Plant Closures =/= Energy Deficit

Plant Closures =/= Energy Deficit

The UK government and DECC have decided that the best way to prop up the Big 6 energy companies is to give them billions to build more polluting fossil fuel plants.

Plant Closures =/= Energy Deficit

Billions in new subsidies for failing energy companies

The reprint of a PV Magazine article:

UK auctions capacity, sparks controversy

A capacity market auction last week led to the procurement of 49.26 GW of new capacity, mainly from fossil and nuclear fuels, at a clearing price which will cost U.K. households nearly £1 billion. The government said the capacity market is necessary to ensure the lights stay on, specifically as power from renewables increases, but the policy has sparked controversy.

National Grid, the company that owns and manages the United Kingdom’s electricity grids, has been commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to run the country’s first capacity market auction. The auction ran for four days last week, leading to the procurement of 49.26 GW of fossil fuels-based capacity at a clearing price of £19.40 per kilowatt a year a day ahead of schedule. The auction’s gross cost is £990 million and will need to be paid after 2018, according to the DECC.

U.K. capacity market: The first round

According to the Department of Energy, the purpose of last week’s auction was to estimate how much capacity will be needed in 2018/19, which is the first year the Capacity Market will be running. “Electricity providers have then bid into this capacity auction, promising if they win a contract that they will be available to provide electricity when needed. In return, they will receive a steady payment on top of the electricity that they sell”, the DECC said.

Referring to the price bids, DECC Secretary of State Ed Davey said, “This is fantastic news for bill-payers and businesses. We are guaranteeing security at the lowest cost for consumers. We’ve done this by ensuring that we get the best out of our existing power stations and unlocking new investment in flexible plant.”

Not everyone is equally optimistic though. Last week’s auction price is near the lower end of the range of prices DECC’s financial modelling had predicted could prevail under a rolling auction scheme that aims to ensure the U.K.’s lights stay on after 2018 to 2030 and beyond. However, the billions of subsidies expected to flow to power groups in the coming years could also rise.Furthermore, the list of new investments triggered by the capacity market mechanism disappoints. The main bulk of winners in the auction are existing gas (22.3 GW), coal/biomass (9.2 GW) and nuclear (7.9 GW) power plants, while new installations will only form 2.6 GW or 5% of the capacity auctioned, including a new 1.8 GW gas plant in Trafford Park, Greater Manchester, by independent supplier Carlton Power under a 15-year contract.The DECC notes that auction results are provisional until confirmed by an independent auction monitor. Publication of confirmed results are expected on January 2, and approved bidders will need to have refurbished or built the auctioned capacity in three years. Should successful bidders not make their capacity available when needed, they will be penalized.

Capacity market: An excuse for fossil fuels?

Internationally, capacity markets have sprung out of the need to compensate utilities for the loss of their power market share due to the dynamic increase of renewable energies. Traditional power market incumbents have argued their income has been severely cut, leaving them unable to build new power plants or keep operational ones alive. Responding to this, some governments have introduced capacity markets aiming to encourage new, mainly fossil-based plants that guarantee reliability of the power system when renewable plants do not generate adequate capacity.

The U.K. is the first European country to run such a market. DECC’s main argument in favor of a capacity market is that the country is facing a looming energy supply gap as old nuclear power plants and many of its polluting coal-fired stations are due to close by the end of the decade and a capacity market will make it affordable to replace them. Otherwise, DECC argues, the country risks black-outs by as soon as 2018.

However, Michael Pollitt, professor of business economics and assistant director of the Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) at the University of Cambridge, told pv magazine that “the whole idea of a capacity market for Great Britain was based on scare mongering about electricity supply shortages, which would not have materialized. There was no serious evidence of capacity shortages developing in the light of the anticipated evolution of supply and demand. Given the actual evolution of supply (where, if anything, renewables have been added quite quickly) and demand, which has remained flat, there would have been even less of a problem that might have been anticipated.”

