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A Fukushima Ghost Town Seeks Rebirth Through Renewable Energy

A Fukushima Ghost Town Seeks Rebirth Through Renewable Energy

Devastated by Japanese nuclear plant’s meltdown in 2011, Namie hopes a new hydrogen-fuel facility can generate a turnaround. WSJ, By River Davis, July 12, 2019

NAMIE, Japan—Fukushima prefecture, a place synonymous in many minds with nuclear meltdown, is trying to reinvent itself as a hub for renewable energy.

One symbol is just outside Namie, less than five miles from the nuclear-power plant devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. At the end of a winding road through miles of barren land, construction is nearing completion on one of the world’s largest hydrogen plants.

The government hopes to show that hydrogen, a hard-to-handle fuel that hasn’t been used for large-scale power generation, can supplement intermittent solar and wind power.

……….. By 2040, Fukushima aims to cover 100% of its energy demand with non-nuclear renewable energy. Since 2011, the prefecture’s generating capacity from renewable energy, excluding large-scale hydropower, has more than quadrupled. More than a gigawatt of solar-energy capacity has been added—the equivalent of more than three million solar panels—while other projects are under way in offshore wind power and geothermal energy……… https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-fukushima-ghost-town-seeks-rebirth-through-renewable-energy-11562923802

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July 13, 2019 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Renewable energy racing ahead, close to beating nuclear power

When you see an article like this, from a basically pro-nuclear writer, in a journal that is the propaganda voice of the nuclear industry – well, isn’t this a cause for some shadenfreude?

Nuclear power remains ahead of renewables, but just barely. Further, it is losing ground. In 2017, the world produced 22% more power from nuclear than it did from modern renewables. In 2018, the nuclear lead was less than 9%. Based on current trends, modern renewables will surpass nuclear power production either this year or next year.

Renewables Catching Nuclear Power In Global Energy Race Forbes, Robert Rapier 7 Jul 19, This article is the fifth in a series on BP’s recently-released Statistical Review of World Energy 2019
Today, I want to cover global trends in renewable energy.

The Review separates renewables into two categories called Hydroelectric and Renewables. The former consists of hydropower, which has been around for a long time. Hydropower still produces more electricity globally than the Renewables category, which consists primarily of rapidly-growing wind and solar power, as well as more mature renewable technologies like geothermal power and power produced from biomass

Coal is still the dominant source of electricity around the world, although natural gas has taken over the top spot in the U.S. But, renewables have grown rapidly over the past decade, and are on the cusp of overtaking nuclear globally.

In 2018, nuclear power was responsible for 2,701 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity generation, compared to 4,193 TWh for hydropower and 2,480 for renewables. In comparison, coal produced more power than all three categories combined.

However, the growth rates of the different categories of electricity generation tell a different story. Over the past decade, from 2007 to 2017, global electricity generated by coal grew at an annual average of 1.7%. Nuclear generation over that time actually declined annually by 0.4%, a consequence of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. Hydropower generation grew at an average annual rate of 2.8%. These growth rates are indicative of mature power sources.

But contrast those growth rates with those of modern renewables.

From 2007 to 2017, the Renewables category grew at an average annual rate of 16.4%. But within that category, power from geothermal and biomass grew at an annual average of 7.1%. Wind and solar power, by contrast, grew at an annual average of 20.8% and 50.2%, respectively, over the past decade.

What does a 50% average annual growth rate over the past decade look like? Here are the global trends in solar power since 2000:  (in graph at top

I will note that in 2007 I wrote an article called The Future is Solar, a few years before solar took off).

The world’s leading producer of solar power in 2018 was once again China, with a 30.4% share globally. China maintained a blistering growth rate in 2018, with solar generation increasing by 50.7% over 2017. From 2007 to 2017, China increased solar generation at an average annual rate of just over 100%.

