The political pressures driving new nuclear

This week has seen two significant prices of news relating to the new nuclear reactor being constructed at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Firstly, the French nuclear regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (“ASN”), has made a preliminary decision relating to the pressure vessel at Flamanville, the proto-type European Pressurised Water Reactor for the HPC build,…

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What does the closure of Rough storage mean?

On Tuesday, Centrica announced the permanent closure of Rough, its large seasonal gas storage facility. This is the UK’s only long-term gas storage asset, with a capacity equivalent to about 10% of winter peak demand and 70% of the country’s total gas storage capacity, so its closure marks the start of a new period in…

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The writing is on the wall for coal generation

The UK broke new ground on Friday 21 April 2017 seeing the first continuous 24-hour period since the industrial revolution when coal made no contribution to the power sector. The country which led the way in the introduction of coal for electricity generation with the opening of Thomas Edison’s Holborn Viaduct power station in London in…

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Smart meter problems keep growing: time for a re-think

As the dust settles (or not) after the General Election, the wider impact on the energy sector is unclear, however one initiative continues on despite increasing calls for a re-think: smart meters. I have previously written about the technological shortcomings of the project – these continue – but other problems are becoming apparent, particularly in…

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Electricity storage on the fly

Last week saw the news that the UK is to host Europe’s largest battery flywheel energy storage system, which will provide fast frequency response services to both the GB and Irish markets. The £3.5 million project will be delivered by a a consortium of engineers from the University of Sheffield, flywheel specialists Schwungrad Energie and…

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Why the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement is not a disaster

On Thursday Donald Trump caused outrage by withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, something widely derided by politicians and the media globally as a retrograde step that literally risks the future health of our planet. Quieter voices, however, suggest that the decision is not the great disaster being lamented round the world,…

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