Nuclear Apprentice scheme operated by EDF Energy – Follow the link to read the whole story
Nuclear Apprentice scheme operated by EDF Energy – Follow the link to read the whole story
The total amount of renewable energy
produced from wind and hydro power schemes in Scotland fell last year.
Despite a sharp increase in the number of wind turbines installed, there was
only a 6% increase in the amount of power they produced.
Low rainfall, meanwhile, meant hydro production fell by a third.
Energy production figures also showed a decline in oil and gas production
earlier this year, which industry leaders described as “worrying”.
The statistics from Whitehall’s Department of Energy and Climate Change
showed the second quarter of this year saw some of the sharpest falls on record
of oil and gas production from under UK waters.
Oil production was down 16% and gas by 25% compared with the second quarter
This was attributed to planned maintenance as well as emptying oil
The amount of renewable energy produced in Scotland has increased sharply
since 2003, before dropping back last year.
Hundreds of millions of pounds could be saved using oil and gas industry knowledge for offshore wind operations, it has been claimed.
Scottish Enterprise, in its Guide to Offshore Wind and Oil and Gas Capability, said costs could be reduced by at least 20%.
Areas highlighted include installation and maintenance.
The guide was announced ahead of the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh.
Scottish Enterprise director of energy and low carbon technologies, Adrian Gillespie, said: “With the UK offshore wind market set to grow rapidly over the next four years, and the Scottish government’s ambitious renewable energy generation targets, we must ensure Scotland is best placed to capitalise on these opportunities.
“Scotland has over 40 years experience in the oil and gas sector, which could greatly benefit the offshore wind sector.
“By encouraging greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing between these two important sectors, we will create a lasting and positive effect on the Scottish economy.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Inward investment announcements over the last year have underlined Scotland’s position as a leading location for the development of offshore renewable technology, building on our competitive advantage gained through decades of offshore engineering expertise from our oil and gas industry.”
Jenny Hogan, director of policy for Scottish Renewables, added: “The expertise amassed over decades of exploration and production in the North Sea is already proving invaluable.
“Scotland has great offshore wind potential, but other areas around Europe are all competing with us for investment and manufacturing facilities.
“By working with the existing oil and gas supply chain, forged over the last four decades, the offshore renewables sector can become ever more competitive and help Scotland establish its growing reputation as a global leader in this new industry.”
ReNew Wind Power has several wind projects under development, including a 25 MW wind farm in Gujarat and a 60 MW wind farm in Maharashtra. It plans to expand its wind power portfolio by 200-300 MW annually and aims to hit 1 GW (gigawatt) capacity by 2015. The company has inked business frameworks with Kenersys GmbH, Regen Powertech Pvt Ltd and Suzlon Energy Ltd to establish and operate wind farms throughout India.
“This deal reinforces our commitment to develop sustainable energy solutions for India. Goldman Sachs’ global experience and network in the alternative/clean technology industry will provide us with additional momentum,” said Sumant Sinha, chairman and CEO of ReNew Wind Power.
SaVant Advisers, which is, incidentally, the boutique investment banking and financial advisory firm floated by Sinha last year, was the exclusive financial adviser to ReNew Wind Power.
This is one of the single largest PE deals in the renewable energy sector in India. Although other firms like Moser Baer Photo Voltaic have attracted similar investments, they have done so over multiple rounds of funding.
“This investment underscores Goldman Sachs’ continued commitment to India and support for the country’s clean energy needs. We look forward to teaming with the management, both financially and operationally, to help the company become a leader in India’s renewable energy sector,” Ankur Sahu, co-head of private equity in Goldman Sachs Asia commented on the investment.
Goldman Sachs has invested over $1.5 billion in alternative/clean energy-related companies globally, including Horizon Wind Energy and Nordex AG.
The winds and stormy seas that dominate the 70 islands that make up the Orkneys has shaped the life of islanders as well as the island itself – most evident from the lack of trees or crops able to grow there.
Today it’s no different; the weather and the climate caused by its open exposure to the Atlantic and North Seas continues to provide inspiration, but this time it’s for a new generation of pioneers using the land and sea to produce renewable electricity.
Despite being on the outer fringes of the British Isles, these islands are producing cutting edge wave and tidal technology, demonstrating innovation that’s putting the UK on the map as a global leader, and regenerating island communities; bringing new jobs, new skills and creating a strong supply chain.
