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Greta Thunberg speaks out for climate, at World Economic Forum

The Latest: Teen climate activist chides Davos elites https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article224945785.html,THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, JANUARY 23, 2019 DAVOS, SWITZERLAND

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January 24, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Nationalise the UK nuclear industry- the only way to save it – says Hitachi chairman

January 24, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK CAN meet its climate goals without the Wylfa nuclear plant

Q&A: Can the UK meet its climate goals without the Wylfa nuclear plant? 

Carbon Brief, 21 January 2019   “……. recent analysis from the government’s official advisers the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) shows the UK could meet its power demand and climate goals to 2030 at low cost, without any new nuclear beyond the Hinkley C scheme already being built in Somerset.

This new analysis reflects the dramatic cost reductions seen for renewables in recent years. Greg Clark, the UK’s secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS), made a similar point last week as he spoke in parliament about the failed Wylfa deal. He told MPs:

“The economics of the energy market have changed significantly in recent years. The cost of renewable technologies such as offshore wind has fallen dramatically…The challenge of financing new nuclear is one of falling costs and greater abundance of alternative technologies, which means that nuclear is being outcompeted.”……….

The CCC’s “central renewables” and “high renewables” scenarios meet the 2030 carbon target without new nuclear beyond Hinkley C. In these scenarios, nuclear generation in 2030 is 35TWh – the estimated output of Hinkley C plus Sizewell B, each running for 90% of available hours……….

 each of the 2030 scenarios supplies enough electricity to meet projected demand, meaning the lights would not “go out”. Gas would still supply 20-25% of electricity, most of which would be used to cover peak demand during winter or to fill gaps in variable renewable output.

The CCC scenarios out to 2030 all massively expand renewables, whether or not additional new nuclear plants get built. The renewable share of the mix increases from 33% in 2018 to at least 58% in 2030. Nuclear’s share falls from 18% in 2018 to between 10% and 17% in 2030. At the low end, where no new nuclear is added after Hinkley C, it is renewables that make up the gap.

[The CCC says: “We do not consider [the BEIS 2030] pathway credible.” This pathway sees nuclear’s share hold steady, though, as BEIS notes, this is “not based on [nuclear] developers’ proposed pipeline”. BEIS also assumes imports via electricity interconnectors reach 21% of the total while the CCC assumes net-zero imports, with interconnectors helping balance supply and demand.]

The CCC says expanding wind and solar is a “low-regrets” option as renewables are likely to be cheaper than new gas, with similar costs to running existing gas plants or raising imports, even after accounting for the costs of integrating their variable output onto the grid. The CCC adds:

“If new nuclear projects [beyond Hinkley C] were not to come forward, it is likely that renewables would be able to be deployed on shorter timescales and at lower cost.”

Replacing the output of the shelved new nuclear plants at Wylfa, Moorside and Oldbury with renewables would be 13-33% cheaper, including the costs of balancing variable output, according to quickfire analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

Note that reductions in per-capita electricity generation have saved the UK the equivalent of four Hinkley Cs of demand since 2005, according to recent Carbon Brief analysis. The CCC assumes continued efficiency improvements to 2030 are offset by demand for electric vehicles and heating. ……https://www.carbonbrief.org/qa-can-the-uk-meet-its-climate-goals-without-the-wylfa-nuclear-plant

January 24, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

5 countries scramble to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Receives Offers from 5 Countries to Build 2 Nuclear Reactors 23 January, 2019 Riyadh – Asharq Al-Awsat

Five countries have submitted their requests for the establishment of two nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia on the Arabian Gulf coast.

The bid was made after the peaceful Saudi nuclear project met the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The oil-rich Kingdom launched a tender to define specifications of sites that will host the two reactors, said Chairman of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) Khalid al-Sultan.

He added that KACARE asked the services providers in the US, Russia, France, South Korea and China to present their preliminary offers……. https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1558606/saudi-arabia-receives-offers-5-countries-build-2-nuclear-reactors

January 24, 2019 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Greenpeace study slams Japan’s plan to dump radioactive Fukushima water into the ocean

 
Greenpeace slams Japan’s plan to dump radioactive Fukushima water into the oceanThe decision by the government and the tsunami-devastated plant’s operator to release contaminated water into the Pacific was ‘driven by short-term cost-cutting’, a new study has found, SCMP. Julian Ryall Tuesday, 22 January, 2019  Greenpeace has slammed a plan by the Japanese government and an electric utility company to release into the ocean highly radioactive water from the tsunami-devastated Fukushima Daiichi power plant, saying in a new report the decision was “driven by short-term cost-cutting”.

