Alternative Energy

Mortal Mindy's picture

What with an impending 'energy crisis' introducing 'fracking' into the UK, new technologies, old hats thrown into new arenas and the Qalypso 'filing' system going to pot, an increasing interest in AEG, and veering into unknown territories thought I'd start a new thread.   So, to start this one off as a 'wider' view -  have picked up this from the Norther Echo, in full 'cos it fits' into some of our background noise; Drax,  bio- fuel - in this case bio-ethanol, renewable energy, the EU and erm that essential crop, 'Wheat' : 

by Stephen Hugill   

"THE owners of a dormant North-East refinery have been stung by losses of more than £40m.

CropEnergies AG says the suspension of production at its Ensus bioethanol plant, in Wilton, near Redcar, has conspired to turn an annual profit of £8.5m into a near £42m deficit.

The announcement comes after The Northern Echo last week reported the company’s admission it did not know when Ensus would restart.

The factory, seen as a key factor in the UK meeting renewable fuel targets, was shutdown three months ago, after bioethanol prices were hit by slower European markets and the fallen oil price.

Bosses say the losses mean it will not be offering a payout to shareholders.

However, they have confirmed Ensus’ 100-strong workforce has not been affected by the slump, with staff retained across the Wilton site, as well as at a base in Yarm, to carry out maintenance.

In a trading update for the year to February 28, the German firm said its Ensus problems had delivered unexpected costs of about £26m, despite production, helped by the Teeside site, rising to more than one million cubic metres for the first time.

A spokesman said: “We were able to increase revenues by six per cent to £597m in the financial year, with the main reason being the increase in bioethanol production.

“However, very low bioethanol prices, which could not be offset by lower raw material prices, put a strain on the result.

“In addition, the consolidated result was burdened by non-recurring expenditures of £26m by the temporary standstill of Wilton.

“All in all, the company closes the financial year with a net loss of the year of £42m, compared to the previous year’s £8m profit.”

The plant uses wheat to create bioethanol, which is added to petrol.

The remaining protein and grain is used to make thousands of tonnes of animal feed and carbon dioxide for the soft drinks and food market every year.

However, the Ensus site has endured a chequered history, with low demand, poor harvests, rising energy costs and even a bad smell forcing closures and hindering production since it started in 2010.

But, speaking to The Northern Echo, Paul Brannen, Labour MEP, said EU talks had taken place to lift bioethanol use in petrol and help producers, which CropEnergies said it is keen to take advantage of.

A spokesman added: “The bioethanol prices have risen significantly over the last few weeks, but they are still very volatile.

“The European Parliament's agreement on a compromise for the amendment of the Renewable Energies Directive is an important step forward and ends uncertainty.

“We expect this decision to offer growth impulses to the European market in the medium-term, and with this, revenue and earnings should improve.

“We are well prepared for this growth.”


Hmmm, plenty to follow up on here (R&D) but my first impulsive thought is erm, why? Why if there is an impending world food shortage would they want to take the food off the plate and feed into an engine?

Yawn .... a virtual Eurovision party cure ;- )

Meanwhile, Yawn .... stretching ....

Could be a Waste Knot Want Knot ...

 ... hi ho hi hoe : -/



Mortal Mindy's picture


nicked -  III Fri 22/05/15  "I'll put a thought out there before disappearing into the 'ether' for a bit........

Most of the issues in the SXX context have been operational and process driven.There's been good debate of demographics etc., and to briefly sum up my ''take'' on it :

In front of the business there have been [and still are ] some shorter term challenges like - obviously - resource proving ,planning permission, the funding tranches required, mine construction with it's funding and technical challenges, theoretical opex and capex issues, people issues, taxation, benefiting balance of payments UK plc, and so on - all in the ''here and now'' to consider but actually on a relatively short time line. The probabilities of each seem to improve with each day.

