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Tag Archives: nuclear

Devolving power

By Dave Elliott

‘Distributing Power: A transition to a civic energy future’, a report on research by the EPSRC-funded Realising Transition Pathways Research Consortium of 9 UK universities, argues that up to 50% of electricity demand in the UK could be met by distributed and low carbon sources by 2050. The report assesses the technological feasibility of a move from the current traditional business models of the ‘Big Six’ energy providers to a model where greater ownership is met by devolved governments, municipalities, co-ops and communities. And it looks in details at what types of governance, ownership and control a distributed future would need. (more…)

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Innovation: new energy for the UK

By Dave Elliott

Technological innovation is exciting but risky: blue skies thinking can open up possibilities, but they also have to be tested against reality. It’s easy to get deceived by early hopeful predictions of potential success and allegedly ‘game changing’ developments. We are regularly hit by blasts of enthusiastic coverage of hi tech innovations in the energy field, but not all of it will prove to be viable (more…)

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The first CfD round: wind leads

By Dave Elliott

The first full competitive auctions for renewables held under the Contracts for a Difference (CfD) regime led to £315m in contracts being awarded for over 2GW of new capacity in all, with wind projects dominating and some lower than expected strike prices emerging. (more…)

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Facts and fiction

By Dave Elliott

Is the truth out there? An extended Xmas Whimsy

It’s usual for there to be a spread of viewpoints on most issues, and it’s always worth looking at a range views, including ‘outlier’ ones! On that, this is fun: www.xonitek.com/press-room/company-news/the-stone-age-didnt-end-because-they-ran-out-of-stones/

However at times you can get weary of obsessive time wasters and yearn for clarity! Sadly that may not be easy to achieve.

(more…)

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Water, energy and other resources

By Dave Elliott

Energy resources aren’t the only thing we are running short of. Water resources could be the next big issue. And conventional energy systems have a big impact on that and will be affected by water scarcity. All thermal/steam raising energy systems need cooling, and maintaining access to water is likely to become a major problem for fossil and nuclear plants as climate change impacts: http://www.worldenergy.org/news-and-media/news/climate-change-implications-for-the-energy-sector-key-findings-from-the-ipcc-ar5/ (more…)

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The French Disconnection

By Dave Elliott

A socialist government was elected in France in 2012 on a promise to cut nuclear reliance from around 74% as now to 50% by 2025, but it has taken its time coming up with details. Some saw the lengthy public debate on energy that the new government initiated in 2013 as a stalling device, others welcomed it as a rare example (in technocratic France) of a ‘bottom up’ approach. But a decision has at long last emerged. (more…)

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Green power in France

By Dave Elliott

While Germany currently generates about 23% of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to expand that in stages to over 80% by 2050, with all nuclear phased out by 2022, France is not doing so well, arguably since it has the dead weight of a large nuclear capacity to contends with- still supplying around 74% of its electricity. Nuclear still dominates energy policy thinking and public debate.

(more…)

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Green energy in China

By Dave Elliott

China’s economy has been accelerating at uniquely high levels, although lately that has slowed slightly. Some say that will provide a helpful respite from the massive eco/health problems that have been created by burning so much coal and oil- epitomised by the dire air pollution in big cities like Beijing, which of late has led to major health scares and protests. China has a massive renewable energy programme, with for example wind on and off grid already at around 75GW, but it’s barely able to keep up with the growth in energy demand. So the transition to a sustainable energy future may take some time. (more…)

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A world of trouble

A World of Troubles

by Dave Elliott

With the typhoon disaster in the Philippines, Japan’s cut back on its climate targets and Australia abandoning its climate policy, the latest gathering of the Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change in Poland last October was a rather gloomy affair. The Fifth report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had reinforced a key message from the basic science- it was now 95 % certain that climate change was caused by human activities, up from 90% previously. And the results were likely to be serious. The United Nations Environment Programme then issued a warning that if countries failed to take immediate steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the global temperature will be significantly more likely to rise above 2˚C.

(more…)

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Power Blackout- little help from shale gas, or new nuclear, or even microgen

Christmas cheer: my end of year (not so) jolly

by Dave Elliott

It’s been a year when energy issue hit the front pages more than usual. The political battle over energy has heated up with National Grid warning that the risk of electricity blackouts would be at the highest level for six years and even greater in subsequent years because of lack of investment in new power plants. But it said, although the plant ‘margin’ of just 5% was the lowest since 2007, supplies should be sufficient to see the UK through to spring.  (more…)

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