Released on Tuesday, the Greenpeace study condemns the decision taken after the disaster to not develop technology that could remove radioactivity from the groundwater, which continues to seep into the basement levels of three of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima.

An estimated 1.09 million tonnes of water are presently stored in more than 900 tanks at the plant, which was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, with up to 4,000 tonnes added every week.

The decision by the government and the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), to avoid developing the relevant technology “was motivated by short-term cost-cutting, not protection of the Pacific Ocean environment and of the health and livelihoods of communities along the Fukushima coast”, said Kazue Suzuki, campaigner on energy issues for Greenpeace Japan.

“We have raised the water crisis with the UN International Maritime Organisation and firmly stand with local communities, especially fisheries, who are strongly opposed to any plans to discharge contaminated water into their fishing grounds.”

The backlash against the plan jointly put forward by the government and Tepco began late last year after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held public hearings in Tokyo and Fukushima designed to convince local people that releasing the water into the ocean would have no impact on marine or human life.

Anti-nuclear and environmental groups had obtained data leaked from government sources, however, that showed that the water was still contaminated, triggering public anger. Tepco was forced to admit late last year that its efforts to reduce radioactive material – known as radionuclides – in the water had failed.

The company had previously claimed that advanced processes had reduced cancer-causing contaminants such as strontium-90, iodine-129 and ruthenium-106 in the water to non-detectible levels.

Despite the much-vaunted Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) plant at Fukushima, Tepco has confirmed that levels of strontium-90, for example, are more than 100 times above legally permitted levels in 65,000 tonnes of water that have already been through the ALPS system.

In one of the hearings, Tatsuhiko Sato, a resident of Naraha who only returned to his home last spring because of contamination from the nuclear accident, accused Tepco of “not gathering all the data” and failing to adequately investigate reports that dangerous levels of radionuclides were still in the water after it was treated.

Local fishermen used the public hearing to express their “strong opposition” to plans to release the water, with one, Tetsu Nozaki, pointing out that while levels of radiation in locally caught fish and shellfish have been at or below normal levels for the past three years, releasing contaminated water would “deal a fatal blow” to the local fishing industry.

There has also been anger in some nearby countries, with environmental groups demonstrating in Seoul in November and Korea Radioactive Watch declaring that releasing the water “will threaten the waters of South Korea and other neighbouring nations”.

………..The Greenpeace report concludes that the water crisis at the plant will remain unresolved for the foreseeable future – and that the only viable option to safeguard local communities and the environment is to continue to store the water.

“The Japanese government and Tepco set an objective of ‘solving’ the radioactive water crisis by 2020 – that was never credible,” said Shaun Burnie, a nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany.

“The reality is that there is no end to the water crisis at Fukushima, a crisis compounded by poor decision-making by both Tepco and the government. Discharging into the Pacific is the worst option and must be ruled out.”https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2183175/greenpeace-slams-japans-plan-dump-radioactive-fukushima-water

January 24, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups strongly oppose Holtec’s plan for nuclear waste facility in New Mexico

US Panel to Hear Arguments in Nuclear Waste Storage Case  https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-mexico/articles/2019-01-23/us-panel-to-hear-arguments-in-nuclear-waste-storage-case

Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups are lining up against plans to build a $2.4 billion storage facility in southeastern New Mexico for spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors around the United States., Jan. 23, 2019 BY SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists and nuclear watchdog groups are lining up against plans to build a $2.4 billion storage facility in southeastern New Mexico for spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors around the United States.

Attorneys for the groups are scheduled Wednesday to make oral arguments before a panel with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a hearing in Albuquerque.

The panel will determine which groups have standing and which objections will be considered as part of the case.

New Jersey-based Holtec International has applied for a license to construct the facility about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Carlsbad. It would be capable of storing as much as 120,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste.

Opponents have concerns about the project’s legality, the safety of transporting the fuel across the country and potential environmental effects.

January 24, 2019 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

For UK it;s now time to double down on wind and solar energy

January 24, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

America may be overspending on unnecessary nuclear weapons – the nuclear triad now obsolete?

Does America Still Need the Nuclear Triad? The U.S. can deliver nuclear weapons from air, land, and sea. That could change. Jan 24, 2019   Popular Mechanics, By Kyle Mizokami

“……..Because the U.S. can launch nukes from the air, land, or sea, it would be practically impossible for another country to knock out America’s offensive capabilities and prevent the counterstrike.