Asked about the anticipated closure of large nuclear and coal power plants, Pollitt said that “large power plants are built on a replacement cycle. The fact that old
plants are due to close as planned can easily be handled by the market. This
process has been going on for nearly 25 years, since liberalization [of the British energy market in 1980s].”

Therefore, Pollitt argued, “papers which show the planned closures of power plants leading to a projected deficit in capacity are economically illiterate, because they ignore how this would lead to incentives to build new plants if these are needed.”

Renewables Energy Association (REA) Chief Executive Nina Skorupska told the audience at October’s Solar Energy UK event in England that the U.K. government is planning to auction 50 GW of fossil fuel capacity via the capacity payments mechanism, while it could have plugged the capacity gap with all kinds of renewable energy and energy storage technology that replaces fossil fuels.

Instead, the British government has chosen to devise a policy that clearly intervenes in the market. Paradoxically, this is the country that first among Europeans liberalized its domestic energy market 30 years ago and — many would say rightly — pushed Europe towards an open energy market.

Arizona is the definition of Insanity

Arizona is the definition of insanity

Arizona shares a rare and enviable place in the USA list of  ‘states with highest insolation.’   Arizona is also a state with few water resources. These two facts combined make Arizona the perfect candidate state for solar PV energy generation. Arizona is also the perfect place for concentrated solar energy production. This idea as described in DeserTec’s outline will help the world to move away from oil and nuclear power.

So why has Arizona passing laws that discourage solar PV on houses?

Why has Arizona just passed a law that calls nuclear energy renewable?

The full article from Clean Technica is here. Re-posted below:

February 6th, 2015 by

Who would ever consider nuclear power to be a “renewable” means of power generation?

Well, the Arizona Senate Committee on Water and Energy, for one — there might be someone else, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other person or entity….

Arizona is the definition of insanity

Not a solar panel in sight!

The aforementioned bill that the Senate Committee on Water and Energy just passed (narrowly) is SB 1134 — a bill classifying “nuclear energy from sources fueled by uranium fuel rods that include 80% or more of recycled nuclear fuel, and natural thorium reactor resources under development” as renewable energy sources.

The approval is especially funny considering the fact that Arizona is fast approaching some serious water-sourcing issues, and nuclear power plants require huge quantities of water in order to function.

Someplace like coastal Texas or California, you could kind of understand (despite the other issues with nuclear — such as very long-lived, hard to clean up pollution), but Arizona? Right in the middle of a desert, and almost completely reliant on just a few small river systems and fossil groundwater laid down during the last ice age? Hmm…

Regardless of the water issues, though, how does one go about classifying nuclear power as a renewable energy source anyway?

This difficulty in conceptualizing nuclear power as a renewable power source was actually shared by many of the senators on the committee, though — which is why the bill passed by only one vote. One vote — that right there sums up one of the primary issues with democracy (to my eyes). All that it takes is a one-vote disparity to discount the opinions of the losing half of a near 50–50 split…

As far as the senators’ comments, here you go (Phoenix New Times):
Senator Lynne Pancrazi said she considers nuclear an “alternative energy,” but “can’t agree that nuclear is renewable;” Senator David Bradley said he “(appreciates) the fact that technology is allowing us to use rods a few times, but that doesn’t make it a renewable;” and Senator Sylvia Allen said they could argue back and forth about the definitions of renewable and recyclable, but that it isn’t the point of the bill.”

The senator behind the bill, Senator Steve Smith, didn’t really address these issues, having merely stated (while referencing “recycling” fuel rods): “Basically we just want to burn that energy twice.”

“Burn the energy twice” doesn’t sound to me like someone talking about a renewable energy resource. Perhaps that’s just me, though.

While the bill was passed by the committee, it still has to make its way through: the rules committee, the Senate, and the House of Representatives — which a similar bill last year was unable to do.

One last comment from the bill’s backer, Senator Smith, before ending this article: when asked about the differences between nuclear and renewables, he stated that when it comes to nuclear material, “we have so much that can be reused that it’s almost renewable.”