The U.S. remains in second place globally with a 16.6% share. U.S. solar power generation increased by 24.4% over 2017, and over the decade the U.S. has increased solar power at an average annual rate of 53.2%. Rounding out the Top 5 countries in solar power generation are Japan (12.3% share), Germany (7.9% share), and India (5.3% share).

Wind power is still ahead of solar in global electricity generation. In 2018, wind power was used to generate 1,270 TWh of power, versus 585 TWh for solar power. But solar power is on a trajectory to surpass wind power during the next decade.

Globally, China was also the top producer of wind power with a 28.8% global share. Again, the U.S. was second with a 21.9% share, followed by Germany (8.8% share), India (4.7% share), and the UK (4.5% share).

Nuclear power remains ahead of renewables, but just barely. Further, it is losing ground. In 2017, the world produced 22% more power from nuclear than it did from modern renewables. In 2018, the nuclear lead was less than 9%. Based on current trends, modern renewables will surpass nuclear power production either this year or next year. (I will add that nuclear is firm power, and renewables are intermittent, and that is an important distinction).

The rapid growth rate for renewables is a positive development in a world trying to rein in carbon dioxide emissions. However, renewables have not yet reached a level at which they are actually causing fossil fuel demand to contract.

Modern renewable energy consumption (mainly wind and solar power) grew by 71 million metric tons of oil equivalent in 2018. But global energy consumption grew much faster than that, with fossil fuels carrying most of the load. Global consumption of coal, oil, and natural gas grew by 276 million metric tons in 2018, nearly four times the growth in renewables. As a result, global carbon dioxide emissions set a new all-time high in 2018…….https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2019/07/07/wind-and-solar-power-nearly-matched-nuclear-power-in-2018/#5494d17039ee

July 9, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | 1 Comment

Nuclear power – unsustainable – half Scotland’s reactors offline – but renewables supplying the load

The simple reason why nuclear power is finished – Dr Richard Dixon https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/the-simple-reason-why-nuclear-power-is-finished-dr-richard-dixon-1-4957211

Half of Scotland’s nuclear reactors are off-line over safety concerns, but the lights still stayed on, writes Dr Richard Dixon. July 3  2019

Nuclear power is the ultimate unsustainable form of energy. For some electricity today, we are leaving a thousand generations of future humans dangerous radioactive waste.

During the 1990s public inquiry into the Hinkley Point C nuclear station, I saw a poster showing a Roman legionary standing outside a nuclear plant and carrying the message “If the Romans had had nuclear power, we would still be guarding the waste”.

I thought it was terribly clever but it took me quite a while to realise that Roman Britain was far too close at hand. To cover the generally accepted 25,000 years, it would need to have referred to Cro-Magnon humans.

The politics of Scotland mean that new reactors here are almost unthinkable and the price of the renewable energy alternatives has fallen so far below the cost of nuclear that you would have to be crazy to go for new nuclear.

Labour’s Jack McConnell was the First Minister who said he would block new nuclear plants until there was a solution to the waste problem (14 years later, there is none). And while it is in the SNP’s DNA to oppose nuclear power. EDF and some unions do still try to lobby Scottish Ministers and officials, but to no avail. Meanwhile the industry is doing a great job of showing how terrible a bet nuclear is.

The nuclear industry is almost unique in that every new reactor costs more than the last, while everything else gets cheaper, including offshore wind power which is now coming in at just over half the price of nuclear for a unit of energy.

Hinkley Point C, the only nuclear station under construction in the UK, was supposed to be cooking the Christmas turkey in 2017. It is now expected to be producing electricity at the end of 2025 at the earliest. The only way it could be built was for the UK Government to agree that electricity consumers would pay bills well over the odds for the next 35 years.

The same sort of reactor is being built in Finland. It may start producing electricity next year – 11 years late. The other one of the same design is in France and is currently running 12 years late, at twice the original budget.

The latest wheeze the industry has come up with is to ask the UK Government to agree to pay any costs more than 30 per cent above the original budget for any more reactors. Not a good bet given their history.