The U.S. is currently working on replacing all three legs of the triad: bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine-launched missiles. It’s an overhaul that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and no doubt overshoot the Pentagon’s price estimates when all is said and done. But before we spend all that money, one must look around and ask the question: Is this still the best way? In the 21st century, does America really need three ways to launch nukes?………

During the Cold War, each arm of the triad justified its existence by doing something better than the other two. Strategic heavy bombers such as today’s B-2 Spirit and the longstanding B-52H Stratofortress could carry many nuclear bombs and strike multiple geographically distinct targets ……..

Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) loft nuclear warheads into space on ballistic trajectories. They are buried by the hundreds in underground concrete silos scattered across America……

The third arm of the triad was nuclear-powered submarines carrying their own nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles……

But as the second decade of the 21st century draws to a close, the nuclear triad is showing its age. The B-2 Spirit bomber was introduced in the 1990s, while the B-52H has been flying since the early 1960s and may keep working for decades to come. The Minuteman III ICBM was first deployed in the early 1970s. The U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines date to the 1980s and 1990s.

After decades of pushing back plans to replace all three arms, the U.S. is now faced with a situation where it needs to replace all three at once. The new B-21 Raider bomber, which will replace the B-2 bomber, will cost an estimated $97 billion dollars. The new ICBM, Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), will cost around $100 billion. Finally, new ballistic missile submarines will cost $128 billion.

That adds up to a serious bill. The cost is about the equivalent of running the entire U.S. Armed Forces for five months. And the price tag could rise substantially if any of the programs run into expensive technical problems. If history is any guide, then at least one of them will.

Could the U.S. thrive in 21st century without a nuclear triad? To see a possible way forward, just look at the emerging colossus of China. The world’s most populous nation is building more aircraft carriers, more amphibious ships, and more modern combat aircraft than ever before. What China is not doing is significantly expanding its nuclear arsenal.

China has approximately 280 nuclear weapons, a number we can deduce from the amount of fissile material it has produced. That total represents about one sixth the number of deployed U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons. China’s nukes are spread between land-based ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles. It has no air-delivered nuclear weapons for its modest bomber force. In other words, China has a diad.

China is a “no first use” country, meaning it has vowed to never use nuclear weapons first. It also bother with advanced nuclear technologies such as anti-ballistic missile systems or placing multiple warheads on a single missile. Why not? China’s entire nuclear philosophy boils down to this: The country may very well be destroyed by a surprise nuclear attack, but enough Chinese nuclear weapons will survive to make the attack simply not worth it.

Essentially, China’s nuclear doctrine is assured destruction, but stripped of unnecessary complexities. China doesn’t lose any sleep over Russia or America’s overwhelming advantage in nuclear arms. As long as China can hit back and nuke at least a handful of American (or Russian) cities, the balance of terror remains.

Does China’s nuclear posture work? Even a strike against tiny North Korea runs the risk of a nuclear counterstrike by China, and the loss of just one American city would be a catastrophe.

……. it’s hard to ignore the stripped-down logic of the Chinese model, which says the only credibility necessary is the ability to strike back after an attack—the rest is just overthinking the issue.

If that’s truly the case, then what use is a triad? Could the U.S. get rid of one or two arms of the triad, spending that money elsewhere in the defense budget to enhance conventional capabilities?

………Could the U.S. cut ICBMs and rely on a force of submarines and bombers, or submarines alone? These are important questions the American people need to ask before spending $300 billion replicating the weapons of the Cold War. Perhaps the U.S. should stick with the nuclear triad—but at the very least, America needs a national conversation about what nuclear security means and how to achieve it. https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a25983826/us-nuclear-triad/

 

January 24, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

’Human activity has created a new era yet climate change can be stopped’ – David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough calls for ‘urgent’ climate change action

David Attenborough tells Davos: ‘The Garden of Eden is no more’Human activity has created a new era yet climate change can be stopped, says naturalist, Guardian,  Graeme Wearden in Davos, Tue 22 Jan 2019  Last modified on Tue 22 Jan 2019 Sir David Attenborough has warned that “the Garden of Eden is no more”, as he urged political and business leaders from around the world to make a renewed push to tackle climate change before the damage is irreparable.Speaking at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the 92-year-old naturalist and broadcaster warned that human activity has taken the world into a new era, threatening to undermine civilisation.

“I am quite literally from another age,” Attenborough told an audience of business leaders, politicians and other delegates. “I was born during the Holocene – the 12,000 [year] period of climatic stability that allowed humans to settle, farm, and create civilisations.” …..

