• National Grid Summer Outlook

    • Date: 10/04/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    The UK electricity system is facing a difficult, expensive, and possibly rather dirty summer as high output from uncontrollable generators such as wind and solar combines with very low peak and minimum demands, forcing National Grid to take remedial measures that are economically and environmentally undesirable. The UK’s gas and electricity Transmission System Operator (TSO), […]

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  • Climate Policies and the future of Manufacturing

    • Date: 02/04/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    The failure of Tata Steel’s fragile UK operations is a salient, early symptom of more general and growing problems in the British economy. Other indicators include falling electricity consumption across all sectors, now at levels not seen since the 1990s (See DECC’s latest update) and weak, near stagnant performance and falling rates of employment in […]

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  • Wind Power Safety in Japan

    • Date: 27/03/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    In the wake of a significant number of accidents during storms, the Japanese government is in the process of introducing regulations requiring improved maintenance for wind turbines. The United Kingdom will probably have to consider something similar, partly for reasons of public safety and also to protect what are in effect public assets from owners […]

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  • Is Small Nuclear Beautiful?

    • Date: 20/03/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    Confidence in large-scale nuclear is ebbing in the United Kingdom. Can small-scale projects rescue this technology, and with it ambitions for a low-carbon economy? Perhaps, but government support, such as that announced this week, is an ambiguous blessing. The troubles facing nuclear generation, as argued in a previous post, may simply be a feature of […]

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  • How Dead is Nuclear Energy?

    • Date: 13/03/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    The troubled near future of nuclear electricity generation in the United Kingdom is now plain to all. In spite of subsidies, Electricité de France (EdF), is not confident that it can obtain a return on capital investment in a new power station at Hinkley in Somerset, and by implication at its sister site, Sizewell C, […]

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  • Reform Of National Grid

    • Date: 06/03/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    Rumoured reforms of National Grid’s role in the UK electricity market are long overdue, and could benefit consumers by removing the conflicts of interest that result from a company simultaneously owning the grid and also acting as the Transmission System Operator (TSO). This might also address the current and surprising lack of any party responsible for […]

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  • European Subsidies to Chinese Industries

    • Date: 28/02/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    Chinese wind turbine and solar manufacturers are increasingly dominant in the world markets, something that the EU did not fully anticipate when drawing up its policies. Indeed, in 2008, in modeling the impact of the Renewables Directive of 2009 its consultants dismissed as unlikely the “pessimistic export” scenario for Europe’s wind and solar industries. This was questionable […]

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  • Was the UK’s Clean Energy Shift of the 1990s Killed by EU Policies?

    • Date: 21/02/16
    • Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    In the last decade of the 20th Century the UK seemed to be moving firmly towards a cleaner energy sector, with higher consumption of gas for electricity and heating, and an increasing levels of electrification, but this very positive transition appears to have stalled in last two decades, partly as the result of market distortions […]

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