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Triple Crunch Log                                                                                                            

chief executive of SSE, who commissioned the report, says it is “a timely re-minder to all policymakers of the need to maintain a pro-investment climate in which investors can have confidence.”220

French anti-nuclear NGO holds leaked documents admitting crash risk to new reactors. The Sortir du Nucléaire Group, an alliance of 725 associations, says in a press release that it “has in its possession a secret defence document of EDF, the French Electricity Board, which clearly admits the danger to pressurised water reactors (PWR) in the event of a suicide crash. Because Madame Lauvergeon, Director General of AREVA, constructor of the reactor, maintains that it is built to resist to a commercial plane suicide crash, the group considers imperative to reveal the truth of the situation by publishing the contents of the secret defence document.”221

Danish environment minister says climate treaty is unlikely this year. This pessimism, from the chairperson in Copenhagen, adds to that of the FCCC222

Leggett response to Monbiot 2: I accept George Monbiot’s £100 solar PV bet. “I wish to make nine points in my response to George Monbiot's latest round in our disagreement about the importance of solar photovoltaics (PV) 223

9.3.10. Sarkhozy appeals to World Bank to finance nuclear reactors, ending a 50 year abstention, as part of a major international nuclear financing push. “Industry insiders believe no more than a handful will be built in the next decade,” the FT reports. “According to the Nuclear Energy Agency, a reactor costs roughly $4,600 per kilowatt to build, taking a mid-sized 1000MW reactor to $4.6bn (€3.38bn, £3.02bn). The NEA estimates between 100 and 400 new reactors could be built by 2030.” Roger Morier, World Bank spokesman, says there is no plan to change the ban on financing of nuclear set in in 1996, because it is "still not the least cost option in many areas."224

Lithium supplies uncertain as S Korea strives to extract the crucial battery element from seawater. They seem confident of an industrial process by 2014, but are hedging their bets, seeking – like Japan (who both have no domestic supplies, unlike China - deals in Chile and Bolivia in the past few years. Chile is the biggest producer, but Bolivia has the world’s biggest reserves - although they are not yet assessed as being economically recoverable.225

Synthetic Genomics optimistic about being able to bring algal biofuel to scale. Ina WSJ interview, Craig Ventor thinks Exxon’s $300m funding can make all the difference, and fuel could be in tanks within a decade, with all fuel from algae perhaps within 20-30 years.

11.3.10. Another assault from Monbiot on PV: no corrections despite many errors pointed out to him. “Solar PV has failed in Germany and it will fail in the UK.”226

16.3.10. Ten sites named in £4bn UK marine energy push. Up to 1.2GW will be generated, by devices including the Pelamis wave machine, and the SeaGen tidal machine. Alex Salmond, Scotland's first minister, hopes Scotland can produce 60GW, 10 times its electricity needs, and become the “Saudi Arabia” of marine energy.227

Sheffield steelmaker wins £170m to make nuclear forges. Sheffield Forgemasters has been in funding negotiations for more than six months, including a government soft loan of £65m, and now has secured the last remaining £20m from bank loans enabling it to build “a 15,000-tonne press to make large forgings used in modern reactors being built in the UK and overseas.”228

18.3.10. Germany will add 5GW of solar PV in 2010, government says. Up from 3GW in 2009, which was fully half the global installations in the €18bn ($24 bn) global market. The cumulative installed capacity in Germany at end 2009 was 9 GW. A 16-percent July cut in the deed-in tariff will be followed by a further 11-13 percent cut in January. “The crucial point will be the cuts of another 11 percent in January 2011,” a government spokesman says. The FIT was already cut by 9 percent in January.229

Leggett response to Monbiot 3: “George Monbiot's third article on government grants for domestic solar panels ignores the errors that I and others have protested about in the opening assertion in his first article. He alleged that the UK government's feed-in tariff regime is "about to transfer £8.6bn from the poor to the middle classes". In saying that, he managed to get three things wrong. The actual sum raised from the tariff levy from all electricity consumers, not just households, to 2030 will be £6.7bn; it will be spread over 20 years; and it will be more than offset – if the government is true to its word – by energy efficiency savings stimulated in parallel market-building schemes. Yet we see no retraction in George's latest, much less an apology for trying to turn feed-in tariffs into a new form of class war on a false premise. That was just where the problems began in the first article. In his third, he rewords many of his original mistaken views. I address those one by one on my website.230

Jonathon Porritt offers an adjudication on the feed-in tariffs debate: “I’m sorry to say, on this occasion, that he (Monbiot) is way out of line. Jeremy Leggett’s detailed refutation of so much of what he was claiming in the original article demonstrates just how poor George’s initial research was, and how (on this occasion, at least) his love of adopting deliberately controversialist positions simply overwhelmed basic journalistic standards.”231

22.3.10. Government meets UK industry on peak oil: “it certainly felt like a pretty historic occasion to me”, says Rob Hopkins, a participant: “an event which could potentially be the day people look back to as the day when UK government finally starting to ‘get’ peak oil.”  Summary for the minister: The exact date of peak oil is an academic extraction, what matters is its inevitability. There is a high risk of its happening as soon as we come out of recession, in 3 or 4 years time. Prices will inevitably be higher. In the near term we will be able to rely on more natural gas thanks to unconventional gas (not sure about that one at all, I suspect that is one of that speaker’s pet techno fantasies!!). Government intervention will be inevitable. That behaviour change will be key, and government will need to message this carefully, stating that things will be different but no worse. We need improvements in public transport, including electrification. The land use planning system needs to bear this in mind, and we may, at some point, be forced to consider rationing. “Although Chatham House rules prevent me from stating what the Minister said, there is clearly a desire to continue this dialogue on peak oil. 232

Engyco flotation seeks to raise up to €1bn to invest in existing Spanish solar farms. The model is to buy them cheap from distressed owners, and run them more cheaply than existing owners. John Roberts is non-executive Chairman. Former Solon CEO Thomas Krupke is a director.. A Q-cells founder is also aboard.233

24.3.10. Green Investment Bank announced in UK Budget will match RBS tar sands lending. It will be “throwing good money after bad,” says the World Development Movement. £2bn is not enough to transform UK into a low carbon economy, and the Government should take RBS in hand to increase its renewable investments and phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies. RBS has scaled back its lending to renewables

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