“The Holocene has ended. The Garden of Eden is no more. We have changed the world so much that scientists say we are in a new geological age: the Anthropocene, the age of humans,” he declared.

In a stark warning to the world leaders and business chiefs flocking to the WEF this week, Attenborough warned that the only conditions that humans have known are changing fast.

“We need to move beyond guilt or blame, and get on with the practical tasks at hand.”…..

Get it right, he argued, and humans can create a world with clean air and water, unlimited energy and sustainable fish stocks, but only if decisive action is taken now.

“Over the next two years there will be United Nations decisions on climate change, sustainable development and a new deal for nature. Together these will form our species’ plan for a route through the Anthropocene.

“What we do now, and in the next few years, will profoundly affect the next few thousand years,” he added.

Speaking to journalists after his speech, Attenborough warned that economic models needed to change. “Growth is going to come to an end, either suddenly or in a controlled way,” he explained, citing the old joke that anyone who thinks you can have infinite growth in finite circumstances is “either a madman or an economist”. ………https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/jan/21/david-attenborough-tells-davos-the-garden-of-eden-is-no-more

January 22, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Martin Luther King Jr was also an activist for nuclear disarmament

My Turn: Martin Luther King’s quest to stop the nuclear arms race    https://www.concordmonitor.com/KIngs-quest-to-stop-the-nuclear-arms-race-22786447  For the Monitor January 21, 2019,  Civil rights champion Martin Luther King Jr. was also an activist for nuclear disarmament. Dr. King used his voice for peace during the Cold War nuclear arms race.

He can inspire us today to finish the journey of eliminating all nuclear weapons.

The year was 1958. The Soviet Union and the United States were developing and testing nukes at an alarming rate. In March, Dr. King received a letter from Norman Cousins and Clarence Pickett of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy. King was asked to support a statement urging an end to nuclear testing.

He joined the SANE movement right away. In April, Dr. King also signed an appeal by Protestant clergyman on halting nuke tests.

The public outcry against nuclear tests helped encourage President Dwight Eisenhower to start negotiations with the Soviets on a test ban treaty in 1958. In October, King joined a statement to the U.S. and Soviet negotiators in Geneva.

It read “an important beginning has to be made on one vital part of the problem of world peace, the permanent internationally inspected ending of nuclear weapons tests.”

Eisenhower proposed a suspension of nuclear tests during the talks. There were no nuclear tests by the U.S. or the Soviets from late 1958 into 1961. His successor President John F. Kennedy was able to produce a limited treaty with the Soviets in 1963 banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underwater and outer space. Underground tests did continue.

The 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, banning all tests including underground, has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Senate. President Donald Trump could ask the Senate to ratify this treaty and fulfill one of Dr. King’s goals of ending nuke tests forever.

Ending nuclear testing was seen as a critical step toward stopping the arms race. Dr. King understood the threat of nukes.

In 1957, in Ebony Magazine, King wrote “I definitely feel that the development and use of nuclear weapons of war should be banned. It cannot be disputed that a full-scale nuclear war would be utterly catastrophic. Hundreds and millions of people would be killed outright by the blast and heat, and by the ionizing radiation produced at the instant of the explosion.”

Dr. King recognized that spending on nuclear armaments robbed from society. King said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

The goal of eliminating nuclear weapons has been shared by successive leaders including presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. President Trump has yet to take action on eliminating nuclear weapons. Instead Trump has sought to scrap the Iran nuclear deal and the INF Treaty with Russia.

We have lost any momentum in reducing the nuclear danger. There are still close to 15,000 nukes worldwide, according to the Arms Control Association. Dr. King’s words can inspire us to jumpstart nuclear disarmament.

In his sermon “Loving Your Enemies” Dr. King said, “It is an eternal reminder to a generation depending on nuclear and atomic energy, a generation depending on physical violence, that love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power in the universe.”

King wanted all people, all nations, to come together to work out their differences. Through what Dr. King called “a great fellowship of love” the world can achieve peace and nuclear disarmament.

Instead of nation’s wasting dollars on nukes we could feed the hungry, end disease and save the environment. As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day listen to his words and be inspired to take action for world peace.

(William Lambers is the author of “The Road to Peace” and “Ending World Hunger.”)