The Scottish National party recently announced the ambitious target of sourcing 100% of our electricity demand from renewables by 2020. Lessons from Orkney about community engagement, supply chain development and research and development will help us reach this target.
Orkney-based companies such as the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) are hugely celebrated for their work in the wave and tidal sector. It is the first centre of its kind to offer developers the opportunity to test full scale prototypes in the sea, and no stranger to world firsts. In 2004 Pelamis, a wave power device became the world’s first to successfully generate electricity for the National Grid. A few weeks ago the world’s largest single-rotor tidal turbine, built by Atlantis, became the first in Scotland to be grid-connected at the marine energy centre. It has also brought visitors and researchers from all over the globe and is attracting people to live, work, and study on the island. EMEC along with companies like Xodus Aurora and ScotRenewables are all employing graduates on Orkney.
These are opportunities which did not previously exist on an island that has traditionally relied on farming and fishing. Where students would have left for university believing they could not return to the Orkneys, there are now real opportunities for returning graduates. Fred. Olsen, the Norwegian-based cruise company that is also involved in renewable energy activities, has just announced four scholarships for Heriot Watt University campus in Stromness. The university is also home to the world’s first MSc in marine renewables, with the first intake of students this year.
Anecdotal evidence from those involved with this new industry suggests that already a couple of hundred people are dependent on renewables for their livelihood. All of these benefits come from just a few installed megawatts (MW) of renewable technology. With plans for 1,600MW by 2020 there is genuine potential for many hundreds of jobs, with talk of commuting workers coming in by boat from other islands and Caithness on the Scottish mainland.
There are plenty of examples of how renewable energy is changing the working lives of Orcadians. Two local companies have purchased new work boats on the demand for diving and other services from companies like Aquamarine who are now looking for crew. Tugs dedicated to the Flotta oil terminal are also likely to be increasingly used on marine renewables in future.
The white van drivers on Orkney aren’t just the construction workers or delivery guys we know so well on the roads of the mainland. On Orkney the white van man can also be a tidal turbine technician, hinting at what Scotland’s workforce may look like in the near future.
It’s the promise of jobs for this and future generations, inward investment from international companies as well as improved infrastructure, (a former naval base at Lyness has received £3m to upgrade the port for future marine developments) that has helped forge support from local people.
The desire for renewables was made clear after a wind turbine in an industrial estate on the edge of Kirkwall provoked an online petition by opponents. This prompted a rival petition from supporters, which got more signatures than the naysayers, with the turbine now constructed and soon to be operational. Figures available in real time on the Orkney Renewable Energy Forum website show that output from commercial, community and agricultural wind turbines is often so high the island is now self-sufficient in electricity, relying less on imported fossil-fuel based power from the mainland.
Like many of Scotland’s islands, tourism plays a key role in the local economy. With so many wave and tidal devices working in the waters, Orkney Council has had to train local tour guides on marine renewables to help deal with questions from tourists. EMEC is now looking at converting office space to help educate and inform the visitors that burst into their office anxious to hear more about these strange looking devices in the waters off the islands.
Like centuries of islanders before them, Orcadians have come to use their natural environment to support and sustain their way of life. If you want to know what Scotland could look like in 10 years then take the 90-minute ferry journey from Scrabster to Stromness and find out.
• Niall Stuart is the chief executive of trade body Scottish Renewables
Camco, the clean energy firm, has been awarded two new project development contracts in East Africa worth $1.8m in revenue over the next three years.
The first is a $1m solar photovoltaic (PV) clusters project in Tanzania and the second is a $0.8m project to provide technical assistance in the development of clean development mechanism (CDM) projects in Uganda.
Camco said: “We believe that there is now a real drive to make clean energy projects work in many parts of Africa. Over the last two decades the company has been working with national governments, national and international corporates and non-governmental organisations.
“Over the last few years there has been a significant increase in the attention given to the need for distributed energy generation from renewables, in Africa. Camco has been developing projects in Africa for the past 20 years and in the last year, we are seeing a clear change in the pace of market development.
“We believe there is now a real opportunity to create localised off-grid solutions to clean energy generation that meet local needs and conditions and that will substantially improve living standards.”