Of course we already have four reactors in Scotland. The two at Torness are the second newest in the UK, having been opened by Margaret Thatcher in 1989. The two at Hunterston in Ayrshire are already well past their sell-by date, having started up in 1976. They were supposed to have closed in 2006 but have had three extensions with planned closure now in 2023. Because of a large number of cracks in their cores one reactor stopped generating in March last year and the other in October. Owners EDF are arguing with regulators about whether they can safely restart.

Did you notice the lights going out across Scotland with Hunterston not producing a single electron for eight months? No, thanks largely to renewables having a record first quarter of 2019 and supplying nine out of ten households in Scotland.

We certainly don’t need new nuclear and, with renewables rapidly on the rise, we should not take the unnecessary risk of starting up the Hunterston reactors ever again.

Dr Richard Dixon is director of Friends of the Earth Scotland.

July 4, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear power, fossil fuels finished? Los Angeles launches world’s cheapest solar + battery-storage project

New Solar + Battery Price Crushes Fossil Fuels, Buries Nuclear, Forbes, Jeff McMahon ,2 July 19. Los Angeles Power and Water officials have struck a deal on the largest and cheapest solar + battery-storage project in the world, at prices that leave fossil fuels in the dust and may relegate nuclear power to the dustbin.Later this month the LA Board of Water and Power Commissioners is expected to approve a 25-year contract that will serve 7 percent of the city’s electricity demand at 1.997¢/kwh for solar energy and 1.3¢ for power from batteries.

“This is the lowest solar-photovoltaic price in the United States,” said James Barner, the agency’s manager for strategic initiatives, “and it is the largest and lowest-cost solar and high-capacity battery-storage project in the U.S. and we believe in the world today. So this is, I believe, truly revolutionary in the industry.”

It’s half the estimated cost of power from a new natural gas plant.

Mark Z. Jacobson, the Stanford professor who developed roadmaps for transitioning 139 countries to 100 percent renewables, hailed the development on Twitter Friday, saying, “Goodnight #naturalgas, goodnight #coal, goodnight #nuclear.”

The anti-nuclear activist Arnie Gunderson, who predicted storage prices under 2¢/kwh four years ago on the night Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Powerpack, noted Saturday that his 2015 prediction was too high. He too said, “Goodbye coal, nukes, gas!”……….. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/01/new-solar–battery-price-crushes-fossil-fuels-buries-nuclear/#59a3e2355971

July 2, 2019 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

The huge threat that air-conditioning poses to the global climate

Air conditioning is the world’s next big threat https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/air-conditioning-is-the-world-s-next-big-threat-20190629-p522hd.html , By Chris Bryant, June 29, 2019  The vast majority of Americans and many Australians have air conditioning, but in Germany almost nobody does. At least not yet.

So when temperatures in Berlin rose to an uncomfortable 37 Celsius this week – a record for the month of June – I was uncommonly delighted to go to the Bloomberg office, where it’s artificially and blissfully cool.

By letting people in overheated climates concentrate on their work and get a good night’s sleep, air conditioning has played a big part in driving global prosperity and happiness over the past few decades – and that revolution has still barely begun.

About half of Chinese households have this modern tool, but of the 1.6 billion people living in India and Indonesia, only 88 million have access to air conditioning at home, Bloomberg New Energy Finance noted in a recent report.

For many, relief is in sight. Because of the combination of population growth, rising incomes, falling equipment prices and urbanisation, the number of air-conditioning units installed globally is set to jump from about 1.6 billion today to 5.6 billion by the middle of the century, according to the International Energy Agency.

That’s encouraging news for US manufacturers of cooling systems such as Carrier (United Technologies Corp), Ingersoll-Rand and Johnson Controls International.

And because much of this growth will happen in Asia, Chinese companies such as Gree Electric Appliances, Qingdao Haier, Midea Group and Japan’s Daikin Industries Ltd should be big beneficiaries.

There’s just one glaring problem: What will all this extra demand for electricity do to the climate?

