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EU hits fast forward on renewables, including “massive deployment” of solar

Spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European Commission unveils massive scaling-up and speeding-up of renewable energy, with solar as the “kingpin.” The post EU hits fast forward on renewables, including “massive deployment” of solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

EU hits fast forward on renewables, including “massive deployment” of solar — RenewEconomy

May 19, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

Energy saving and renewables to create many more jobs than nuclear could.

Dave Elliott: Renewable energy has the potential to create twice as many
jobs as nuclear, and three times as many jobs per million pounds invested
compared to gas or coal power, while investment in energy efficiency can
create five times as many.

So says a new UK Energy Research Centre study of
Green Job Creation, based on a new review of the literature. It’s an
update to their earlier 2014 low carbon energy & employment study. That was
a bit more cautious about making final pronouncements, since, it said, it
was difficult to assess net economy-wide impacts over time. For example,
though some sectors might benefit more than others, if there was full
employment, new investment was unlikely to create extra jobs net of any
losses. A bit sniffily it said ‘the proper domain for the debate about
the long-term role of renewable energy and energy efficiency is the wider
framework of energy and environmental policy, not a narrow analysis of
green job impacts.’

In reality, we can’t just chase for the optimal
number of green jobs. The choice of technology will be made mostly on the
basis of a range of other issues- although, as UKERC says, job quality is
also important if we want to move to a socially and environmentally
sustainable future, a point I have developed in a recent study. We need
good, sustainable jobs as part of a global ‘just transition’.

 Renew Extra 14th May 2022

May 16, 2022 Posted by | employment, renewable | Leave a comment

Talen Energy subsidiary files for bankruptcy, company still plans nuclear data center, Company says

Cumulus nuclear data center project unaffected by ‘restructuring’ May 11, 2022 By Dan Swinhoe

Talen Energy, which is developing a data center campus at one of its nuclear power stations, has seen one of its subsidiaries file for bankruptcy.

This week Talen Energy Supply (TES), a unit of Talen Energy Corp (TEC) that holds several of its power plants, filed for Chapter 11 protection………………..

The company is aiming to reduce its $4.5 billion debt pile and bring in $1.65 billion in new equity from bondholders. TES has secured $1.76 billion of debtor-in-possession financing (the “DIP Facilities”) led by Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and RBC Capital Markets. The DIP Facilities are comprised of a $1 billion term loan, a $300 million revolving credit facility, and a $458 million letter of credit facility. The $1 billion term loan is being provided by an investor group of leading financial institutions.

The company said the process would “advance carbon-free data center growth initiatives, and maximize value to stakeholders.”

May 12, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, ENERGY, USA | Leave a comment

US nuclear power: Status, prospects, and climate implications

that final abdication can’t rescue nuclear power, which stumbles33 even in countries with impotent regulators and suppressed public participation. In the end, physics and human fallibility win. History teaches that lax regulation ultimately causes confidence-shattering mishaps, so gutting safety rules is simply a deferred-assisted-suicide pact.

 Science Direct,  Amory B.Lovins,  Stanford University, USA    The Electricity JournalVolume 35, Issue 4, May 2022, 


Nuclear power is being intensively promoted and increasingly subsidized in both old and potential new forms. Yet it is simultaneously suffering a global slow-motion commercial collapse due to intrinsically poor economics. This summary in a US context documents both trends, emphasizing the absence of an operational need and of a business or climate case.

In 2020, the world added1 5.521 GW (billion watts) of nuclear generating capacity—just above the 5.491 GW2 of lithium-ion batteries added to power grids. The average reactor was then 29 years old—39 in the United States, whose fleet is the world’s largest—so it’s not surprising that in 2020, maintenance or upgrade costs, safety concerns, and often simple operational uncompetitiveness caused owners worldwide to close 5.165 GW. The net nuclear capacity addition was thus the difference, 0.356 GW. Yet in the same year, the world added3 278.3 GW of renewables (or 257 GW without hydropower)—782× as much. Adjusted for relative US 2020 average capacity factors4, renewables’ net additions in 2020 thus raised the world’s annual carbon-free electricity supply by ~232× as much as nuclear power’s net additions did. That is, nuclear net growth increased the world’s carbon-free power supply in all of 2020 only as much as renewable power growth did every ~38 hours. Renewables also receive5 ~10–20 times more financial capital—mostly voluntary private investments—while nuclear investments used mainly tax revenues or capital conscripted from customers. These ratios look set to continue or strengthen6. Indeed, in 2021, world nuclear capacity fell by 1.57 or 2.48 GW—the seventh annual drop in 13 years9—while renewables were expected to add ~290 GW10.