However there's the actual business ''rationale '' issues to consider which we have again debated and fall into :

A] Is there a long term market at sustainable revenue streams and why , and ,

B] Why is that ? I.E. check the ''rationale'' again for what the over- riding factors that either create the market in which you intend operating for a very long time [ most businesses do not ''see'' or consider their 'end ' ] or what it is that you have that gives you unique or sufficient competitive advantage for a very long time.

Planning Permissions and sinking shafts down 1500 feet through a water layer, building conveyors, milling and port facilities are part of the enabling - NOT the rationale.

So, as usual ,here's something from a little bit of ''left field'' [ and apologies IF its been debated before as I would have missed it ] :

-SXX has a world- class i.e. large sized deposit of a very high CHEMICALLY advantageous mineral;

-It sits close to water - still the main transportation medium for [ relatively ] low value high bulk transportation between countries;

-Current price positioning based on projected capex and opex suggest pong term profitable revenue streams;

-World demographics are going one way for the next 50 - 100 years - there's somewhere to sell;

- There's only so much land to grow crops on which will have to produce higher yields [in theory ] per hectare than current - hence fertilisers [ the long term market ] which is obviously where the sustainable business model starts to look an opportunity - further demand - side enhancement of market opportunity ;

-World wealth creation will start to re-distribute and alongside it demand for differing types of foodstuffs as the drift from Agricultural - based economies continues momentum [e.g. India , Indonesia, and China and possibly parts of Southern Africa in the very long run ] - further demand - side evidence of enhancement of market opportunity ;

Yeah, yeah, yeah we know all this ! [I hear you say ] .........true......but what about the soil itself ? The stuff the crops / grazing mediums get grown on ?

The Ricardo AEA report of April,2014 was very interesting in that it touched on a number of issues concerning general soil degradation.Clearly, if you know your Loams from your Loess you would check, as SXX intended to do , that the proposed fertiliser product posed no known threat to degrading the prime growing medium for crops - i.e. SOIL otherwise your product is a non -starter.

Now consdier Soil degradation as an issue : Please see the link below for a brief resume :

It ain't a pretty picture.

Therefore, IF Polyhalite produced by SXX is proven to have degrees of retentive / restorative qualities in terms of maintaining natural balances of phosphates and such, AND enhances the soil- enhancing biomass within it [ beneficial organisms that retain the soils inherent quality to grow foodstuffs in / on ] then SXX have significant ADDITIONAL competitive advantage.

THEN - what happens IF the restorative qualities could be enhanced with simple additives or with some carefully engineered PATENTED Bio or Chemo additive ? - you could have competitive advantage beyond belief !

Downstream - when the timelines and cash flows become a bit clearer - I'd be thinking about investments in Biotech businesses involved in Agronomy if I were an SXX Board member - because the type of competitive advantage I am suggesting is almost monopolistic world- wide as there ain't piles of high grade Polyhalite [ the primary ''delivery vehicle '' ] hanging around.

Lets assume that 'magic' ingredients to enhance the Polyhalite's soil restorative properties get developed.

Such products can be delivered to the point of use at pricing that is not prohibitive even for poorer Agro- economies but with benefits that go way beyond simply adding to yields.


That's where my investment thinking is at as, FWIW , as I think the SXX Polyhalite case is answered.......

I was simply trying to imagine the features and benefits of a Bag of SXX Super Poly being spread on a field in Sub Saharan Africa in 20 years time that has soil retentive / restorative properties, maybe water retentive benefits as well as high yielding delivery.......and how you might get there.

All IMHO and BTW any ''take out '' might not be by a Mining Conglomerate if such occurred -it could be by a 'Monsanto ' or similar.

Please take these thoughts as ideas and not any form of investment guidance .All comments very welcome.

Have a terrific Bank Holiday everyone.