Vicious cycle

Carbon dioxide emissions rose another 2 per cent in 2018, the fastest pace in seven years. That increase was alarming in its own right, given what we know about the unfolding climate emergency.

But the proximate cause was especially troubling: Extreme weather led to more demand for air conditioning and heating in 2018, BP explained in its annual review of energy sector.

It’s not too hard to imagine a vicious cycle in which more hot weather begets ever more demand for air conditioning and thus even more need for power. That in turn means more emissions and even hotter temperatures.

That negative feedback loop exists at a local level too. Air-conditioning units funnel heat outside, exacerbating the so-called “urban heat island” effect, which makes cities warmer than the countryside.

BNEF expects electricity demand from residential and commercial air conditioning to increase by more than 140 per cent by 2050 – an increase that’s comparable to adding the European Union’s entire electricity consumption. Air conditioning will represent 12.7 per cent of electricity demand by the middle of the century, compared to almost 9 per cent now, it thinks.

Thankfully, much of that extra demand will be met by solar power (the need for cooling is highest during daylight hours). But because temperatures don’t always return to comfortable levels when the sun goes down, there’s a danger some will be supplied by fossil power.

‘Passivhaus’ and LED revolution

Buildings have long been a blind spot in climate discussions even though they account for about one-fifth of global energy consumption. The inefficiency of air-conditioning systems or badly designed homes and offices simply aren’t as eye-catching as electric cars and making people feel ashamed about flying.

At least Germany’s “passivhaus” movement, a way of building homes that require very little heating or cooling, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in buildings, shows some people are starting to recognise the danger.

There are lessons to be learned from the world of lighting too. The LED revolution was spurred by innovation but also by better energy efficiency labelling on products and the phasing out of out-of-date technology. Something similar needs to happen with air conditioning.

There was a big step forward in January when the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol came into force. Though not well known, its aim is to phase out the use of potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons, which are used widely in air conditioning systems. Unless substituted, these alone could cause 0.4C of additional warming by the end of the century.

Yet true to form, President Donald Trump’s administration hasn’t yet submitted Kigali to the Senate for ratification, even though American manufacturers would benefit from demand for the new technologies that it would spawn.

Trump knows all about the importance of good air con. He spends much of his time at his Palm Beach country club, a place that couldn’t exist without it.

So he’d do well to remember this: You can air condition the clubhouse but not the golf course. And it’s starting to get awfully hot outside.

Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, ENERGY, Reference | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear power programme unlikely to progress. Ocean energy is a better way.

The problem is apparently nervousness about handling liquid Sodium, used as a coolant. If Sodium comes in contact with water it will explode; and the PFBR is being built on the humid coast of Tamil Nadu. The PFBR has always been a project that would go on stream “next year”. The PFBR has to come online, then more FBRs would need to be built, they should then operate for 30-40 years, and only then would begin the coveted ‘Thorium cycle’!

Why nuclear when India has an ‘ocean’ of energy,  https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/why-nuclear-when-india-has-an-ocean-of-energy/article28230036.ece

M. Ramesh – 30 June 19 Though the ‘highly harmful’ source is regarded as saviour on certain counts, the country has a better option under the seas

If it is right that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come, it must be true the other way too — nothing can hold back an idea whose time has passed.

Just blow the dust off, you’ll see the writing on the wall: nuclear energy is fast running out of sand, at least in India. And there is something that is waiting to take its place.

India’s 6,780 MW of nuclear power plants contributed to less than 3% of the country’s electricity generation, which will come down as other sources will generate more.

Perhaps India lost its nuclear game in 1970, when it refused to sign – even if with the best of reasons – the Non Proliferation Treaty, which left the country to bootstrap itself into nuclear energy. Only there never was enough strap in the boot to do so.

In the 1950s, the legendary physicist Dr. Homi Bhabha gave the country a roadmap for the development of nuclear energy.