What? Do the bill’s supporters/backers really not have a better argument than that?

Image Credit: Public Domain

The Alternative to nuclear power is here NOW!

NO need for new nuclear plants!

Fukushima reactor blows up

Fukushima reactor blows up

I have been blogging against new nuclear power for some time. One of the comments made regularly about nuclear power is that it provides constant reliable power. Now there is a renewable technology that can provide constant reliable power too! Forever! And it is Green!

Wave energy to replace nuclear power, Now!

There are many wave energy generator systems now.

In the Orkney Islands there is this company:

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd is the first and only centre of its kind in the world to provide developers of both wave and tidal energy converters – technologies that generate electricity by harnessing the power of waves and tidal streams – with purpose-built, accredited open-sea testing facilities.

In Australia there is this company:

Carnegie Wave Energy Limited is the ASX-listed inventor, owner and developer of the patented CETO wave energy technology that converts ocean swell into zero-emission renewable power and desalinated freshwater.

In the England there are only testing sites as of yet:

Wave Hub is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced site for the testing and development of offshore renewable energy technology.

Located 16km offshore in the eastern extremes of the Atlantic Ocean Wave Hub offers four berths for testing offshore renewable energy technology. Purpose built, pre-installed, grid connected infrastructure is provided with a 30MW export capacity, upgradable to 48MW. With a fully consented site and a 25 year lease The Wave Hub offers water depths ranging from 48m – 58m, one of the best wave climates in Europe, and wave climate monitoring. A full range of baseline data along with proximity to a variety of ports and associated facilities are available. Access to expert academic institutions specializing in offshore renewables, access to funding support, and a dedicated operational team enhances options.

So there are alternatives to nuclear power available NOW!

This is the basic message that and my book are making all the time. Why do I want wave energy systems over nuclear? Because it is available now! Because if it fails it may sink to the ocean floor, or drift into shore, or get hit by a ship. When a nuclear plant fails there is radiation poisoning for a thousand years.


UK’s nuclear meltdown future

DECC is working on plans to build 80 New nuclear plants in this country. I don’t want any new nuclear plants here or anywhere. We do not need them.

The future of the UK, Europe and the planet depends on YOU and ME forcing our governments to change their ways. You need to write to your member of parliament and tell them that you prefer wave energy over nuclear energy.

Write to you MP now!

All you have to do is search for your representative using google. Then send them a simple statement about how you feel. I will be here with all the information you need to get the message across.

You can make a difference TODAY


UK government and DECC have gone totally mad!


Guardian article Tuesday 11 March, while Russian troops invade Crimea our government will invite Russians to build nuclear plants in the UK!

DECC at Edinburgh Uni lecture says..

“I can tell you that, behind closed doors and with microphones switched off, there are interesting debates happening in Whitehall,” he said. “Russia wants to build a nuclear power station in the UK.”

Guardian article: UK indifference to Ukraine

Haye chairs a UK-Russian working group on nuclear power, and was in Russia recently for discussions. Haye regards the Russian VVER reactor proposed for the UK as “perfectly safe”, but he cautioned that there would be problems convincing the public that a deal with Russia was acceptable, especially given the current crisis in the Crimea. “It’s a long road, a very long road,” he said.

Hergen Haye, head of new nuclear development at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), told students at Edinburgh University that active discussions were taking place in London after a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Russia.

Tell David Cameron that you don’t want Russians building nuclear plants in our country!

Write to your MP now!

What’s really going on with the European Pressurised Reactor construction in Europe?

Finland’s own Hinkley disaster continues

latest news from the Stop Hinkley movement:

AREVA, the majority French state-owned  nuclear giant, has called a halt to the grindingly slow construction of the EPR reactor in Finland.The project, which is already 5 years late and €7,508,209,000 over budget, has been plagued with problems not least of all the as yet unresolved control and instrumentation problems.

AREVA can’t give completion date, and after delaying their completion date early last year to 2016, Finnish newspapers are now citing 2018 as the earliest the reactors could be completed.