Mortal Mindy's picture

Bless, The Cotton Shocks

The Knaves are out ... history repeating ... a little delve into the world of cotton crop ...  crossing the T's :

In erm, case your wondering about the peak price of cotton in 2011, this was when the devastating floods hit Pakistan with several of the major cotton producer factories wiped out.

bit more to chew on :

"poor weather" ... perspective

Ooops & Oooh - 'climate change'  :-~)


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Triton Under 're-structure'

from the 'blue' channel ;-/

"Aspiring graphite producer Triton Minerals has stunned investors by appointing administrators.

The Claremont-based, Mozambique-focused explorer announced this morning that it had appointed Ferrier Hodgson as administrators to explore a restructure of the company and its underlying operations.

Martin Jones, of Ferrier Hodgson, said the immediate priority was to explore the opportunity to restructure the company in the short term.

Shares in the company will remain suspended in the interim.

Triton’s quarterly cashflow statement posted on the ASX on January 29 said it had $344,000 in cash at the end of December.

Late last year, the company announced a rights issue to raise $11.3 million, but shareholders fronted only $1.84 million for new shares.

The offer was only partially underwritten, meaning that only another $2.16 million was added to the kitty.

As recently as Tuesday, Triton said in a corporate update that it believed its Ancuabe project in Mozambique was well placed for a rapid progression to a viable mining operation.

“With a new and clearly defined growth and development strategy and key management appointments, Triton is well poised to advance the company’s projects towards production as soon as possible,” it said.

Less than a year ago, the company was valued at more than $100 million after trumpeting a binding offtake deal with China’s Yichang Xincheng Graphite that was supposed to underpin the development of its Mozambique project.

The company has had several boardroom changes in the past 10 months including the appointment of former FMG executive Chris Catlow as chairman in June last year, replacing Alan Jenks."

Sweeping the decks....


Mortal Mindy's picture

Hinkley Point C

Doing the rounds :

"Energy and Climate Chance Secretary Amber Rudd rejected concerns about Chinese involvement when she addressed journalists at a Westminster lunch.

She said: "In terms of concerns about China, what I would say is we have the strongest record, strongest level of nuclear regulation, of any country in the world.

"We have the best record of delivering safe nuclear. That is the system that anybody outside of the UK will have to engage in.

"The Chinese can come and engage with us, but is is our regulations, our high standards that they will have to live up to.

"It is right that we are a confident, outward-facing country inviting investment to the UK so that we can rebuild our nuclear industry."

Erm, bone China, yelps, I stashed away some nice little tea sets ... gathering dust.  Erm, surely the primary concern from this Westminster lunch - no doubt with authentic bone China displayed,  the colors don't wash off, thats wedgewood crap btw, is: 

"so that we can rebuild our nucleur industry"

Erm, so what if they can't, won't, don't ?   Does it need rebuilding? Does it need repair?

Wot? 86% will refuse to pay to have their garden rubbish taken away ... £35 locally ...(annual)  misjudged that one... thought it was a bargain mesen, doh oh so  thats not including a weeding & planting service....  is hedging they don't have Garden Tax in China. 

Weed! Weed! lol ;-)



Mortal Mindy's picture

Queen of Mean

China's Kingpin Xi is staying at her Maj's Buck House for a five day visit ...

"Tim Summers, senior consulting fellow at Chatham House, said China's motive for investing in the UK was "not primarily about keeping good bilateral relations, but about developing the overseas business and capabilities of Chinese companies ".

Developed economies like the UK were ideal for Chinese investment given the high rates of return and low risk, said Ding Chun, a European affairs expert at Fudan University.

London's under-investment in infrastructure had posed "huge transport and energy risks" for the country, with more than a fifth of its electricity capacity set to be decommissioned over the next decade, a 2014 report by the UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research said.

But local concern groups, such as Stop HS2, oppose the project on business, environmental, economic and employment grounds."

Developed economies !!??!! A Golden year for Cameron ???   Flags ...

Ah yes what to do about Fillip... will he be off to the flicks : (is getting annoying now )

2015 - Year of the Sheep ...  Baaaa the Golden Fleece.

Slightly out of order ... backflips from under the Argonaut.

Quite liked that Jiffy IQ test tho.... tis only a day away.

Oooh ;-)

Eeek :-)


Mortal Mindy's picture

Yorkshire Hydropower

"This project...can justifiably be regarded as an exemplar for renewable energy in this country. It offers baseload electricity, delivering clean energy highly efficiently into the local grid.

“It is a very long term source of clean electricity - there’s no reason why Thrybergh won’t be running into the next century. This is truly a ‘Northern Powerhouse’.”

As part of the project, a fish and eel passage has been built to enable salmon and trout to swim upstream in the direction of Sheffield and help the river’s eel and elver populations recover.

It is hoped salmon will eventually return to Sheffield to spawn, something which has not been seen for more than 100 years because of weirs blocking their path and past pollution."

John Healey MP :

"Earlier today I opened Yorkshire's biggest new hydropower station on the River Don at Thrybergh Weir near Kilnhurst. Great to see the first project of its kind built in Rotherham. It could provide renewable energy for 100 years, and help salmon spawn in South Yorkshire."

Ah, yes Whitby wanted one ;-)

'The Esk Energy team invite engineers and aspiring engineers to visit our site  at Ruswarp, near Whitby, and hear the history of our hydro-electric scheme from an engineering point of view.

Saturday 21st November 2 — 4 pm


Mortal Mindy's picture

Zinco ...

" .... no plans were definite as it continued with tests.

He added: “This is an exploratory dig, we are not mining, and there isn't going to be a mine spring up in the next six weeks.

“This process is not like building a Tesco and getting planning permission.

“We have to find out what is there, what the volume is, and whether that is significantly strong enough for us to move on to the next phase.

“But this could be a world-class area, and is an important mining area because of its history.

“If our work proves sufficiently a mine could operate there, it would be very good for the economy and create good and well-paid jobs.”

Mortal Mindy's picture

Post: Last Shift & A -Z


"A is ARTHUR SCARGILL - leader of the National Union of Mineworkers for 20 years from 1982, Scargill was Yorkshire NUM president during the 1974 strike and introduced new levels of militancy to the industry. Widely blamed for the failure of the 1984-85 strike which accelerated the industry’s decline.

B is for BARNSLEY - one-time centre of the Yorkshire coalmining industry and a town which has suffered more than most from the pit closures that began prior to the 1984-85 strike and which accelerated afterwards. Remains the home of both the National Union of Mineworkers and its former leader, Arthur Scargill who lives in Worsborough.

C is for COAL - Enough said.

D is for DEARNESIDE - the comprehensive school at Goldthorpe, Barnsley, attended by brothers Paul, 15, and Darren Holmes, 14, who were killed in November 1984 when an embankment collapsed on them as they were digging coal to heat the homes of striking miners.

E is for EXPORTS - mining’s decline in Yorkshire has come in an era which has seen countries like China, India and Japan export increasing amount of coal, bringing down the price and making domestic fuel uncompetitive. The UK is now largely reliant for its coal supplies on China, who also hold the key to the future of our nuclear energy.

F is for FUTURE - despite the closure of Kellingley Colliery, coal mining is set to continue in Yorkshire, albeit on a small scale at Crofton near Wakefield where a workers’ co-operative are planning on sinking a shallow drift mine to extract rich and valuable reserves.

G is for GAS - the detection and extraction of inflammable gas has always focused the minds of mining companies, with mixed success. In 1866 an underground explosion at Oaks Colliery in Barnsley killed 361 miners, 27 rescuers and dozens of pit ponies. The Oaks Disaster remains the biggest loss of life ever in a Yorkshire mine.

H is for HEATH, TED - Prime Minister Ted Heath’s Government was overthrown when he called a snap election in 1974 following a three-week strike by the miners over pay and conditions. The outcome served too steel Margaret Thatcher’s determination not to suffer the same fate 10 years later.

I is for IAN MacGREGOR - Having reduced the number of steelworkers from 166,000 to 71,000 during his three-year tenure as chairman of British Steel, MacGregor was appointed head of British Coal in 1983 and oversaw the industry’s dramatic decline throughout the strike of 1984-85.

J is for JOE GORMLEY - the leader of the NUM between 1971 and 1982, Gormley lost the confidence of the miners when he rejected claims for a national strike in 1981 despite 87.6 per cent for industrial action over pay. His confusing reforms of the NUM were a contributory factor in the controversial decision not to hold a strike ballot in 1984.

K is for KELLINGLEY - one-time superpit and the last deep coal mine in the UK to produce coal before its closure today, Friday December 18, 2015. At its height the North Yorkshire mine employed over 2,000 men: the remaining 400 were made redundant today.

L is for LOFTHOUSE - in 1973 three million gallons of water from an abandoned 19th century mineshaft flooded Lofthouse Colliery near Wakefield, trapping seven miners 750 feet underground. After a desperate seven-day rescue operation, just one body was recovered. An inquiry revealed that NCB surveyors had failed to check historical records.

M is for MUCK STACK - also known as spoil heaps or slag heaps, these mini-mountains were created from all the rock and debris dug from underground during the mining process. Since 1985 many have been landscaped with a layer of topsoil and planting to create country parks where redundant miners can walk their dogs.

N is for NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM - the former Caphouse Colliery between Wakefield and Huddersfield is now the only remaining deep coal mine in England, although coal extraction ended in 1985. A fascinating and moving experience featuring underground tours that tells the story of Yorkshire coalmining.

O is for ORGREAVE - the Battle of Orgreave was the bloodiest day in the 1984-85 strike when picketing miners clashed with police outside the British Steel coking plant in South Yorkshire. Despite widespread belief that the high levels of violence used against the pickets was sanctioned by the Government, calls for a public inquiry have been rejected.

P is for PADDY - as coal was mined and extracted, the coalface became ever more distant from the pit bottom leaving miners with long journeys to start work. To reach the face, men travelled on rope- or diesel-powered manriders called paddies, or paddy wagons.

Q is for QUALIFICATIONS - few of the qualifications gained by men during their mining careers are transferable to other industries. Many miners at Kellingley are now taking advantage of funding from Jobcentre Plus to retrain and acquire the new skills they will need to find employment.

R is for REDUNDANCY - the workforce at Kellingley will walk away with a fraction of the redundancy payments received by their colleagues in recent years. The maximum statutory redundancy has been set at £14,250: some of the longest serving miners will get just £350 for each year of service.

S is for SILICOSIS - a lung disease suffered by many miners from breathing in silica dust during the mining process. Silicosis is a form of pneumoconiosis which had a debilitating effect on the health of men who had worked underground for long periods.

T is for THATCHER, MARGARET - after backing down to a strike threat in 1981, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher displayed a ruthless determination to break the NUM in 1984 when her Government held firm throughout the year-long strike. She later described miners’ leaders as “revolutionaries who sought to impose a Marxist system on Britain, whatever the means and whatever the cost.”

U is for UNION - the closure of Kellingley Colliery leave the National Union of Mineworkers with just 100 paying members, many of whom work in opencast mines. At its height the union had more than half a million members. Its 12 full time staff now spend much of their time advising former miners about the benefits system.

V is for VENTILATION - essential for the operation of any deep pit, where deadly gases including methane, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide build up during the mining process. Temperatures underground could also exceed 40 degree Celsius and maintaining a flow of cool, clean air was needed to control level of coaldust.

W is for WINDING GEAR - the most recognisable feature of any deep mine, the winding gear was the mechanism that lowered men and equipment from the pit head to the bottom in cages, often hundreds of metres underground.

X is for X-RATED - in an industry where the workforce is almost exclusively male, the work rough and the conditions often grim, the language used underground is invariably choice. Swearing has its place, though, as any decent miner will confirm. ‘Pit language’ should not be used in the presence of women and children.

Y is for YORKSHIRE - since the miners’ strike of 1984-85 a total of 56 coal mines have closed in Yorkshire. The last three pits to close have been Hatfield, Doncaster (2015), Maltby (Rotherham) and Kellingley (2015)

Z is for ZEBEDEE - a large, coiled electrical cable used underground and named after the Magic Roundabout character. Thousands of miles of Zebedee cables now lay unused and buried in Yorkshire pits: quite what archaeologists will make of them and the other mining furniture in future millennia is anyone’s guess. Time for bed."

Captain Qahn's picture

Samson & Delilah Concept

Forfarshire: "But the company - which is backed by the Chinese internet TV provider LeTV - said it was on course to deliver its first production vehicle in two years time.

Its research chief Nick Sampson - who was formerly an engineer at rival electric car-maker Tesla - suggested his firm was able to move faster than others thanks to its adoption of "variable production architecture".

He explained this meant it would use the same basic underlying structure on all its vehicles, adapting it to include anywhere from one to four motors, battery packs of various sizes, different types of wheelbases and other optional parts...

"This, he said, meant different models could be rolled out in a relatively short space of time - some perhaps prioritising range and others horsepower.

The company is on course to release its first production car in 2018, Mr Sampson added, and would break ground on its first factory, to be based near Las Vegas, within a few weeks.

Faraday Future has pledged to invest more than $1bn (£679m) in the plant and eventually employ more than 4,500 workers.

"Faraday Future claims to be disrupting the industry and completely rethinking the car, but is promising stuff everyone else is doing," he tweeted.

Aero Tunnels

The internet-connected 1,000-horsepower FFZero1 incorporates several ambitious elements including:

  • The ability to top 200mph (321 kph) and accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than three seconds
  • A helmet that provides oxygen and water to the driver
  • "Aero tunnels" that channel air through the vehicle to reduce drag and cool the batteries
  • A multi-touch screen interface and augmented reality views projected onto the road ahead

How many of these are intended to make it to market was unclear."

How appropriate.   Oi !! Why Las Vegas?

Are those boots waterproof? Digitsoles

'The Digitsoles promise to help you see in the dark ... The footwear contains a toe-warming system, can count your steps and features a built-in torch lamp...'

Rainy Day.


Captain Qahn's picture


Gas Guzzling


The Yorks Post boasts National Coverage ... it pulls an important piece on 'Energy Security' open for public discussion, for reasons not yet known, then continues to publish what is increasingly appearing to be twaddle from an infamous fantasist:

"Germany and France will not tolerate any changes in the status quo. Poland is the major beneficiary of European money and will want to hang on to whatever it can get and will certainly not want benefits to be stopped to its citizens living here. After all there is only one UK national receiving benefits in Poland if some commentators are to be believed. The benefits are all one way.

Britain can fix most of its problems if it were to vote to leave the EU. We currently give £55m per day to the EU and get £20m back in grants. That still means that being a member of this expensive club costs a whopping £35m per day. That is nearly £13bn per year and combined to the Foreign Aid budget means the UK gives away £26bn per year in total. This doesn’t take into account the millions paid to European migrants claiming the dole here."

It is a UK priviledge, reinforced by EU legislation on Human Rights that we are able to express our views, be they local, regional, national or global.    

UK citizens enjoy the Right to freedom of speech, though not via the Yorkshire Post or Johnston Press?? 

'Energy security' falls within the full spectrum of global geopolitics, the plight of the refugees & the ongoing crisis' of the Middle East, should this be ignored?   

Censored & Absorbed.

Mwah :

PS: Go Cher ;-/

Mortal Mindy's picture

Didcot Goes Bang

Captain Qahn's picture

DECC "Crystal Clear"

"'Drifting aimlessly'

Former CBI chief Lord Turner said: "It's fairly obvious that investors look to politicians for a clear and stable policy framework, especially when they are making investments in large projects that can take years to pay off.

"It's so obvious that one wonders why a select committee has to point this out to the Treasury - but apparently it is necessary, given the continued sense that UK energy policy is drifting aimlessly."

The MPs want Mr Osborne's National Infrastructure Commission to be tasked with investigating the need for new energy infrastructure. They point out that no energy infrastructure is being built in the UK without some sort of government subsidy.

Former Shell UK chairman James Smith told BBC News the government should appoint an "energy tsar" to take the politics out of long-term investment decisions.

A DECC spokesman said: "Our priority is crystal clear - to ensure our families and businesses have access to secure, affordable and clean energy supplies.

"We have been clear that low-carbon energy sources such as nuclear, offshore wind and shale gas will play a key role in our energy future. At the same time we are taking action to keep bills as low as possible to protect consumers."

An 'Energy Tzar' ..... low-carbon ... plucks


'never the twain shall meet'


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Wilton's 'Cracker' Imports Gas

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Waste Knot Want Not

Hot Air :  ....

Sitting Ducks:

"So we are living under this threat. Nuclear power is like a ridiculous technology today. We have to save the planet, and yet, we are spreading these nuclear reactors. Part of the promise we made on the deal with Iran is to give nuclear power to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan – they never had it before. Everybody wants their bomb in the basement. And there are sitting ducks: you don’t need a nuclear weapon to attack a nuclear power plant; it could be ordinary explosives and you could wind up with Chernobyl or Fukushima in different parts of the world. It’s very dangerous and really dumb to keep building a nuclear power plants. We should stop making any new nuclear materials; there should be a moratorium on it."


Benefitz Betty's picture

The Hitachi 'itch

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Hinkley Point - Seven & Six

"The story of Hinkley Point C is a fraught one. It was first mooted in 2008, we are on our third government and fourth secretary of state for energy since then, and the final decision is still yet to be made.

That will fall to the French government, as the 85% shareholder of EDF - the project's owner.

Ministers from both UK and French governments along with the senior management have all joined in a deafening chorus of confidence that it will go ahead, which doesn't seem to succeed in instilling much confidence.

My colleague, BBC science editor David Shukman and I turned our attention to the challenges facing the designers and engineers in delivering this monster of a project.

You can read his blog here to find out how convinced he was that the technical faults and delays that have beset similar reactors in France, Finland and China, which are all over-budget and over-schedule, will not be repeated on this side of the English Channel.

My interest is why none of these arguments, from heads of state down to heads of engineering, were enough to convince the man in charge of the money.

Chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal resigned in March rather than press ahead with a project that he felt might endanger the company..."

"Currently it is €7bn over budget and six years late. The idea of doing the same thing again and expecting a different outcome was, in his mind, madness."

"Decision time is approaching and is expected in early May: it promises to be a nerve-wracking few weeks."

"The problem is that, as the EDF Board prepares to make its final investment decision, there is not yet a single example that anyone can point to of the reactor actually working...."



Benefitz Betty's picture

Hinkley Point Contract Ceremony

"The government and French energy giant EDF are set to sign the key contract for the new £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

EDF boss Jean-Bernard Levy is expected to join high ranking officials from the UK, France and China at the behind-closed-doors ceremony in London.

Earlier this month the government gave the go-ahead for the plant which will power nearly six million homes.

It will be the UK's first new nuclear plant in a generation.

The signing ceremony is a second attempt at finalising the deal after Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly announced in July that she needed more time.

With her approval now granted and the contracts updated, the Department for Business is expected to confirm the formal signing on social media on Thursday afternoon."

Captain Qahn's picture

'T' Junction

Hoo effing Ray :-)

"The government and French energy giant EDF have signed the key contract for the new £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

EDF boss Jean-Bernard Levy joined officials from the UK, France and China at the behind-closed-doors ceremony in London on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the government gave the go-ahead for the plant which will power nearly six million homes.

It will be the UK's first new nuclear plant in a generation.

The meeting was a second attempt at finalising the deal after Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly announced in July that she wanted time to scrutinise it.

With her approval now granted and the contracts updated, the formal signing took place at a ceremony attended by Business Secretary Greg Clark and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

China's National Energy Administration director, Nur Bekri, and the chairman of Chinese firm CGN, He Yu, also attended.

Mr Clark said that signing the contract was a "crucial moment" and that Hinkley played "an important part in ensuring our future low-carbon energy security".

Mr Ayrault said he was pleased that the UK government had decided to go ahead with the project."

The 'UK' finally makes a decision. It really is not difficult !!!

Now about those 'two moons' ...



Captain Qahn's picture

Hydrogen Gas

"Currently, more than 30 per cent of all UK carbon emissions come from domestic heating and cooking and a new report claims that a UK-wide conversion to hydrogen gas will reduce heat emissions by a minimum of 73 per cent as well as supporting decarbonisation of transport and localised electrical generation...

The proposals are contained in the H21 Leeds City Gate report..."

wtf is Hydrogen Gas?


Captain Qahn's picture

Knapton Renewables

Knapton Green Energy is proposing to build Renewable Energy Centre on a 10-acre site at Knapton landfill site.

The centre, which is being developed by Tetragen Group, NCG Estates and local waste management company, F D Todd & Sons will use Advanced Thermal Treatment (ATT) technology to create green energy from non-recyclable waste (biomass).

Derek Watson, whose family owns Cundalls in Malton and also farm at West Knapton and runs Wolds Way Caravan and Camping near the village, said he was very concerned about the plans.

"After investing towards £750,000 in developing my caravan site, which brings in a large spend to Ryedale, there are now plans to build a large 200 x 100 x70 feet high building with 100ft high stack to produce syngas and supply electricity to the grid.

"This massive building will stand out on the hill side and be a large blot on the landscape which is part of the Yorkshire Wolds. It will be just below my home, my caravan site and any discharge and noise will have a major impact on my caravan and camping site. I do fear we will see a loss of much business if the planning is passed to the extent we may have to close."

Ooh I dunno looks like a large glamping pod.... wot a lovely curved roof... 

Oh, chimneys, wot are those frackers up to ? :

Thought they'd given up ... Oh there is the little t'inker ;-)

On his Jolls :-)


Captain Black's picture

'A Black Out Britain' ?

"It's autumn, so it must be time for some highly contentious, clean tech-criticising, blackout scare stories

Autumn is upon us, and as sure as the leaves are turning and the nights are drawing in right-wing think tanks are busy beavering away on reports about the risks of blackouts.

These reports typically cleave to a familiar format. They suggest ‘Blackout Britain' is imminent (despite previous warnings to this effect proving wide of the mark), they insist a major threat to UK energy security looms (despite the people actually tasked with delivering energy security - the government, National Grid, Ofgem - insisting they have these issues in hand), they lay the blame for this threat at the door of renewables (despite scant evidence that the grid is struggling to cope with increased levels of renewables), and they suggest the retention and expansion of fossil fuel plants is the answer to these woes (despite the fact such a policy would run completely counter to the UK's climate change obligations)..."

"To liberate and empower all sections of society to meet their needs as far as possible from their own resources through activities which are socially enhancing; to encourage all to contribute to society according to their abilities, recognising as they do so, responsibility for themselves, for others, for future generations and for the planet."

Pah ... a 'perfect ideology' And who do you think will be the 'Judge'?

That was a rhetorical Q btw ...  open the pdf ;-//

Hook, line & sinker.

Now, about that cull ...

Benefitz Betty's picture

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