Three-stage programme

In the now-famous ‘three-stage nuclear programme’, the roadmap laid out what needs to be done to eventually use the country’s almost inexhaustible Thorium resources. The first stage would see the creation of a fleet of ‘pressurised heavy water reactors’, which use scarce Uranium to produce some Plutonium. The second stage would see the setting up of several ‘fast breeder reactors’ (FBRs). These FBRs would use a mixture of Plutonium and the reprocessed ‘spent Uranium from the first stage, to produce energy and more Plutonium (hence ‘breeder’), because the Uranium would transmute into Plutonium. Alongside, the reactors would convert some of the Thorium into Uranium-233, which can also be used to produce energy. After 3-4 decades of operation, the FBRs would have produced enough Plutonium for use in the ‘third stage’. In this stage, Uranium-233 would be used in specially-designed reactors to produce energy and convert more Thorium into Uranium-233 —you can keep adding Thorium endlessly.

Seventy years down the line, India is still stuck in the first stage. For the second stage, you need the fast breeder reactors. A Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) of 500 MW capacity, construction of which began way back in 2004, is yet to come on stream.

The problem is apparently nervousness about handling liquid Sodium, used as a coolant. If Sodium comes in contact with water it will explode; and the PFBR is being built on the humid coast of Tamil Nadu. The PFBR has always been a project that would go on stream “next year”. The PFBR has to come online, then more FBRs would need to be built, they should then operate for 30-40 years, and only then would begin the coveted ‘Thorium cycle’! Nor is much capacity coming under the current, ‘first stage’. The 6,700 MW of plants under construction would, some day, add to the existing nuclear capacity of 6,780 MW. The government has sanctioned another 9,000 MW and there is no knowing when work on them will begin. These are the home-grown plants. Of course, thanks to the famous 2005 ‘Indo-U.S. nuclear deal’, there are plans for more projects with imported reactors, but a 2010 Indian ‘nuclear liability’ legislation has scared the foreigners away. With all this, it is difficult to see India’s nuclear capacity going beyond 20,000 MW over the next two decades.

Now, the question is, is nuclear energy worth it all?

There have been three arguments in favour of nuclear enFor Fergy: clean, cheap and can provide electricity 24×7 (base load). Clean it is, assuming that you could take care of the ticklish issue of putting away the highly harmful spent fuel.

But cheap, it no longer is. The average cost of electricity produced by the existing 22 reactors in the country is around ₹2.80 a kWhr, but the new plants, which cost ₹15-20 crore per MW to set up, will produce energy that cannot be sold commercially below at least ₹7 a unit. Nuclear power is pricing itself out of the market. A nuclear power plant takes a decade to come up, who knows where the cost will end up when it begins generation of electricity?

Nuclear plants can provide the ‘base load’ — they give a steady stream of electricity day and night, just like coal or gas plants. Wind and solar power plants produce energy much cheaper, but their power supply is irregular. With gas not available and coal on its way out due to reasons of cost and global warming concerns, nuclear is sometimes regarded as the saviour. But we don’t need that saviour any more; there is a now a better option.

Ocean energy

The seas are literally throbbing with energy. There are at least several sources of energy in the seas. One is the bobbing motion of the waters, or ocean swells — you can place a flat surface on the waters, with a mechanical arm attached to it, and it becomes a pump that can be used to drive water or compressed air through a turbine to produce electricity. Another is by tapping into tides, which flow during one part of the day and ebb in another. You can generate electricity by channelling the tide and place a series of turbines in its path. One more way is to keep turbines on the sea bed at places where there is a current — a river within the sea. Yet another way is to get the waves dash against pistons in, say, a pipe, so as to compress air at the other end. Sea water is dense and heavy, when it moves it can punch hard — and, it never stops moving.

All these methods have been tried in pilot plants in several parts of the world—Brazil, Denmark, U.K., Korea. There are only two commercial plants in the world—in France and Korea—but then ocean energy has engaged the world’s attention.

For sure, ocean energy is costly today.