January 22, 2019 Posted by | history, USA | Leave a comment

Greenland ice melt is happening at an unexpectedly fast rate

Greenland ice melting four times faster than in 2003, study finds, Southwest part of the island could be major contributor to sea level rise, EurekAlert, 21 Jan 19, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY     COLUMBUS, Ohio – Greenland is melting faster than scientists previously thought–and will likely lead to faster sea level rise–thanks to the continued, accelerating warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, a new study has found.

Scientists concerned about sea level rise have long focused on Greenland’s southeast and northwest regions, where large glaciers stream iceberg-sized chunks of ice into the Atlantic Ocean. Those chunks float away, eventually melting. But a new study published Jan. 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the largest sustained ice loss from early 2003 to mid-2013 came from Greenland’s southwest region, which is mostly devoid of large glaciers.

“Whatever this was, it couldn’t be explained by glaciers, because there aren’t many there,” said Michael Bevis, lead author of the paper, Ohio Eminent Scholar and a professor of geodynamics at The Ohio State University. “It had to be the surface mass–the ice was melting inland from the coastline.”

That melting, which Bevis and his co-authors believe is largely caused by global warming, means that in the southwestern part of Greenland, growing rivers of water are streaming into the ocean during summer. The key finding from their study: Southwest Greenland, which previously had not been considered a serious threat, will likely become a major future contributor to sea level rise………https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/osu-gim011419.php

January 22, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

A Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine nearly hit a ferry

Nuclear-powered Royal Navy submarine in near-miss with ferry ITV News 21 Jan 19, A nuclear-powered Royal Navy submarine was involved in a near-miss with a large passenger ferry, it has emerged.

An investigation has been launched into the previously unreported incident, which occurred in the Irish Sea on November 6.

The ferry was Stena Superfast VII, which operates between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It has a capacity for 1,300 passengers and 660 cars.

The submarine was submerged at the depth needed to extend its periscope above the surface of the water.

The Royal Navy would not confirm which of its 10 submarines was involved. They are all nuclear-powered but only four carry Trident nuclear missiles……… https://www.itv.com/news/2019-01-21/royal-navy-submarine-in-near-miss-with-ferry/

January 22, 2019 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear power strategy in a state of collapse

Nuclear strategy in ‘meltdown’ after Wylfa suspension, David Blackman, 21 January 2019, source edie newsroom

The government’s nuclear strategy is in “meltdown” following Hitachi’s announcement that it is halting work on its plans for a new UK atomic power plant in north Wales, Alan Whitehead has said. Labour’s energy spokesperson told the House of Commons yesterday (17 January) that Hitachi’s announcement, which also means a halt of work by the company’s UK nuclear arm Horizon on its other UK project at Oldbury in Gloucestershire, is a “significant blow” to the economy.

He said that the latest move, combined with Toshiba’s decision in November to scrap its plans for a three-reactor plant at Moorside, means that a total of 9.2GW of planned nuclear generation will not be delivered.

Whitehead also accused the government of reacting “far too slowly” to concerns about financing from its potential nuclear partners, including Hitachi’s arm Horizon, adding that government “dithering” had contributed to the axing of Moorside………..

Greg Clark, secretary of state for business and energy said that renewable technologies offer increasingly cost-effective and reliable options compared with nuclear, which is chiefly justified on the grounds that it replaces the baseload generating capacity currently supplied by higher emitting coal and gas plants: “We have also seen a strengthening in the pipeline of projects coming forward, meaning that renewable energy may now be just as cheap, but also readily available.

“In many ways, the challenge of financing new nuclear is one of falling costs and greater abundance of alternative technologies, which means that nuclear is being outcompeted.”

But he said the government remains committed to nuclear through the recently agreed sector deal with the industry, adding that it is considering a proposal from a Rolls-Royce led consortium for a “significant” joint investment in a small modular reactor project.

In addition, he said the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is exploring the regulated asset base model for financing nuclear development, which EDF is keen to see used for its next such project at Sizewell, and will be setting out its proposals for this new approach in an energy white paper that is due to be published in the summer. https://www.edie.net/news/11/Nuclear-strategy-in–meltdown–after-Wylfa-suspension/

January 22, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

France to replace Fessenheim nuclear plant with solar power project

EU approves France’s plan to replace nuclear plant with 300 MW of PV https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/01/21/eu-approves-frances-plan-to-replace-nuclear-plant-with-300-mw-of-pv/

The commission said the project selected through the tender will receive a premium tariff under a 20-year contract, and the tender’s budget is approximately €250 million.

“The aid will be granted by the French state and will contribute to the French and European objectives of energy efficiency and energy production from renewable sources, in line with the EU’s environmental objectives, with possible distortions of competition state support being reduced to a minimum,” the commission stated.

