UK looks to develop next-generation advanced reactor programme

The Government has announced what it described as "significant support" to help exploit the potential for the UK to become a world-leader in developing the next generation of nuclear technologies.

Funding is being made available over the next three years to help support research and development into innovative advanced and small modular reactors as well as assess their feasibility and accelerate the development of promising designs.

The Government will also be supporting early access to...

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43% of Wales' electricity now from renewables

A new report has revealed 43% of Wales electricity consumption in 2016 came from renewable energy – up from 32% the previous year.

The Energy Generation in Wales 2016 report provides an estimate of the sources of energy generation in Wales, the number of projects and installed capacity to the end of 2016.

The report shows there are now more than 67,000 renewable projects in Wales, up 23% since 2014.

Renewable energy capacity has increased by 47% since 2014, making up 18% of all electricity...

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Railways could be powered by solar

A new report has claimed that solar panels connected directly to railways in the UK could meet a significant amount of their electricity demand.

The authors of the report, from Imperial College London’s Energy Futures Lab and the climate change charity 10:10, have examined the potential of connecting solar panels directly to the substations that provide power to the rail system.

The renewable 'Traction Power' system would use custom power electronics and bypass the electricity grid altogether.

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12/12/2017 Sector Round Up

Work starts on distillery AD project

A whisky distillery has started work on a £3 million biogas project announced yesterday. Balmenach, which is also the home of Caorunn Scottish Gin, said the project will significantly reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint.

Owner Inver House Distillers has commissioned the new anaerobic digestion
system at the site near Grantown on Spey. The distillery already operates a wood-pellet biomass boiler.

> Find out more about the distillery


New fund...

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Businesses ‘must decarbonise to stay competitive’

British companies must decarbonise to remain competitive and exploit opportunities in the low-carbon market, according to a new report.

The Green Alliance said that sectors such as car making and chemicals risk losing out to foreign competitors if they don’t adapt to fast-growing global demand for low-carbon goods and services.

The electric vehicle market alone is expected to grow five-fold in value between 2015 and 2030 to £2 trillion, with the UK potentially taking a £95 billion share of the...

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Industry body warning as almost 7GW of storage pre-qualifies

Reforms of the Capacity Market will limit the amount of new battery storage capacity that will be able to compete in the auction, a renewables body has warned.

The Government intends to lower the de-rating factor in Capacity Market auctions for 30 minute duration batteries. Storage projects over four hours duration will see no change from the decision.

The announcement came after National Grid confirmed that more than 2.1GW of battery storage capacity had pre-qualified to compete in the T1...

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£80m funding for battery facility

The UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge is investing £80 million in the National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NMDF).

The cash will help the facility in the West Midlands to “host cutting-edge production and assembly processes and support the future scale-up of battery technologies”.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “Battery technology is one of the most game-changing forms of energy innovation and it is one of the cornerstones of our ambition, through the...

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Higher binding EU energy targets agreed

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted to increase the European Union’s (EU’s) energy efficiency and renewable energy targets.

The industry and energy committee supported a 40% efficiency goal and national targets for 2030.

Both targets will be legally binding.

Opponents had pushed for a 30% non-binding target, but their amendment was defeated.

‘Missed opportunity’ on renewables

As well as passing the energy efficiency directive, MEPs also voted in favour of the European...

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Forest estate reaches 1GW renewables landmark

Wind farms and small-scale hydro-electric schemes are generating 1GW of power from Scotland’s woodland, according to figures from Forestry Commission Scotland.

The government body said it was now producing enough electricity for 500,000 homes using renewable energy projects on its estates.

Renewables projects on Forestry Commission land include the 136MW Harestanes wind farm in the Borders, which was opened in 2014.

Kenny Peberdy, UK Onshore Director for ScottishPower Renewables, said: “Our...

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New partnership for renewable energy forecasting

The Met Office, the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Aarhus University in Denmark and Envision Energy have teamed up for a new project.

The partners aim to improve how they forecast the amount of renewable energy that will be generated by wind turbines, solar panels and other equipment.

Improving forecasts will help the grid to better manage the variability in the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy projects.

Ultimately, the project aims to lower the...

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