China’s largest nuclear power firm plans to expand into the UK’s renewable market
The largest nuclear power company in China and the third largest in the world, China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN), aims to expand its operations in the UK.
The firm is targeting clean energy projects in Britain, specifically wind power and liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities.
CGN already owns more than 300MW of wind capacity in the UK – the firm acquired a 33.5% stake in the 3.3GW Hinkley Point C farm in 2016, as well as 20% shares in 3.2GW Sizewell C, both from EDF.
The company also has 66.5% stake in the Bradwell B nuclear plant located in the east of England.
CGN confirmed it is willing to pursue all avenues to add to its UK portfolio, including acquisitions and green field project development.
“In the UK, we aim to become an important and reliable developer, operator and builder of clean energy projects,” remarked Zheng Dongshan, Senior Vice President of CGN.
The firm has set the ambitious goal of potentially reaching the same operating scale of EDF Energy in the future.
CGN aims to invest in cleaner energy in the UK as it decommissions old nuclear reactors and coal-fired plants in a bid to focus on renewables.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.