In a normal industry, such market performance, let alone dismal economics (below), might dampen enthusiasm. Yet the nuclear industry’s immense lobbying and marketing power continues to yield at least tens of billions of dollars in annual public subsidies, still rapidly rising.

This reflects broad bipartisan support among US and many overseas political leaders (strong nuclear advocates lead seven of the ten nations with the biggest economies)—often contrary to their citizens’ preferences and, as we’ll see, to the goal of stabilizing the Earth’s climate. To explore this seeming paradox, here is my frank personal impression of nuclear power’s status, competitive landscape, operational status, prospects, and climate implications in the United States.

1. Status

When nuclear power emerged, from the mid-1950s through the 1960s, US utilities—vertically integrated, three-fourths private, technically and culturally conservative—didn’t want it. Yet powerful Federal actors offered heavily subsidized fuel and let them own it, largely relieved them of accident liability, and ultimately tempted and coerced them into a vast nuclear building spree, under implicit threat of displacing them with Federal nuclear utilities11………………….

As construction costs and durations relentlessly rose12, regulators and customers were assured their initial pain would usher in decades of low-cost generation. This too proved false. Some plants failed early, others’ operating costs rose, and decades later, owners are demanding huge new subsidies to keep running. After these scarifying experiences, capital markets are disinclined to invest in nuclear newbuild in the US or elsewhere. Contrary to a widely cultivated myth, the successive accidents (Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima Daiichi) widely blamed for this rejection all occurred after the business case and investor confidence had collapsed13……

………………….The US supply chain to sustain the 93 existing reactors persists, more or less, but of the four original US reactor vendors, all have merged (GE with Hitachi), exited, or failed, most recently Westinghouse19—bought by Toshiba, bankrupted20 by its new US projects, then restructured by a Canadian private-equity partnership (which recently considered selling it21) to maintain the plants it once built. Export markets have proven elusive: as Siemens’ power engineering CEO foresaw in 199122, “The countries that can still afford our nuclear plants won’t need the electricity, and the countries that will need the electricity won’t be able to afford the reactors.” Yet strong government promotion persists…………… Market appetite for big new reactors is anemic overseas and zero at home—and only for as many smaller units as taxpayers will largely or wholly pay for……………….

US public acceptance of nuclear power fluctuates, and depends strongly on how, by whom, and to whom the question is put. Nuclear advocates reported an even split in the 2019 Gallup Poll25 after long and intensive publicity campaigns, though renewables attract far larger and more consistent support…………………..

After decades of intense political pressure, industry capture26 of US nuclear safety and security regulation appears complete, with rules and processes arranged to the operators’ liking. The skill and integrity of some US Nuclear Regulatory Commission technical experts are commendable, but on major matters, their role is only to advise, not decide. ………………  new “reforms” are taking a singularly dangerous turn: as I summarized elsewhere29,

SMRs’ [Small Modular Reactors’] novel safety30 and proliferation31 issues threaten threadbare schedules and budgets, so promoters are attacking bedrock safety regulations. . NRC’s proposed Part 5332 would perfect long-evolving regulatory capture—shifting its expert staff’s end-to-end process from specific prescriptive standards, rigorous quality control, and verified technical performance to unsupported claims, proprietary data, and political appointees’ subjective risk estimates.

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May 9, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, ENERGY, politics, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

In 2021 USA’s renewable power generation exceeded it nuclear generation.