 Legal wrangling over delays and layoffs

The Finnish operators TVO and AREVA are locked in litigation which is claimed by Areva to be one of the biggest conflicts in the history of the construction industry. The recent announcements have wiped 10% wiped off Areva’s share value (as at Thursday 27th Feb. 2014) after they announced their 3rd consecutive year of losses. Areva claim that the work is ‘86% done’ and TVO claim that they are ‘still waiting for supplier Areva-Siemens to update its work schedule following a reduction of 400 workers at the site this year’

UK will have technical problems, delays, and cost overruns

Stop Hinkley spokeswoman Nikki Clark said today “These claims and counterclaims conceal a much more fundamental problem still causing delays to the EPR reactors in Finland & France, one which will no doubt be the cause of delays & cost over-runs here in the UK if the British government insist on going ahead with Hinkley Point C. The EPR reactors have been plagued with technical problems unique to generation 3 reactors. The current British fleet of reactors are analogue reactors whilst the proposed generation 3 EPRs are digital, well on paper at least they are. It seems AREVA/EDF are discovering that the differences between theory and practice are greater in practice than in theory.

Regulators criticise control reliability + security from cyber-attack

Regulators in Finland and France have criticised the reliability of software as well as the architecture of the instrumentation and control (I&C) requiring ‘an additional and independent non-computerised backup system’. We believe that this is the source of the on-going delays to the EPR reactors. The architecture of the backup software is too close in design to the main control software of the reactors. These issues remain unresolved and despite the insistence of the Finnish and French regulators, this will not be an easy task as analogue technologies among nuclear equipment suppliers are becoming obsolete. The I&C problems are one of the remaining unresolved issues that the UK regulators Generic Design Assessment (GDA) failed to close out at the end of their evaluation of the EPR reactor designs.”

Greenpeace report cites open door to hacking nuclear plant controls!

In a report produced for Greenpeace in 2010 about the problems with the EPR I&C the authors stated that the digital control systems provide “new possibilities and capabilities can be used in both beneficial and malicious ways…the same mechanisms that allow for greater diagnostic possibilities, and for remote monitoring, controlling and updating, can be potentially exploited by cyber-attacks, as shown by the recent Stuxnet computer virus that targets Simantic programmable logic devices, a kind of industrial computers by Siemens.

In 2010, when Greenpeace produced their report on the I&C problems with EPRs, little was really known about STUXNET as the attack was still fairly recent. However, the American magazine Foreign Policy revealed last year that STUXNET had a secret twin – a far more sophisticated older variant of STUXNET. Between them, the two STUXNET variants have demonstrated the ease with which critical infrastructure can be targeted as many of the systems for operating infrastructure, from nuclear power plants to chemical factories, are standardised – the Nanantz uranium enrichment facility was controlled by Siemens S7-417 industrial controllers.


A false sense of energy security will be UK’s Hinkley legacy -If they decide to build it

Ms Clark added, “The idea of digitally controlled nuclear facilities vulnerable to cyber-warfare being built here in Britain surely has to put an end to the myth that new nuclear will create energy security. Already HPC brings closer the energy gap so many commentators fear. There has been no shortage of offers to produce the same amount of electricity from clean renewable sources for much cheaper than the projected costs of Hinkley. When are the politicians going to wake up?”


Write to your MP now!

Owning Our Power Is Our Energy Security Video #5

Owning our Power is the key to security

Owning our power is the key to our energy security. Owning the means to produce our energy means that we can never be held ransom by anyone person or country.

Video #5 is all about energy security. Should we be selling our energy production to foreign countries? OR, in a rapidly changing world should we be owning our electricity generation systems?

Owning our power and the means of production is security

Will buying back all UK energy production and energy grids help us remain independent of other countries? Can public ownership of our energy services give us the power to chose renewable energy?

Cameron selling out to French and Chinese nuclear is NOT owning our power

David Cameron recently initiated a proposal to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley in Somerset. The funding for building this new plant will come from the Chinese. British citizens will provide the tax money to underwrite this boondoggle. EDF is supposed to build and operate this new nuclear plant.

The Chinese and EDF had to be bribed with promises of twice the current rate of payment for nuclear electricity. We currently pay  £45 per Megawatt hour. the EDF and the Chinese investors will get £92.50 per Megawatt hour.

UK and Europe are opposed to nuclear power.

Fortunately there are many people in the UK and in Europe that disagree with this proposal. In the UK we have many groups and organizations working to end any thoughts about building new nuclear plants.

There were 1750 accidents, mishaps or leaks at UK nuclear plants between 2002-2009.

Here is just one good reason why. 1750! This is no random number. This is the number of accidents mishaps and leaks at UK nuclear power plants from 2002-2009.

The scale of safety problems inside Britain’s nuclear power stations has been revealed for the first time in a secret report obtained by the Observer that shows more than 1,750 leaks, breakdowns or other “events” over the past seven years.

British public will underwrite 16bil plant construction cost. Energy security or indentured servitude?

The European Union in Brussels is questioning the UK government promise to underwrite the £16bil. cost of the new plant at Hinkley.

This is not energy security. this is an energy crisis that will lead to greater insecurity of our means of generating electricity.

Write to your representative and tell them how you feel

Write to you MP now!. Tell them to stop being stupid and start building the renewable energy future we need today.

Watch the next video interview.

Paltry Social Bribes Offered To Make Nuclear Project More Palatable

Cameron is bribing local governments to build new nuclear plant

Here is an excellent article from SWAN

Cameron has said that he will provide compensation to Somerset for having a new nuclear plant in their community.

Southwest Against Nuclear

Southwest Against Nuclear


A £128 million deal to “compensate” Somerset for hosting the proposed new Hinkley C power station is “a drop in the ocean” according to local campaigners.

Billions in government guarantees, millions in bribes

Stop Hinkley spokesperson Theo Simon said, “This deal, which breaks down to only £3 million a year going to local councils for the next 40 years, is no compensation at all. If EDF get their way in the current price negotiations with the government, we will all be paying a massive extra nuclear tariff on our electricity bills over the same period, and our taxes will be underwriting the whole project by literally billions.

“No one can criticise our councillors for squeezing more money out of central government, but the amounts need to be put in the wider context. Somerset County council has seen budget cuts of £20 million this year under the Tories “austerity” programme and this is hitting the vulnerable and low paid across the whole of the county. 3 million is really not very much in the overall budget – the County’s capital investment programme alone is £38 million.

“The truth is, this is another example of the kind of paltry social bribes we are being offered to make the nuclear project more palatable. Even then, I see that much of the money will be spent on creating EDF’s future workforce through nuclear training programmes. At the end of the day, EDF will walk away with billions in profits and our descendants in Somerset will be left to pick up the bill for managing the toxic waste they leave behind. “

Plans to dump toxic waste at Hinkley

“There are now clear indications from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority that West Somerset is being earmarked for a ‘second Sellafield’, and the government hope that so-called ‘compensation’ announcements like this will soften local resistance. But what possible compensation could there be for a nuclear accident which would destroy our rural economy, or a toxic waste legacy lasting for many thousands of years. No amount of money can compensate for a broken environment or broken lives – and £3 million a year doesn’t even come close.”

Write to your MP

Write to your MP now to stop this madness.

Stop Hinkley and Frack Free Somerset Join Forces for 2 Nites of Information and Action

Stop Hinkley is working for you

Stop Hinkley is dedicated to the decommissioning of all the nuclear reactors on the Bristol Channel and the Severn Estuary and is committed to the introduction of greener technologies more appropriate to this millennium.

Stop Hinkley Site

Stop Hinkley Site

Stop Hinkley started life in the mid-eighties as ‘Stop Hinkley Expansion’ (SHE). As the name suggests, the goal was to ward off the government plan to build a new Pressurised Water Reactor known as Hinkley C.

Stopping Hinkley C is vital to our renewable energy future

I have already covered the Stop Hinkley movement. Working to stop new nuclear power in the UK is vital to our renewable future. You have the videos to watch via these links to the original blog posts: video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4.

France banned fracking! UK needs to ban fracking also?

Fracking has been covered here too. France has BANNED fracking forever because the French people care for their environment. We need to stop fracking in the UK for the same reasons.

From the FFS website

Frack Free February logo

Last meeting 27th February 2014 in bath

Frack Free February is a Month of Action in Somerset with public meetings, talks, stalls, workshops, actions and more all raising awareness about the threats to our communities and the bigger picture of extreme energy.

Stop Hinkley C and Frack Free Somerset are holding a few meetings you need to know about: Radiation Risks of Fracking and Nuclear Waste.

Write to your MP

Write to your MP now!


Accident at Hinkley C? Video interview #4 seek the Truth

What if there is an accident at Hinkley C?


What if there was an accident at Hinkley C? What if the accident at hinkley C was like the ones at  Fukushima or Chernobyl? A nuclear accident at the coast of Somerset would end the lifestyles of millions of British citizens. Every major and minor city within the radiation zone would have to be evacuated. Like Fukushima where an exclusion zone of 80Km was recommended.

Accident at hinkley C = No More Glastonbury!


We could never have a Glastonbury festival ever again! Every city West of Salisbury to the Atlantic coast would have to be evacuated. Every city South of Pontypool to the channel coast would have to be evacuated.

Accident at Hinkley C

Fukushima blows up


We have discussed the financial disaster that new nuclear power would create.

We have discussed the lack of need for new nuclear power.

We have discussed the waste from nuclear power which we STILL have no place to store safely.

An Accident at Hinkley C would be a true disaster

Now we discuss the possibility of an accident at the proposed new nuclear power plant at Hinkley.

Here is the link to video #4 in my series of interviews.

Accident at Hinkley C may look like this

Fukushima reactor blows up

Let the people decide which is better

We the people can make the right choice if we have all the facts. With the truth we can make an informed decision about what direction our energy policy should take.

We don’t know all the facts. The energy companies are keeping the truth from us. We must learn the truth. The truth will set us free and end nuclear power in the UK forever.

Watch the next video interview here.

Interview Video II: The Financial Swindle

The Financial Swindle

It turns out that the UK public is underwriting 10 billion pounds of the construction cost for Hinkley C. This will create a nuclear disaster of a different sort. A Nuclear Financial Disaster, NFD!

I have mentioned that we don’t need Hinkley C or any other new nuclear power plant.

Video interview #2: The Financial Swindle

Here is another interview video interview with Theo Simon.

The government will pay a bribe to Somerset County and West Somerset councils to help the Hinkley C project. The deal, totaling £128m, will last for 40 years, which is the planned lifetime of Hinkley Point C. This cost is in addition to the build price and the costs of waste disposal(a totally unknown amount).

Selling our future for too high a price is a financial swindle

The High price for Hinkley C power is a financial disaster. Today, electricity sells on the wholesale market for about £45 per megawatt-hour (MwH). But anything under £90 a MwH would see Hinkley lose money. On the other hand, go over £100 and by 2020, when Hinkley would still not be operating, wind energy would be cheaper.

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “When City analysts tell you a contract is ‘economically insane’, it’s time to admit that you might have got it wrong. The analysis doesn’t even take into account the fact that they are only expected to meet a ‘share’ of the costs of dealing with the toxic waste created by their generators, with the public facing another bill for clean-up costs in future.”

So we the people will pay twice the going rate for electricity. We will have to forgo the construction of better cleaner and cheaper options like wind. And we will have a thousand years of radioactive nuclear waste to keep safe. We don’t even know the cost for that.

Time to Write your MP.

Time to write your Congressman, or Senator.

Time to write to your representatives within the National People’s Congress.

Check out the next video interview.