Currently 93% of Tanzanians use wood and charcoal as their primary source of energy.
In 2010 renewable energy investment in Africa increased by 384% from $0.7bn in 2009 to $3.6bn.
Both schemes are expected to make a substantial contribution to improving people’s living standards and will help drive further economic development.
The firm added: “As we foresee even faster growth in the sector and a more fundamental shift towards clean energy generation.”
The document, seen by Reuters, is the latest text from the European Commission to urge all 27 member nations to put collective energy needs above domestic agendas. It could rile countries such as Germany, which has unilaterally decided to phase out all its atomic plants by 2022.
In addition, Italy has voted to ban nuclear power for decades.
Poland, as holder of the rotating EU presidency is hosting two days of informal EU energy minister talks in Wroclaw, southwestern Poland.
It confirmed Germany’s abandoning nuclear power and the need for EU-wide infrastructure were on the agenda of a breakfast debate on Tuesday as part of wider discussions on external energy policy and security of supply.
“We emphasise the need of shifting towards a lower emissions economy,” Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak told reporters. “We emphasise the need for a comprehensive approach.”
Deputy Economy Minister Hanna Trojanowska told Reuters in an interview earlier this month Poland would not abandon its nuclear plans even though an opinion poll found 51 percent of Poles were opposed to them.
Nuclear-generated electricity is carbon-free and many governments have viewed as it as crucial to reducing planet-warming emissions while maintaining reliable supplies.
The European Union’s reaction to Japan’s series of tsunamis and the resulting nuclear disaster early this year has been to order stress tests to determine the safety of nuclear reactors.
A commission “support paper” drawn up ahead of Tuesday’s breakfast talks said less nuclear power reinforced the need for an EU-wide power grid, which the European Commission aims to achieve by 2014.
“This has highlighted that in an interconnected energy system and in the internal market all member states are affected by such decisions taken at national level and therefore have legitimate interests in ensuring they are effectively coordinated,” it said.
“Until now, there has not been a systematic effort to bring national policy-makers together to coordinate their approaches to energy generation or to support each other and the commission with their views and experience.”
European Commission ambitions to increase its oversight have rankled with some member countries and the private sector.
Earlier this month, a draft document obtained by Reuters on “engaging with partners beyond our borders” showed EU proposals to increase the European Commission’s mandate to be involved in energy negotiations between member countries and those outside the bloc.
Analysts interpreted that as an attempt to prevent cosy bilateral ties between big gas consumers, such as Germany and Italy, and their major supplier Russia.
Germany’s ties with Russia are of keen interest to Poland and Russia’s reliability as a supplier is likely also to feature in this week’s talks.
Poland, a traditional transit state that has clashed with Russia over transit fees, is bypassed by the new Nord Stream pipeline to ship Russian gas to Germany.
The launch of the pipeline has coincided with an upsurge in tension between Russia and another transit state Ukraine, which has revived memories of the 2009 pricing spat that halted supplies to the European Union.
Shared infrastructure could maximise available supplies, helping to mute the impact of disruption, as well moving the EU closer to a target of a 20 percent improvement in efficiency by 2020.
Environment Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has said that of the EU’s three 2020 targets, the efficiency goal — which unlike the other two is non-binding — is the one the EU is least likely to hit.
The other two are a 20 percent cut in carbon emissions compared with 1990 levels and to derive 20 percent of energy from renewable sources.
Environmentalists have questioned the willingness of Poland, heavily reliant on coal, to adopt a greener agenda.
Pawlak reiterated on Monday an earler pledge that Poland would meet all three of its 2020 targets.
Many analysts agreed with the need for a collective approach, while seeing overcoming national agendas as only one of the challenges facing EU energy policy.
“The Germans quickly and unilaterally decided. They did not consult with their European neighbours and now after the event we’re scrambling to cope with the consequences,” said Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform in London.
“If the consequence is we have an acceleration towards an integrated energy network that would be one positive thing, but this is a big question.”
French oil company Total SA (FP.FR) wants to expand its oil and gas business in Libya, German newspaper Handelsblatt reports Monday.
Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie told Handelsblatt the company is in talks with representatives of Libya’s National Transitional Council on how to support industrial development and oil and gas production.