The US Energy Information Administration reports that power sector
generation from renewable sources totalled 795 million MWh in the USA
during 2021, overtaking nuclear generation, which totalled 778 million MWh.

The US electric power sector does not include some electricity generators
in the industrial, commercial, or residential sectors, such as small-scale
solar or wind or some combined-heat-and-power systems. Renewable generation
includes electricity generated from wind, hydropower, solar, biomass, and
geothermal sources.

Natural gas remained the most prevalent source of
energy for electricity generation, accounting for 1474 million MWh in 2021.
Although several US coal-fired power plants retired in 2021, coal-fired
generation increased for the first time since 2014 and was the source of
more electricity than either renewables or nuclear power. Total electricity
generation increased slightly in 2021, but it remained less than its
record-high year of 2018.

 Modern Power Systems 3rd May 2022

May 5, 2022 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Britain’s very wrong turn in energy policy

At least Rishi Sunak would appear to have recognised all this nuclear nonsense for the massive con trick it is. As far as the Treasury is concerned, a few hundred million to prop up Rolls-Royce, and a couple of billion to keep the prospect of Sizewell C alive – that’s acceptable, it would seem. Beyond that, from the Chancellor’s perspective, lies one vast funding black hole. Not least because of nuclear waste.

Courtesy of the mainstream media’s cosy relationship with the nuclear industry, we hardly ever hear about this. But the Treasury writes a cheque to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority of around £2.5bn every year – to deal with the legacy of our earlier nuclear investments in terms of waste management and decommissioning. The price tag just for cleaning up Sellafield has now risen to an astonishing £97bn! On top of that, the anticipated cost of an underground storage facility to house the high-level waste for thousands of years has now risen to as much as £53bn – according to the Government’s own figures. That’s the cost of old nuclear. It will be no different with any new nuclear.

Why a nuclear power policy is clearly the road not to take

Wrong turn — Beyond Nuclear International The establishment’s obsession with nuclear power just won’t die,
By Jonathon Porritt 1 May 22,
This is absolutely the right time for a new Energy Strategy. Unfortunately, we’ve got absolutely the wrong politicians in charge of it. In the UK, the combination of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak all but guarantees that the new Energy Security Strategy will fail on most counts.

– In Boris Johnson, we have a careless showman, drawn unerringly to ‘big ticket’ announcements, groomed by a nuclear industry that knows exactly how to play to these personality defects.

– In Rishi Sunak, we have a man so detached from the reality of most people’s lives that the prospect of five million UK citizens finding themselves in fuel poverty by the end of the year means literally nothing.

Careless Johnson and callous Sunak is a devastating double-act – with the inconsequential figure of Kwasi Kwarteng (UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) lurking around to pick up the pieces.

There will, of course, be some welcome commitments in the new UK Strategy, particularly on solar and offshore wind, with a hugely encouraging pipeline of new developments in both now underpinning the UK’s decarbonisation strategy. Onshore wind may well get more encouragement than in the past, but the aesthetic sensibilities of Tory Nimbies will still matter more to Johnson and Sunak than the opportunity to ramp up the single most cost-effective source of renewable electricity – coming in at an astonishing 20% of the cost of new nuclear! Yet again, those ‘hard-working families’ Johnson constantly refers to will pay the price for this appalling policy failure.

The UK establishment’s obsession with nuclear power just won’t die. Boris Johnson is heading off down a well-worn path. Margaret Thatcher promised to build a nuclear reactor every year for ten years at the start of her time in office. In 2006, Tony Blair vowed to bring back nuclear power ‘with a vengeance’. David Cameron’s Government identified opportunities for a massive expansion of nuclear.

However, apart from Sizewell B (which came online in 1995) and EDF’s grotesquely expensive monster emerging at Hinkley Point C, there’s nothing to show for all that overblown nuclear enthusiasm. The industry blames this 40-year failure on everyone else – including a generation of anti-nuclear campaigners. In truth, the blame lies entirely with the industry itself, mendaciously promoting outdated, dangerous, increasingly expensive technologies.

