This is a list of sources of information about the UK Energy Infrastructure sector, compiled by the ICE Energy panel.
General civil engineering knowledge:
Institution of Civil Engineers, Knowledge and Resources - Energy: -
- Energy (all resources)
- Recorded Lectures
- Best Practice
- Briefing sheets
- Case studies
- Blog articles
- Virtual Library - Journals
Energy Matters (Academic blog/commentary)
Renewable Energy Foundation (Charity for sustainability)
2. Storage information:
National Grid Grounds for constraint?
Energy Storage Sense (blog about energy storage technologies and issues)
3. Solar information:
Green Rhino Energy - solar spectra for solar panels
Low Carbon Innovation Co-ordination Group
New Civil Engineer (magazine)
6. Electricity / Energy
7. Climate Change
Hinkley Point C Contract for Difference: 451 pages
10. Nuclear Decommissioning
This very good File on 4 radio documentary looks at the delays and spiralling costs in decommissioning old power station sites and asks how well is our nuclear industry being managed? Overall, it is reasonably well balanced. It has a brief discussion of new build projects and a more in depth probe of decommissioning contracts.
On decommissioning both the government and NDA come in for serious criticism on contract issues from those involved on the contractor side, which seems warranted considering the court judgement on the awarding of a major multisite decommissioning contract.
On new build, the programme gives the impression that there is a serious risk of nuclear new build projects stalling with only Hinkley Point C (HPC) now up and running. Other planned projects such as Moorside are delayed; there were plans for 3 reactors online by late 2020s but the site is still farmland.
HPC costs and delays are mentioned including delays by the government in giving the go ahead. The agreement of the £92.5 strike price was in late 2012. At that time this was similar to onshore wind and much less than offshore wind. Since then prices have fallen but with gas generation still the dominant source of power (47% today) it is clear that one low carbon technology can't deliver future energy needs alone. As for customers paying a premium for nuclear, it is true that ultimately if projects are privately financed, the customer will pay. How much of a premium depends on the price of generated power when HPC goes online.
Current guidance for Nuclear Decommissioning:
There is detailed guidance in place to ensure as far as possible that the Operator is liable for costs of decommissioning and management/disposal/storage of any wastes. The process is designed to ensure that the Funded Decommissioning Programme (FDP) built up over the years of operation is sufficient to pay for all of this.
A quote from the 2011 guidance explains the onus on operators to decommission nuclear sites:
"Any Operator of a nuclear power station is responsible for dealing with any waste that it produces and ensuring that the site is decommissioned and remediated in accordance with relevant legal and licensing requirements. The purpose of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of the Energy Act is to establish a regime whereby Operators of new nuclear power stations have in place plans for decommissioning their stations, and managing and disposing of the waste that they produce. They must also make prudent provision to meet the full cost of their decommissioning and their full share of waste management and waste disposal costs"
Of course there can be no cast iron guarantee for future events e.g. if a government decides to close down the power station early even though it is safe to operate, it would be difficult to expect the Operator to fully fund the process.
Disposal seems to be the preferred term for dealing with nuclear waste, which means putting it somewhere secure and safe.
11. Environment data
12. Energy organisations and bodies
SSE (UK Energy company)
Guardian Energy / Environment Section (UK Newspaper)
E3G (Climate Change Thinktank)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (intergovernmental nuclear organisation for industrialised countries)
Ingénieurs et scientifiques de France (IESF, British section of professional body for scientists and engineers)