Margerie said Total is working on a list of concrete proposals it plans to submit to the NTC by the end of the year. Margerie has already written a letter to the NTC president stating his plans to expand their cooperation, and received a positive response.
“We could develop the liquid natural gas business in Libya or help the country’s national oil company develop oil and gas reserves in a more structured and aggressive way,” he said.
“But we aren’t yet talking about new oil production contracts.”
While Total also continues to be interested in nuclear power, it would need partners, and at the moment there aren’t any new nuclear power projects in France, Margerie said.
Among solar, biomass and clean coal, nuclear power was one of the company’s four areas for the development of clean energy.
“Let’s be realistic, at the moment we only have three where we’re making progress.
Siemens plans to pull out of the nuclear energy business, CEO Peter Löscher told SPIEGEL. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster “the chapter is closed,” he said. The company will expand its renewable energy activities instead.
Siemens, the German engineering and industrial titan, is planning to exit the nuclear energy business, Siemens head Peter Löscher told SPIEGEL magazine in an interview.
“The chapter is closed for us,” Löscher said. “We will no longer be involved in managing the building or financing of nuclear plants.”
He attributed the decision to the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan and to the German public’s fear of nuclear energy. He said the company was responding to “German society and politics’ clear position on ending nuclear energy.”
Earlier this year German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a surprise U-turn , announcing that all of the nation’s 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down by 2022. Her decision makes Germany the first major industrialized power to cease using atomic energy and contrasted with her previous plan to extend the life of German nuclear plants.
The decision by Siemens to follow suit comes after a difficult patch for its nuclear business. An arbitration tribunal in May ordered the German company to pay €648 million ($927 million) to France’s Areva after it failed to meet contractual obligations in a nuclear joint venture with Areva that it left earlier this year.
Emphasis on Renewables
In the SPIEGEL interview, Löscher said that the Munich-based firm would continue to manufacture components, such as steam turbines, which are used in the conventional power industry and can also be used in nuclear plants.
The nuclear exit would mean that the company would shelve a long-planned joint venture with Russian nuclear firm Rosatom, he said, adding that he still wanted to work with the Russian partner in other areas.
Just two years ago, the Munich-based conglomerate announced a venture with the Russian firm to build up to 400 nuclear plants by 2030. Siemens has a long history of nuclear engineering and was involved in the construction of all of Germany’s nuclear plants.
Löscher said his company would boost its work in the renewable energy sector . “Germany’s shift towards renewable energies is the project of the century,” he said, adding that he saw Germany on track to hit its target of generating 35 percent of its energy using natural power sources by 2020.
At the opening of the first Sustainable Urbanisation Conference Monday at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, Sayyida Tania Bint Shabib Al Saeed, President – Environment Society of Oman, said that Oman was a country with a fragile environment and therefore it was essential that everyone was vigilant in their urbanisation efforts.
Sayyida Tania pointed out that in the 20th Century, cities have grown more than 10 folds from 250 million to 2.8 billion. “Today, more than half of the world’s population already lives in cities and these urban areas are said to be responsible for around 75 per cent of all energy used, 600/0 of all water consumed and 80 per cent of all greenhouse gases produced worldwide,” the environmentalist added.
She said that once started, urbanisation was irreversible. However, she reiterated that technologies used must be sustainable.
She reminded the audience that everyone was responsible for the development that is taking place in Oman. “Given the environmental sensitivities that we must take into account, we need to think seriously about the effects that urbanisation will have on our environment,” she cautioned.
“Our biggest challenge yet is to change the behaviour of people within our communities. As there is little point in creating a sustainable urban system complete with low energy architectural design, transport planning, renewable energies and new technologies, if we are still of the mentality of squandering resources,” the young chief of ESO warned.
“I would like to reiterate that although urbanization can be seen as a benefit to the population, Oman is a country with a fragile environment and therefore it is essential that we are vigilant in our efforts,” she reminded in her speech during the opening of the conference that has brought together professionals, academics, policy makers and government officials in Oman and the region to address sustainable urbanisation issues in order to improve the environmental impact of cities.
She hoped that the two-day conference would help minimize the impact that urbanisation has had on the natural environment, and ensure mistakes made in the past are avoided in the future.
Oman International Trade and Exhibition has organised the conference under the theme of “Working Together in Creating Sustainable Urban Communities for Tomorrow”.