Johnson’s big nuclear bets will almost certainly include big reactors at both Sizewell C and Wylfa, and as many as possible of the so-called ‘small reactors’ being pushed by Rolls-Royce. Regardless of the hype, the economic reality of all of these bets is dire:

Sizewell C – with the Chinese out of the picture, the Government will be looking to its new Regulated Asset Base funding model (with consumers having to pay up front) to persuade private investors to get on board. Backed (so far) by the promise of £1.75bn of taxpayers’ money.

Wylfa – so much effort has gone into trying to get a new reactor at Wylfa over the line over the last ten years! All to no avail – primarily for economic reasons. Any renewed ‘firm commitment’ for Wylfa will mean as little as all previous commitments.

Rolls-Royce’s Small Modular Reactors – apparently, Johnson is particularly excited by this prospect, even though they’re not even remotely small (at 470MW, they’re actually as big as the first generation of Magnox reactors here in the UK!), and no-one has ever done modular construction (offsite in factory settings) before now.

And none of these ‘exciting prospects’ will give Johnson (let alone hard-pressed UK consumers) one single electron in terms of helping to meet the Government’s target to have carbon-free electricity by 2035.

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May 2, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, Sweden | Leave a comment

Is France really the poster boy for nuclear power? Nearly half of its reactors are shut down for maintenance and safety reasons

Nearly half of France’s nuclear reactors taken offline, adding to
electricity demand on European grid. France’s problems have raised
questions about the UK’s big bets on nuclear, which the government calls a
“necessity, not a luxury”.

Currently 27 of France’s 56 reactors have been
shut down due to routine maintenance or defects, forcing EDF to buy
electricity from the European grid instead, at a time of soaring demand
amid the gas crisis. France’s problems have raised questions from critics
about the reliability of nuclear, and about Britain’s recent big bets on
the energy source.

 Sky News 29th April 2022

April 30, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Photovoltaics vs. nuclear power on Mars

Photovoltaics vs. nuclear power on Mars

Solar might be more efficient than nuclear energy to supply power for a six-person extended mission to Mars that will involve a 480-day stay on the planet’s surface before returning to Earth, according to new US research.

APRIL 29, 2022 EMILIANO BELLINI   Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have compared how PV or nuclear energy could power a crewed outpost for an extended period on Mars and have determined that solar offers the best performance.

“Photovoltaic energy generation coupled to certain energy storage configurations in molecular hydrogen outperforms nuclear fusion reactors over 50% of the planet’s surface, mainly within those regions around the equatorial band, which is in fairly sharp contrast to what has been proposed over and over again in the literature, which is that it will be nuclear power,” said UC Berkeley researcher Aaron Berliner, noting that two energy sources were compared for the power supply of a six-person extended mission to Mars involving a 480-day stay on the planet’s surface before returning to Earth.

The US team considered four different scenarios: nuclear power generation with the miniaturised nuclear fission Kilopower system, PV power generation with battery energy storage, PV power generation with compressed hydrogen energy storage produced via electrolysis, and hydrogen generation with compressed hydrogen energy storage (PEC).

In our calculations, we assumed a capacity factor of 75% to account for the solar flux deviation throughout the Martian year and sized energy storage systems to enable 1 full day of operations from reserve power,” the group explained. “We then calculated the carry-along mass requirements for each of the power generation systems considered.”

The scientists found that, of the three PV-based power generation options, only the photovoltaics-plus-electrolyser system outcompetes the nuclear system based on carry-along mass. They also said that the optimal absorber bandgaps for the PV systems depend heavily on the location on the surface of Mars, the total depth of the air column above a given location, gradients in dust and ice concentrations, and orbital geometry effects that cause different effective air column thicknesses for locations near the poles.

In our calculations, we assumed a capacity factor of 75% to account for the solar flux deviation throughout the Martian year and sized energy storage systems to enable 1 full day of operations from reserve power,” the group explained. “We then calculated the carry-along mass requirements for each of the power generation systems considered.”

