Inside Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station

Top stories

1) Nuclear: EDF board split as UK reactor faces fresh delay 

In case anyone was in any doubt that the UK’s forsaken nuclear project isn’t getting off to the best of starts/might not start at all, the FT fills us in on the latest details. The long/short is that EDF, the French state-owned firm trying to build the thing, can’t get the cash together because the UK government will only guarantee loans once EDF has successfully built a reactor of the same design in China or France. That’s not going so well right now, so they may need to delay until things are looking better.

2) Coal: China to cut 1.8m jobs in coal and steel as consumption drops again

China is set to allocate nearly £10bn to re-allocate the nearly two million workers it expects to be laid off as part of efforts to reduce mining and industrial over-capacity. It comes as the latest data suggests coal consumption in the world’s largest economy has fallen, again.

3) Project Fear: Brexit could leave UK with blackouts and gas shortages

You don’t need to have any sympathy at all with the Brexit camp (and, let’s face it, I don’t really) to find this sort of nonsense totally absurd. But hey. A leading energy lawyer has followed in the now venerable tradition of equating ‘Thing I Don’t Like’ = ‘Lights Going Out’, Brexit edition. Gives renewables a break I suppose. 

Other happenings of note

- Coal: Energy lobbying group accepts the inevitable, turns it into policy. Energy UK, which represents the UK’s dominant utilities now supports the phasing out of coal fired power stations. The change in stance comes as their members move to close most of them anyway. 

- Nuclear: As Flamanville flails France moves to extend life of reactors that have already been, y’know, built. That will add an extra capital cost to EDF’s already strained balance sheet.

- Shale: US frackers eye world conquest, just after they’ve dealt with the oil price carnage. It’s called chutzpah where I come from.

And the good, the bad and the ugly of clean energy tech:

The Good: RSPB builds bird-friendly turbines. Comes too late to save the UK’s onshore wind industry.

The Bad: South Africa opens solar powered... airport. The solar panels, which benefit from government subsidies, will power all the airports needs. Other than jet fuel.

The Ugly: Scottish Power looks to double size of hydro-plant, issues call to store more wind energy in water. You may not find hydro plants ugly. But hey.