Political row over Euratom rumbles on

Brexit Secretary David Davis has maintained the UK will set up its own nuclear regulator despite significant pressure to remain a member of the European civil nuclear regulator, Euratom.

Euratom regulates the nuclear industry across Europe, disposing of waste, carrying out nuclear research and development, safeguarding the transport of nuclear materials, and the mobility of workers and trade in the nuclear sector.

But a policy paper published by the Government last week stressed that when...

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Coal Authority turns to solar to cut costs

Solar panels are being installed across the UK Coal Authority’s estate of 75 mine water treatment sites.

The authority has appointed HBS New Energies, Campbell & Kennedy and Forrest to install and operate the solar panels under a four-year renewable energy framework.

HBS New Energies’ works at Chester South Moor (74KW), Deerplay (250KW) and Old Meadows (60KW) are nearing completion.

They are expected to generate a total of more than 317,000kWh of green electricity a year and cut 167...

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Electricity sector investment overtakes oil and gas for first time

Global energy investment fell by 12% in 2016, the second consecutive year of decline, as increased spending on energy efficiency and electricity networks was more than offset by a continued drop in upstream oil and gas spending, according to the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Investment report.

Global energy investment amounted to $1.7 trillion in 2016, or 2.2% of global GDP.

For the first time, spending on the electricity sector around the world exceeded the combined...

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Sector Round Up 18th July 2017

Siemens and AES join forces on storage

Siemens and the AES Corporation have formed a new global energy storage technology and services company under the name Fluence.

Siemens and AES will have joint control of the company with each holding a 50 per cent stake. Fluence’s global headquarters will be located in the Washington DC with additional offices located in Erlangen, Germany and other cities worldwide.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2017,...

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Capacity Market ‘undermining’ industrial strategy

The UK Government’s Capacity Market is forcing consumers to pay hundreds of millions of pounds extra to decarbonise the energy system and is undermining ministers’ industrial strategy, according to a new report.

The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has calculated that building combined heat and power (CHP) plants instead of gas-fired power stations would help save between £656 million and £774m on energy bills a year by 2030.

The trade body said the 8GW of power-only capacity...

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Hinkley project overbudget and behind schedule

French energy giant EDF has admitted that the cost of building its Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset will rise by £1.5 billion to £19.6bn, both in 2015 prices.

The project could be delayed by nearly two years, taking its completion date to 2027.

A further delay of 15 months could push the project cost up by a further £700 million to more than £20bn.

The admissions came following an internal review on progress at Hinkley.

‘Most-expensive object on Earth’

John Sauven,...

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New cheaper scheme to connect renewables to grid

National Grid and UK Power Networks have introduced measures to make it cheaper, quicker and easier for generators to connect to the power grid in the South-East of England.

New generators – including renewables – will now be able to connect to the grid via the new service, which will eventually be extended to existing generators.

Sotiris Georgiopoulos, Head of Smart Grid at UK Power Networks, said: “The role of the distribution networks is changing, and we need to work closely with the...

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UK Government reiterates commitment to Scottish islands’ onshore wind

Energy Minister Richard Harrington has reiterated the Conservative government’s pledge to support onshore wind farm developments on the Scottish islands.

During a debate in Westminster Hall, which was triggered by Alistair Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, the new energy minister highlighted the benefits of island wind.

“Beyond direct income we have to acknowledge the other benefits that these projects could bring,” he said.

“Jobs, for example, not just through the ...

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Renewables generation hits record high, while coal falls to record low

Renewable energy projects generated a record 24.8TWh of power during the first quarter of 2017, according to official figures.

The total was up 5.1% year-on-year.

Renewables accounted for 26.6% of the UK’s electricity for the first three months of the year, up from 25.6% in the first quarter of last year.

Gas accounted for 39.9%, while nuclear produced 18.9% and coal supplied 11.3%.

Record low for coal

Coal extraction fell to a record low of one million tonnes during the opening quarter of ...

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Ofgem unveils consumer protection plans

Energy regulator Ofgem has unveiled measures that aim to protect vulnerable domestic consumers.

The watchdog is consulting on proposals to introduce a safeguard tariff, which would protect vulnerable customers from overpaying for their energy.

The regulator is also changing the rules for price-comparison websites, saving consumers the hassle of re-entering their data on suppliers’ websites.

A “Check Your Energy Deal” online switching service will also be tested.

Response to CMA...

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