The scientists found that, of the three PV-based power generation options, only the photovoltaics-plus-electrolyser system outcompetes the nuclear system based on carry-along mass. They also said that the optimal absorber bandgaps for the PV systems depend heavily on the location on the surface of Mars, the total depth of the air column above a given location, gradients in dust and ice concentrations, and orbital geometry effects that cause different effective air column thicknesses for locations near the poles.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable, space travel | Leave a comment

For the first time, U.S. renewable energy output exceeds nuclear generation, EIA finds

Utility Dive, By Elizabeth McCarthy. 28 Apr 22,      

Dive Brief:

  • The growing number of large solar and wind energy projects resulted in renewable generation beating out nuclear energy last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday. 
  • The nation has seen a steady rise in renewable generation, with the biggest share from solar, which is expected to continue because of the lower cost and greater safety of this intermittent power resource, clean energy advocates say. That is despite the Biden administration’s multi-billion dollar program to keep online baseload nuclear power plants scheduled to retire.
  • Natural gas supplies the biggest share of electricity in the county but its share is also expected to decrease over the next three decades. EIA projects solar will replace it as the dominant source of generation in the U.S. by 2050.
  • Dive Insight:Utility-scale renewable generation in the U.S. reached 795 million MWh in 2021, compared to 778 million MWh of nuclear generation.“This is a ‘good news’ story,” said Ralph Cavanagh, Natural Resources Defense Council energy program co-director.
  • The news gets better for renewables when considering that private investments in clean technology rose to over $27 billion in 2021, up from about $20 billion in 2020, according to a report by the American Investment Council released last week. Private equity companies over the last decade have invested close to $150 billion and backed more than 1,000 clean technology companies in the U.S., it added.
  • The biggest mover on the U.S. generation front has been solar as installation costs have dropped 70% over the last decade. That has led “the industry to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide,” according to a Feb. 11 joint statement by the Edison Electric Institute, NRDC and the Solar Energy Industries Association. Supply chain issues pushed up prices last year “but did not eliminate solar power’s competitive advantages in retail and wholesale markets,” the organizations wrote in their joint statement to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. EIA’s April 26 analysis does not include rooftop solar or other smaller renewables serving predominantly onsite demand. Factoring in just “end-use solar, the milestone for surpassing nuclear generation would have been reached earlier,” said Syne Salem, an EIA engineer. The tally also excludes small-scale wind and some industrial and commercial combined-heat-and-power systems.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Energy Department’s own survey shows 8 in 10 Britons support onshore wind – and the Nuclear Free Local Authorities says the Government should back it

Whilst government ministers continue to deride onshore wind as
‘unpopular’, the energy department’s recent public survey shows
otherwise – with 8 in 10 Britons surveyed expressing their support for
the technology, over twice the number endorsing new nuclear – leading the
Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) to urge the UK government to back it.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has
collected data every quarter since 2012, recording responses from the
public to a range of energy related questions. The latest public attitude
survey was carried out over the Winter of 2021/22 and published at the end
of last month.

The results reveal continued strong support for renewables,
with onshore wind receiving a favourable response. Contrary to the myth
that onshore wind is unpopular, only 4% of those surveyed registered their
opposition, with 8 in 10 saying they supported it. By way of contrast only
37% of participants supported the development of nuclear energy and only
17% supported the resumption of fracking for shale gas. The government’s
own UK Energy Security Strategy concedes that ‘Onshore wind is one of the
cheapest forms of renewable power’, yet there has been no public funding
made available, nor any target for new generation set, with only a vague
promise to ‘consult this year on developing local partnerships for a
limited number of supportive communities who wish to host new onshore wind
infrastructure in return for benefits, including lower energy bills’.

 NFLA 20th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, public opinion, renewable | Leave a comment

Constant cheap renewable power to Britain – the Sahara wind and solar cables

Within five years, the world’s longest undersea cable will link Devon to
a vast territory of solar panels in the Sahara Desert, supplying
electricity directly into Britain’s grid at a fraction of today’s power
prices. A second cable will land two years later in 2029.

