EDF Energy, NuGeneration and Horizon Nuclear Power have all stressed their commitment to the UK’s nuclear new build program, despite the country’s decision to leave the European Union. Nevertheless, the majority vote in favour of ‘Brexit’ – decided in a national referendum held yesterday – may have implications for investment in new reactors and nuclear research, as well for the UK’s future role in meeting climate change targets, industry participants said.
World Nuclear News 24th June 2016 read more »
The UK voters have spoken; they want to leave the EU by a margin of 52% to 48%. The split should provide a boost for the UK’s nuclear energy program. It should also improve its energy resiliency and improve the effectiveness of it effort to reduce CO2 emissions. As an island nation, the UK doesn’t have a large population of climate skeptics, though there are many that question the notion that unreliables like wind and solar can replace fossil fuels. The UK will be able to keep its new carbon tax and ditch the ineffective EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which has been a relative loss for UK companies who have purchased more credits than they have sold. It will be freed from EU required “renewable energy” standards and able to establish a more comprehensive “clean energy” standard that is more aggressive while allowing a greater range of potential solutions that include nuclear energy as a major contributor to the targets.
Forbes 24th June 2016 read more »
Membership of the IEM is likely to affect plans to increase the UK’s interconnector capacity over the coming years, with new interconnections with Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France and Ireland planned. UK utility SSE said today that the referendum outcome presents no immediate risk to its planned investments, but urged the government to outline its plans for the country’s involvement in the IEM, in order to avoid a prolonged period of legislative and regulatory uncertainty. The UK’s vote to leave the EU also raises questions as to the future operation of the Irish single electricity market model, with the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland power markets currently conjoined independent of Great Britain. Northern Ireland will leave the EU as part of the UK. But a UK exit from the EU may allow the UK to alter the criteria of its capacity market, which is currently technology-neutral in line with EU laws on competition.
Argus 24th June 2016 read more »
The environment community is in shock. Forty years of environmental agreements with our neighbours are now threatened by a vote in which the environment didn’t feature. The electorate voted by a small margin to build higher walls, but walls don’t work in the natural world. Within the next two years we will lose the best enforced nature laws in the world, which the UK did so much to help create. No one in government has a plan for how to fill the gaping hole he EU birds and nature directives will leave behind. We should be able to celebrate the demise of the loathsome Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), but not if it is replaced by UK agriculture subsidies that reward intensification. What about the £1 billion a year of CAP that goes to support high nature value farming and environmental schemes? No one thinks the Treasury will protect them amidst a race to stop the UK economy imploding. It is economic emergencies which do the greatest damage to UK environmental and climate progress, as we have seen in the energy sector where the backwash from the last recession led to policy retreat on energy efficiency, renewable energy and zero carbon homes. This means it won’t just be EU legislation that is threatened by Brexit. Economic instability will allow cross party domestic legislation such as the Climate Change Act to be questioned on competitiveness grounds by the small but vocal group of people who have never accepted the need to act on climate change.
Green Alliance 24th June 2016 read more »
Despite being an issue that knows no borders, affects all and is of vital interest to future generations, the environment was low on the agenda ahead of the UK’s historic vote to leave the European Union. The short answer to what happens next with pollution, wildlife, farming, green energy, climate change and more is we don’t know – we are in uncharted territory. But all the indications – from the “red-tape” slashing desires of the Brexiters to the judgment of environmental professionals – are that the protections for our environment will get weaker. There is one immediate impact though, right here, right now: the crashing financial markets will damage the huge investments needed to create a cleaner and safer environment and will dent the nation’s fast-growing green economy, one economic sector where the UK could lead. Despite the current government hacking back support for clean energy, the UK does have strong domestic legislation which sets deep cuts in carbon emissions into law. But Boris Johnson, now a leading contender to be the UK’s next prime minister, is a climate change sceptic: will he act on his conviction that all this global warming malarkey is piffle?
Guardian 24th June 2016 read more »