO Holdings and Tohoku Electric fund Japan Atomic Power.

“We have offered debt guarantee to Japan Atomic Power due to the company’s efforts to ensure sustainability and cut fuel costs by restarting the nuclear plant,” said Jiro Masuko, vice president of Tohoku Electric.

All of Japan’s active nuclear power plants were shut down as part of precautionary measures after the 3/11 Fukushima disaster. Since then, nine have been restarted, and further 26 that remain idle could potentially be restarted.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | ENERGY, Japan | Leave a comment

Europe’s first dedicated recycling plant for old solar panels has opened in France.

Climate Action 26th June 2018 Europe’s first dedicated recycling plant for old solar panels has opened
in France. Veolia, an environmental services company, has opened the plant
in the town of Rousset, near Marseille, after securing a contract with
recycling organisation PV Cycle France.

The new deal means that Veolia will
recycle 1,300 tonnes of solar panels in 2018, which will increase to 4,000
tonnes by 2022, according to news agency Reuters. “This is the first
dedicated solar panel recycling plant in Europe, possibly in the world,”
said Gilles Carsuzaa, head of electronics recycling at Veolia.

According to
Veolia, solar capacity has grown by up to 40 percent a year in France,
equivalent to 84,000 tonnes of material in 2017 alone. The plant will now
ensure a single panel’s complex array of silver, silicon, glass, copper,
and plastics, and copper are dissembled and in working order to make new
solar panels. Solar panels have an estimated lifespan of 25 to 30 years,
meaning that many of the first generation built in the 1990s are now being
decommissioned. Veolia’s initial contract will recycle almost all of the
out-of-date solar panels in France this year.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

Community Energy could bring a revolutionary change to Europe’s clean energy package

Unearthed 26th June 2018 ,This week national governments will meet in Brussels to vote on a deal –
part of the EU’s clean energy package – that would recognise the right
of people and communities to produce their own energy. It could represent
possibly the biggest systematic change to Europe’s electricity market in
a generation. Unearthed has got hold of the final text of the renewable
energy directive, which could boost the take-up of renewable energy from
households and small producers in the EU. The UK appears unsure as to
whether it will integrate the policies into national law after Brexit.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | decentralised, EUROPE | Leave a comment

UK govt cancels promising Swansea Tidal Lagoon scheme, as it promotes dodgy Wylfa nuclear power plan

Guardian 27th June 2018 Letter Gideon Amos: When I and my fellow planning inspectors spent the best
part of a year examining and reporting on both the principle and the detail
of the project in Swansea, it was clear that this pathfinder project had
important environmental, cultural and regeneration benefits.

Vitally, itwould provide baseload generation capacity to complement our welcome but
increasing reliance on wind energy. In addition, while being “first of a
kind” presents big investment and consenting headaches for a promoter, the
potentially infinite lifespan of the generating station means these early
upfront costs need to be discounted over a much longer timeframe than other

Failing to weigh these benefits and costs in the Treasury
economist’s balance sheet is a major mistake and one that misses a massive
opportunity to put the planet back at the centre of our nation’s future.

NFLA 27th June 2018 The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is hugely disappointed in the
decision announced on Monday by UK Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark
to cancel potential financial support for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon scheme.
This is a retrograde step for a nascent and exciting technology, and
compares negatively with the billions being offered to prop up new nuclear
reactor schemes like Wylfa B.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s wind energy programmes have proved to be cheaper and better climate policy, as against nuclear

Dave Toke’s Blog 22nd June 2018,  The Climate Change Act has been celebrating its 10th anniversary, but there
is surprisingly little to celebrate in the earlier advice of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC is the body created to advise the Government on the achievement of the carbon reduction commitments (80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050).

You would expect the advice of the CCC to speed the Government’s low carbon programme, but in the crucial aspect of
electricity supply policy it has (in the past) actually damaged it! Looking back on its past, it looks like the Committee gave completely the wrong advice to the Government, advice which, alas, they still seem to be following now. In particular, in the ‘Renewable Energy Review’ issued in 2011 (which I criticised at the time), the CCC, urged the Government to cut
back the targets for offshore wind and instead focus on nuclear power.

They told the Government not to be put off by the Fukushima disaster that had happened earlier that year. According to the Times Report on May 9th 2011 ”The Committee on Climate Change says heavy reliance on offshore wind could result in unacceptable increases in fuel bills.’ David Kennedy, the then Chief Executive of CCC said that ‘Nuclear looks like it will be the lowest cost for the next decade or two’. Indeed the Review stated that nuclear power was currently ‘the most cost effective of the low carbon technologies’.That conclusion, given the cost of onshore wind, was highly challengable at the time, especially as given the existing record of nuclear power plant that had been built in the UK and the roll-out of
onshore wind.

Whereas the deployment of renewable energy has soared ahead, despite the best efforts of many in the Conservatives to block it, nuclear power plans set out in 2010 have proved to be fantasy. And, of course, offshore wind costs have tumbled rapidly making the CCC’s earlier pronouncements looking especially silly.

June 25, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

French nuclear corporation EDF hedges its bets: now starting 2 renewable energy programmes

Renews 22nd June 2018 Energy giant EDF is celebrating a UK double after cutting the ribbon on two
renewables projects this week. The company’s chairman and chief executive
Jean-Bernard Levy was present for the official opening of both the 41.5MW
Blyth offshore wind farm off the Northumberland coast and the 49MW West
Burton B battery storage facility.

The Blyth project (pictured) features
five MHI Vestas V164-8.0MW turbines optimised to 8.3MW. The West Burton B
facility will operate within the new frequency control system to be
deployed across the UK to improve national grid stability. Levy said:
“These two innovative projects demonstrate our expertise in renewable
energies and electricity storage. They contribute greatly to
decarbonisation of the energy mix in the UK, our second largest market
after France.”

June 25, 2018 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment