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FORATOM highlights importance of long-term operation of existing nuclear fleet “The intermediate decarbonization targets in the transition towards 2050 cannot be achieved without the LTO of existing nuclear power plants,” said FORATOM Director General Yves Desbazeille. “In fact, if the EU were to invest in maintaining a fully operational nuclear fleet over this period, 58% of its electricity would come from low-carbon sources by 2030 – making it the global leader on climate change policy. If not, the share would drop to 38%, increasing the cumulative emissions by around 1,500 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.” Meeting the EU’s ambition to decarbonize its economy will require using all low-carbon sources and the LTO of the existing nuclear fleet will have a significant impact on this transition. An increasing number of experts recognize that nuclear will have to play an important role if the world is to reach its CO2 reduction targets by mid-century. This means investing in Europe in both LTO and the construction of substantial new nuclear capacity (around 100GW of nuclear new build). Both are achievable if EU institutions, member states and the European nuclear industry work together in partnership.

EU Reporter 11th July 2019 read more »

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Utilities

Solarplicity could have its licence to operate revoked after failing to pay feed-in tariffs to customers who generate their own electricity, the energy watchdog has warned. Ofgem, the government body that regulates energy providers, issued the utility company with a provisional order in May, ordering it to pay money it owed to feed-in tariff generators, or FITs. It also told the company it could not give preferential treatment in terms of feed-in tariff payments to FIT generators connected to the firm, either through its corporate ownership structure or directors at the company. Since then, Solarplicity has paid what it owes to these customers, but in recent weeks has failed to make other FIT payments that have come due.

Telegraph 10th July 2019 read more »

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Energy Policy – Local Authorities

Climate crisis: can councils deliver on bold promises to cut emissions? Many councils have committed to going carbon neutral, but they lack the power and funds to take effective citywide action. Jessie Sims is one of 600 people in Stroud, Gloucestershire, to have had their homes retrofitted to make them more energy efficient. In 2013, the district council replaced the windows and doors, insulated the loft and floors, and installed solar panels on the roof as part of its programme to become carbon neutral by 2030. “I think it’s brilliant,” she says. “I used to have an old-fashioned storage heater, which cost a fortune to turn on and didn’t work well. Now it’s cosy and I’ve halved my fuel bills.” Stroud outlined its plans to become a carbon-neutral area by 2030, by ensuring all its own vehicles are electric or hybrid; making all homes (not just social housing) energy efficient; shifting to very low or zero carbon renewable electricity and heat generation; and tree planting. It also envisages a “dramatic” reduction in emissions from road transport by switching to walking, cycling and renewable-powered public transport. Stroud may have started tackling its emissions earlier than most, but Nottingham is arguably the most ambitious council, having set a target for the whole city to be carbon neutral by 2028. It has met the previous target of cutting CO2 emissions by a quarter by 2020 two years early. Every new council house built has solar panels while council leaseholders have been offered discounted rates. It aims to plant at least 10,000 trees by 2023 and is creating bee-friendly areas in all neighbourhoods. It has one of the UK’s largest fleets of electric buses and claims to have the world’s largest fleet of biogas double-decker buses. Across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, more than 100 local authorities have recently announced a climate crisis. “In the past eight months local authorities representing more than half Britain’s population have declared a climate emergency in their areas,” says Kevin Frea, deputy leader of Lancaster city council and co-chair of UK Climate Emergency Network. A report by the Association for Public Service Excellence (Apse), published later this week, says local authorities need to take an organisation-wide response to action on climate issues: from councils’ corporate financial strategy to all council services, in particular housing, waste and recycling, transport and infrastructure investment. Climate-emergency declarations are welcome, but they are statements of intent unless they are followed up in the short-, mid- and long-term with measurable outcomes, it will say. “Local councils can be at the heart of tackling climate change, but to translate declarations into tangible carbon-reduction actions there is a huge question of resources,” says Paul O’Brien, Apse’s chief executive. “If we are serious about tackling waste, sustainable housing development, air quality – to name just a few of the issues that contribute to carbon emissions – we will need a real step-up in the resources available to local councils. Climate action matters, but there is a disconnect between what local councils can realistically deliver when resources are being choked by austerity.”

Guardian 10th July 2019 read more »

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100% Renewables

More than 3m homes are to automatically receive renewable energy from E.ON UK at no extra cost in one of the UK’s biggest green energy switches to date. The big six supplier says it will respond to rising public concern over the climate crisis by supplying its 3.3 million customers with 100% renewable electricity as standard. E.ON is one of the UK’s largest renewable energy generators and plans to draw from its own windfarms, biomass plants and solar projects to power the switch. It will also need to top up its portfolio by buying renewable “guarantee certificates”, which are sold by renewable energy developers to guarantee that a set amount of electricity has been generated from a specific project.

Guardian 9th July 2019 read more »

FT 9th July 2019 read more »

Energy Voice 9th July 2019 read more »

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