Together they will provide 3.6 gigawatts (GW) of constant baseload power, equivalent to
two Hinkley-sized nuclear reactors. The difference is that we will be able
to afford it.

That, at least, is the plan. The £16bn Xlinks Morocco-UK
Power Project – chaired by former Tesco chief Sir Dave Lewis – has an
elegant feature. It combines wind and solar in perfect geographic
circumstances to make near-constant power for 20 hours a day.

Trade winds on the coast of North Africa raise the average “capacity factor” of
onshore wind turbines to 54pc. A desert convection effect creates a regular
wind current in the early evenings and smooths the handover from solar to
wind. “It picks up every afternoon just as the sun is setting,” said
Simon Morrish, the project’s chief executive.

This overcomes the curse of intermittency, with lithium batteries in the desert to cover the remaining
gaps. Xlinks will be a park of 580 square miles at Guelmim Oued Noun on the
28th parallel south of Agadir, picked because it is at the top of the
global horizontal irradiance index. The yield is three times higher than in
the UK. The sun shines for 10 hours a day in winter. “The space is
unlimited. We could in theory put up 500 of these projects in Morocco,”
he said. The consortium is already planning a second hub to power Benelux.
It could multiply the scale several times over for the UK, constrained only
by the safe limits of energy security.

 Telegraph 20th April 2022

April 21, 2022 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Once Rocked by Nuclear Disaster, Fukushima Is Now a Renewables Hub, 15 Apr 22,

More than a decade after a major nuclear power plant disaster, Fukushima, Japan is seeing extensive renewable energy development on abandoned lands, as satellite imagery from NASA shows.

When an earthquake and resulting tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, damaged reactors released radioactive material into the surrounding area, rendering large swaths of farmland unusable. Today, some of those fields are home to sprawling solar arrays.

The Fukushima prefecture has set a goal of 100 percent renewable power by 2040. Around 40 precent of its power currently comes from renewables, with plans underway to spend $2.75 billion on the development of 11 solar farms and 10 wind farms on contaminated or abandoned lands.

“A strong desire to never see a repeat of such an accident was the most important starting point” for Fukushima’s renewable push, Noriaki Saito, energy director at the prefecture’s planning department, told AFP.

April 16, 2022 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

UK’s energy strategy ”cowardly and incoherent” – solar and onshore wind are the practical options

Michael Grubb: The writer is professor of energy and climate change at
University College London and was former senior adviser to energy regulator

The UK energy strategy is both cowardly and incoherent. The defining
feature of the UK energy strategy is its incoherence. It does not know what
problem it is trying to solve – and thus it does not solve any. By
failing to boost energy efficiency and kicking the only possible short-term
supply option – that of cheap onshore wind – into the long grass, it
most certainly will not help those struggling with energy bills in the
coming winters.

Offshore wind is the great success story of the past decade
and capacity has grown sharply in recent years. The strategy increases the
offshore target for 2030 from 40GW to 50GW. That’s very ambitious but
possible. But offshore wind involves big and complex kit from only a few
suppliers, it usually takes three to five years from bid to completion, and
the pace of expansion could stress supply chains and drive up costs. If it
were all concentrated in the North Sea, there would be immense challenges
for the grid – both in transmission and in managing the peaks and
troughs. Wind is best when distributed more widely.

The most cowardly failure concerns onshore wind. It is not only our cheapest energy resource
– it typically costs about a third to a quarter of what people will soon
be paying for their electricity – but it is, with solar, the only one
that could make a dent in the short term. The strategy outlines a plan for
nuclear to 2050, kicked off with one new plant to be funded before the next
general election. If it takes an energy crisis to actually make a decision,
so be it, but it will not help solve the crisis.

Nuclear is not only slow
and expensive, it would need to be flexible to ramp up and down with the
swings of demand, wind and solar. This further undermines the economics.
Launching a 30-year plan for nuclear also raises the question – why
can’t the government set out even a coherent 30-month plan for energy

 FT 10th April 2022

April 12, 2022 Posted by | politics, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

UK government incoherent and inconsistent on energy crisis, and has no solution to the accumulating nuclear wastes

 Does the new government energy strategy tackle the immediate energy
crisis? This is the third document in six months that the government has
produced, and all that has happened is that they have become less coherent,
and less and less connected to what actually matters to most people.

What the Prime Minister seems to believe is that we want expensive nuclear
‘jam’ tomorrow, and that we are not that bothered about cheap energy
efficiency ‘bread’ today.

I think that this is rather like the Chancellors recent Spring Budget, in that it is simply not hearing, or paying attention, to what is actually happening in the country, and what
matters to people who have got to live with the immediate crisis of their
energy bills.

And the way that the government can deal with that right now
is to start spending money on energy efficiency, money by the way that the
government promised in its manifesto and hasn’t actually delivered. In
2012, we were insulating about 2.5 million houses per year, now we are down
to about 20 thousand. If we had carried on at that rate, we would be saving
people money right now as this crisis has occurred.

So, this is a real failure of the government to be consistent in doing the things that really
matter to most people. Why would we want to use nuclear when there are much
better options already available? This is the third big government
announcement on energy policy in 6 months, and all you have got is if you
were an investor why would you invest in whatever the current flavour of
the month is for the government?

You would wait to see what happens when
things settle down. Government incoherence and inconsistency is really
slowing down out whole response. The endless announcements, with no real
delivery, is really slowing down our ability to deal with climate change.

People are right to be terrified by the conclusions of the IPCCC report,
they really are very scary indeed.

There is a future bill for nuclear waste, which grows. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is responsiblefor dealing with nuclear waste in this country, it now spends several
billions per year of public money in order to deal with the waste that we
have already got. So, it is quite right to question why the government is
even thinking about piling on more nuclear waste to be dealt with, when we
can’t even deal with the waste that we already have now. We don’t know
what to do with the high-level waste, that is the most dangerous waste, not
because of its volume but because of its radioactivity. We don’t have a
solution for that yet, despite 50 years of trying to find one. 

Tom Burke 7th April 202 2

April 11, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

In the UK’s energy plan, the nation has been sold a dud

 Jim Watson, director, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources: Britain was
promised a bold and visionary energy plan. But we’ve been sold a dud.
Does it deliver what it says on the tin?

The answer is straightforward. It fails. At the heart of most definitions of energy security is reliability
of supplies for households and businesses.  This is usually complemented by
a focus on affordability. 

The new strategy does very little to deal with the immediate impacts of high fossil fuel prices.
While the government has announced some help for households via loans and a
council tax reduction, this is simply not enough. The energy price cap has
already risen to almost £2,000 a year and a further rise is due in the

This comes on top of a wider cost of living crisis and high levels
of available, but the price is too high for businesses to
function or households to keep warm. While more money to help people pay
their bills is needed, this must be accompanied by action to prevent these
acute impacts in future. This means making homes more efficient and
switching away from fossil fuels for heating. It is nearly a decade since
effective policies for home energy efficiency were cancelled and replaced
with new approaches, such as the green deal, which have failed

As a result, the steady improvements in efficiency and
financial benefits to households have virtually stopped. A new programme of
home upgrades is urgently needed. This would not only reduce our dependence
on gas, but would also cut bills and carbon emissions.

According to many headlines, nuclear power is the “centrepiece” of the strategy. The
government’s plans are ambitious, but delivery will be difficult. New
nuclear plants will not have an impact for many years. The Treasury’s
fingerprints are visible in the careful caveats in the strategy, including
an insistence that new projects are “subject to a value for money and
relevant approvals”.

This reflects the long history of rising costs
within the nuclear sector, and the financial risks that consumers or
taxpayers will be exposed to.

In short, the government has pulled its
punches and avoided measures that would have a more immediate impact on
energy security – mainly by reducing the amount of energy we need to use.
Instead, it has produced a mixed bag of energy supply proposals. While some
are credible, a large nuclear power programme will require huge amounts of
political and financial capital. History suggests that this will be very
difficult to deliver.

 Guardian 9th April 2022

April 11, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, UK | Leave a comment