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Power and Utilities News Round-Up for July 2018

Posted by: James Turner
Industry News

Energy shift accelerates as UK passes 1,000 hours without coal


Britain is leading the way in the decline of polluting fuels with new information showing the country powered itself for more than 1,000 hours without coal during the last twelve months. Some of the UK’s coal plants fired-up production when gas prices rose following the Storm Emma, However, that instance was short-lived, and the country passed the threshold of more than 1,000 coal-free hours on Friday 13th July.
To offer some comparisons, the UK managed 624 coal-free hours in 2017, and only 210 in 2016. That shows the country is moving away from reliance on that polluting energy source which can only be a positive thing for environmental campaigners and those wishing to protect the planet. 


Andrew Crossland, an energy expert who runs the MyGridGB site, said:

“In 2018, Britain saved its coal use for when it needed it most – during the March cold snap. Over the rest of the year, Britain’s renewable sector has provided record amounts of electricity, with more than 7.4% coming from solar over the past four weeks.”

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Government sets out timetable for offshore wind auctions

On 23rd July, the UK government announced plans that could result in between 1GW and 2GW of new offshore wind capacity delivered every year throughout the next decade. Meeting team members from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Growth Minister Claire Perry said:  “We are witnessing an unprecedented global transformation to a low carbon economy.  This change creates enormous economic opportunities. We want the UK to continue to be a leader in this global transition and a leading destination for clean investment. Since 1990 the UK has cut emissions by more than 40% while growing our economy by more than two-thirds, the best performance in the G7.”

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EDF insists Hinkley 'on track' despite French reactor delays

The French energy giant EDF says the delays to their £9.8 billion nuclear plant in France will not affect the Hinkley Point C construction schedule despite concerns from officials. The company claims that welding issues are to blame for the delay, but that will not happen at the site they are building in Somerset. The comments came after EDF announced that nuclear fuel would not be loaded at Flamanville until late 2019, a year later than previously stated.
The delays are set to cost a whopping £335 million, and of the 148 welds inspected at the site, 33 had quality deficiencies that could present safety issues. EDF claims they can resolve these problems in less than twelve months, and none of them will affect the site being built in Hinckley. That is the case, even though both projects use the same reactors. 

A spokesman for EDF said:

“The construction of Hinkley Point C remains on track. The project has already benefited and will continue to learn from the experience of other projects. The welding is the latest issue to delay the opening of the French plant, which was originally expected to generate power in 2012.”

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