The tender was announced by the French government in April. In July, France’s Directorate General for Energy and Climate – part of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition – revealed details of the tendering scheme. According to that announcement, 200 MW of the tendered capacity will be for ground-mounted PV ranging in size from 500 kW up to 30 MW, with the remaining 100 MW accounted for by rooftop projects larger than 8 MW in scale.

Potential tariffs estimated

The tender was to be implemented in three phases, starting late last year and continuing in the middle and latter stages of this year, and was set to comprise three groups of installations: the ground-mounted PV; rooftop systems on buildings, greenhouses, carports or agricultural buildings with an output of 500 kW to 8 MW; and rooftops with a capacity of 100-500 kW.

Projects selected among the first two categories will be entitled to a premium feed-in tariff while installations of the third and smallest category will have access to a regular FIT. The premium tariff for ground-mounted PV is expected to be €50-70/MWh, and that for larger rooftops €70-100/MWh. Smaller rooftop projects are expected to be granted €80-110/MWh.

The 40-year-old Fessenheim nuclear site, in the Haut-Rhin department of Alsace in northeastern France, is set to be decommissioned by next year. The plant has seen more than one temporary shutdown due to safety issues. One of the most high-profile issues occurred in April 2014, when Reactor 1 was shuttered. The French Nuclear Safety Authority reported at the time that internal flooding in the non-nuclear part of the reactor had damaged safety electrical systems. After being repaired, the reactor was reconnected to the grid in May the same year.

January 22, 2019 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

Advantages of cross-border energy interconnection between UK and Europe

Green Alliance: UK must look to EU interconnection amid ‘crumbling’ nuclear plans, Business Green, Michael Holder, 21 January 2019

  “……… New analysis by the environmental think tank highlights myriad benefits for the UK from trade in electricity with European countries, but warns leaving the EU – particularly under a ‘no-deal’ scenario – threatens to undermine opportunities to enhance cross-border interconnection.

Published on Friday, the analysis shows that a mix of increased electricity interconnection with the EU in addition to installing more renewable energy in the UK would help to keep consumer bills down, boost access to and trade in clean power, and also maintain energy security, in the face of on-going struggles to deliver planned new nuclear projects.

It follows Japanese firm Hitachi’s announcement last week that it has halted construction of the £16bn Wylfa nuclear project in Wales after failing to agree a funding support package with the government. Hitachi’s plans for another nuclear plant in Gloucestershire have also been shelved.

Green Alliance said trading power across borders with Europe could help reduce energy sector emissions in the short term without the need to build more capacity, and that interconnection could also help provide instant back up power when needed at peak times.

It also highlights the economic benefits of interconnection, with cross border trading delivering a combined value of £700m to UK markets in 2017, according to Friday’s analysis.

However, leaving the EU without a deal could cost the UK as much as £2.2bn per year at the current level of interconnection, the think tank warned.

Similar research by climate think tank E3G recently argued the merits of the UK maintaining membership of the EU internal energy market in order to fully realise the cost and carbon benefits of electricity interconnection with Europe.

At present, the UK is one of the least interconnected countries in Europe, and it therefore has the most to gain from improving its power connections with the rest of the continent, argued Chaitanya Kumar, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance……….

In the short term, Kumar suggested boosting interconnection could help strengthen the case for scaling up UK renewables capacity, and that negotiating continued participation in the EU’s internal energy market should therefore be a crucial part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU, particularly as the government’s nuclear energy plans “are crumbling”.

“Instead of doubling down on subsidised, expensive nuclear, the government should now be focusing on building cheaper alternatives in more renewables and electricity interconnection with Europe,” he said. “The UK’s climate ambitions are not under any immediate threat from the failed nuclear plans, but that can only be guaranteed if the existing alternatives are scaled up.”

The report follows news last week that plans for a new interconnector between Peterhead and the Norway took a step forward, after securing planning permission from Aberdeenshire Council.

The North Connect transmission link would see a 415-mile cable link Peterhead with the Norwegian Coast, providing up to 1.4GW of power between the two countries from 2023.

A number of similar projects are in the pipeline, but experts fear their prospects are largely dependent on the UK securing a Brexit agreement with the EU that allows for streamlined energy trading – something that is not guaranteed under a ‘no deal’ scenario. https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3069586/green-alliance-uk-must-look-to-eu-interconnection-amid-crumbling-nuclear-plans

January 22, 2019 Posted by | ENERGY, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment