Nuclear

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Emissions reductions targets for both Scotland and the UK will not be met unless the government intervenes to reform Ofgem’s network charging regime, a renewable energy developer has warned. RES said Ofgem’s transmission network charging methodology was one of the “defining reasons” for not proceeding with two recent projects in Scotland.
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Payments made to generators to manage constraints on the transmission network are forecast to rise to between £1 billion and £2.5 billion per year by the mid-2020s, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO). The ESO said the costs, which currently amount to around £0.5 billion per year, are then expected fall back down to similar levels by the end of the decade as major new transmission projects come online.
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Two Tory former energy secretaries have backed calls for offshore windfarm operators to pay compensation to communities scarred by the new transmission infrastructure required to deliver their projects.
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A webinar to explore priorities for digital innovation in the utilities sector as the race for net zero picks up pace. Join for research insights and expert industry views.
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As the UK ramps up its efforts to achieve its decarbonisation aims, the energy and utilities sector is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. Carl Haigney, global vice president and head of retail utilities subsector at Capgemini, outlines several challenges both the sector and the government must overcome in order to set the nation on the right track towards decarbonisation. For Haigney, cutting red tape and providing the right incentives will be key.
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Latest in Nuclear

Sizewell B nuclear power station has come back online following an extended maintenance outage. Planned refuelling and maintenance work on the EDF-owned site was extended by three months after steel components were found to be wearing out more quickly than expected.
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National Grid has announced that its work to lay underground cables through the Mendip Hills in Somerset as part of the connection of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant to the transmission network is now 60 per cent complete. The 400,000-volt cables are being installed along an 8.5-kilometre route from Loxton in the south to Sandford in the north to avoid the use of overhead power lines in the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
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Efforts to curb rising temperatures will not succeed if nuclear power is excluded from the generation mix, a UN body has warned. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe said the technology can be a “vital tool” for the continent’s governments as they seek to meet the Paris agreement goals to keep average global temperature increases within 2C of pre-industrial levels.
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There are rising tensions between the prime minister and the chancellor over the costs of reaching net zero emissions, the Telegraph has reported. Meanwhile, the UN’s climate change panel will warn the planet is on course to hit 1.5C of global warming ten years earlier than previously thought and EDF delays its final decision on whether to proceed with its Sizewell C nuclear plant. This and more in Utility Week’s round-up of the weekend papers.
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In our latest review of sector coverage in the national newspapers, the increase to the energy price cap comes under fire. Meanwhile, there is analysis of the rifts in government that are hindering action on climate change and ministers have been warned against taking a stake in the Sizewell C nuclear plant.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has warned of tight supply margins over the coming winter, partly due the shutdown of the Dungeness B and Hunterston B nuclear power stations. The ESO gave the warning in an early version of its annual winter outlook released to help the energy industry and markets prepare for the season.
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Centrica has revealed it is “reconsidering” its plan to sell its 20 per cent stake in the UK’s nuclear fleet. The company made the announcement in its half year financial results. In 2018 the company said it had intended to divest of its interest in the UK’s operational nuclear fleet however it is now examining whether nuclear can play a role for the company in the future.
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Labour’s shadow energy minister has highlighted “perverse outcomes” since the introduction of the Capacity Market and criticised the mechanism for furnishing suppliers with “free money” to provide power they would have anyway.
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Refraining from building new nuclear and gas plants may not have a significant impact on the overall costs of creating a net zero energy system, a new report has found. The paper, titled ‘Renewable Nation: Pathways to a zero carbon Britain', was produced by Good Energy using modelling from the Energy Systems Catapult.
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What role should nuclear power play in meeting the 2050 net zero target? As part of our Countdown to COP series, Tom Greatrex of the Nuclear Industry Association discusses the lessons from countries that have failed to replace lost nuclear capacity and issues a plea for the UK not to follow the same path.
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