India’s Gujarat State Power Corporation had a tie-up with U.K.’s Atlantic Resources for a 50 MW tidal project in the Gulf of Kutch, but the project was given up after they discovered they could sell the electricity only at ₹13 a kWhr. But then, even solar cost ₹18 a unit in 2009! When technology improves and scale-effect kicks-in, ocean energy will look real friendly.

Initially, ocean energy would need to be incentivised, as solar was. Where do you find the money for the incentives? By paring allocations to the Department of Atomic Energy, which got ₹13,971 crore for 2019-20.

Also, wind and solar now stand on their own legs and those subsidies could now be given to ocean energy.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | India, Reference, renewable, technology, thorium | Leave a comment

Forget Nuclear: Energy Efficiency is the best answer – theme for July 2019

As the Northern hemisphere swelters, some people may ponder on old-fashioned, ‘boring’ ways of keeping cool.

But most will resort to (or wish they had) air-conditioning, probably powered by fossil fuels. To cut down greenhouse gases, solar-powered air conditioners are a better answer.

But, overall, energy efficiency is the fastest, most effective, and ultimately cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, renewable energy technologies are needed, too.

Energy conservation has little appeal for the corporate consumer world – less things, less devices, less electricity to sell.

The pro nuclear zealouts continue to preach their religion of endless growth, endless energy use. They would have us trash this planet with radioactive wastes, and then send a few suicidal astronauts , propelled by plutonium, supposedly to colonise Mars.

Energy efficiency involves many intelligent efforts, from large-scale design of buildings, transport and machines, to more appropriate use of human energy, such as cycling and walking, and even use of more hand-operated small clockwork devices.

This all does require brainwork, smart design, rather than mindless obedience to consumerism, and to centralised sources of electricity.

 

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, ENERGY | 2 Comments

The world moves to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – theme for July 2019

renewable_energyIt seems impossible for petrol heads coal and gas heads, and especially nuke-heads to get their heads around this – BUT – renewable energy and energy efficiency ARE HAPPENING  – world -wide, in both big ways, and small ways.

It must be tough, when you’re addicted to such a complex , complicated, and expensive technology as nuclear power – as well as addicted to the money you get from being involved in this business –  it must be tough to consider the reality that the fuels for solar and wind energy are FREE, and so is the energy conservation from good design in energy efficiency.

As Dr Helen Caldicott pointed out, long ago, if they could put a blanket around the sun and sell holes, they would.

The out-dated energy systems of the past – nuclear,coal, gas, are looking more
and more like unwieldy and costly dinosaurs, as the world wakes up to the diversity and flexibility of 21st Century clean energy systems.

The nuclear lobby now tries its last ditch promotional pipe-dream – Small Nuclear Reactors – that in fact would rely on the continuation of the old big ones.

 

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Christina's themes, renewable | 5 Comments

Scotland’s renewable energy success

The National 28th June 2019 , SCOTLAND produced a record amount of renewable energy in the first three
months of 2019, with enough power generated to supply almost nine out of 10
homes. A total of 8877 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of green electricity were
generated in the first quarter of this year – 17% more than in the same
period of 2018. The bulk of this power – 5792 GWh – came from onshore wind
farms, the figures from the UK Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show.

Overall, the amount of renewable energy
generated was enough to power around 88% of Scottish households for a year,
the Scottish Government said. Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse said the
sector is going from “strength to strength”. The BEIS data also shows
renewable energy capacity in Scotland rose from 10.4 Gigawatts (GW) in
March 2018 to 11.3 GW in March this year. Electricity exports from Scotland
were at their highest since the last three months of 2017, rising to 4543
GWh – the equivalent of enough energy to power more than 1.1 million homes
for a year. https://www.thenational.scot/news/17735413.scotland-producing-record-renewable-energy-output/

June 29, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

To comply with Paris climate agreement, France could switch to 100% renewables

Le Point 18th June 2019 “France could switch to 100% renewable energy” INTERVIEW. According to Rana
Adib, head of the network of experts REN21, the effort in favor of
renewable energies must be relaunched to comply with the Paris agreement.

https://www.lepoint.fr/economie/la-france-pourrait-passer-a-100-d-energies-renouvelables-18-06-2019-2319433_28.php

June 24, 2019 Posted by | climate change, France, renewable | Leave a comment

China’s new solar thermal power plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 350,000 metric tonnes yearly

Energy Live News 21st June 2019 China’s first 100MW molten salt solar thermal power plant has
successfully hit its maximum power levels. Built by Beijing Shouhang IHW
Resources Saving Technology, the three billion yuan (£345m) project in
Dunhuang uses 12,000 mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a receiver, which
is then used to heat the molten salt. It is capable of generating 390
million kWh of clean power each year, enough to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions by 350,000 metric tonnes – engineers at the facility say it has
already reached or exceeded its designed values.

https://www.energylivenews.com/2019/06/21/chinas-first-100mw-molten-salt-solar-plant-hits-maximum-power/

June 24, 2019 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Electricite de France (EDF) has financial woes, hopes to save itself by switching from nuclear to renewables?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, renewable | Leave a comment

France’s big plans for offshore wind

June 17, 2019 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

As Uk’s nuclear power plans fumble, time to boost renewable energy to ensure electricity supply

Report: Boost renewables for ‘no-regrets insurance’ against nuclear gap  Business Green,    Michael Holder   7 June 19,  Boosting renewable power sources in the UK would provide “no-regrets insurance” against a looming gap in the UK’s nuclear capacity, playing a crucial role in reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the process, a report today by a leading think tank has found.

The government’s plans for a fleet of new nuclear plants in the UK are facing major challenges after recent decisions by Hitachi and Toshiba to halt projects in North Wales and Cumbria respectively, creating a shortfall between official projections of future nuclear capacity and what the market appears set to deliver.

Meanwhile, the discovery of cracks in graphite bricks around the core of nuclear reactors – such as that which has led to Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire shutting down a reactor – has raised fears some of the UK’s existing nuclear plants could yet close earlier than planned.

The industry’s travails could potentially leave the UK with a looming nuclear capacity gap, which could have huge implications for both the electricity system and the UK’s long-term carbon targets, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

Assessing the potential impact of a future nuclear energy gap, the report argues that accelerating the rollout of renewables alongside energy storage and grid flexibility technologies to make up the shortfall in expected capacity during the late 2020s and early 2030s would prove a “no-regrets” solution……

Reports suggests the government may legislate for a 2050 net zero emissions target in the coming week, and if so the government will have to increase its ambitions for renewables in the coming years, said ECIU director Richard Black.

“It would economically pragmatic to accelerate decarbonisation in the near-term by building up capacity in low-cost renewables and flexibility mechanisms,” he explained. “If it turns out they’re not needed, all ministers will have done is to accelerate decarbonisation which they say they need to do anyway; so this really is a no-regrets pathway. But it’s one where decisions are needed soon.” https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3076976/report-boost-renewables-for-no-regrets-insurance-against-nuclear-gap

June 8, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK Labour party has accused the government of “actively dismantling” the UK’s solar power industry

Guardian 5th June 2019 The Labour party has accused the government of “actively dismantling”
the UK’s solar power industry after new installations by households
collapsed by 94% last month. Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business
secretary, used prime minister’s questions to challenge the
government’s record on climate action after scrapping subsidies for
domestic solar panels from April. Standing in for Jeremy Corbyn,
Long-Bailey said solar power had the potential to cut household bills and
carbon emissions while creating thousands of jobs. “But the government,
for some reason, appears to be determined to kill it off, while continuing
to cheerlead for fracking,” she said. (NB – story by Jillian Ambrose
who has moved from the Telegraph to replace Adam Vaughan at the Guardian).https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/05/home-solar-panel-installations-fall-by-94-as-subsidies-cut

June 8, 2019 Posted by | decentralised, politics, UK | Leave a comment