Jul 2, 2015

After Fukushima-Daichi, why is the European commission subsidizing nuclear plants in the UK?

Tomas H. Lucero
3 min
Greenpeace, a “leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmenta...

Greenpeace, a “leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future” (greenpeace.org) and nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewables announced on Thursday that they will be taking legal action against the European commission’s decision to subsidize the Hinkley Point C nuclear project in the United Kingdom.

[Related: [INFOGRAPHIC] Picturing the Complex Nuclear Energy Landscape]

The utilities joining Greenpeace are "Energieversorgung Filstal, municipal utilities (called Stadtwerke) of Aalen, Bietigheim-Bissingen, Bochum, Mainz, Muehlacker, Schwaebisch Hall and Tuebingen and Austria's oekostrom," according to Reuters.

Greenpeace, and companies’, rationale for their lawsuit  is that “billions of euros of subsidies for nuclear energy would distort prices in mainland European power markets, which are linked to those in Britain via a small French interconnector,” reports Reuters.

Price guarantees for Hinkley Point C’s output, calculated over 35 years, would amount to 108 billion euros and state guarantees for construction would be upwards of 20 billion euros.

“Artificially low prices of electricity derived from subsidized nuclear plants would push up prices German consumes were paying for green energy,” said the plaintiffs, quoted by Reuters.

EDF, a French utility, is the entity hired to build the new nuclear facility.

Supporters of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant project don’t believe that the price of green energy in Europe will be affected.

They argue that nuclear energy is necessary because wind and solar energy cannot provide a reliable energy supply all day and all year round. They also argue that the technology to store excess energy cost-effectively does not exist yet and may cost too much when it is developed.

[Related: EIA: Japan Bringing Limited Nuclear Power Back Online]

Subsidizing the building of more nuclear facilities is a bad idea because nuclear energy is too dangerous.

A clear example of the danger of nuclear energy is the Fukushima-Daichi disaster. Radiation continues to spill into the water and the air. The general population is being kept in the dark about the ultimate effects of the accident.

The money currently destined to subsidize Hinkley Point C can be put to much better use by investing it in green energy R&D. Private enterprise has already made great strides towards developing energy storage batteries that can tide people over nights and winters. A public-private enterprise with high tech may be just the needed push to create cost-effective solutions to energy storage.

Greenpeace and their allies argue that subsidizing nuclear energy will increase the price of green energy in the future in Europe. The laws of economics support this.

EDF and other supporters of the nuclear facility don’t accept that receiving state money to build Hinkley Point C will raise the price of green energy. They believe that sun and wind energy will not be able to power homes and businesses at night and during winters.

[Related: What Does it Cost to Decommission a Nuclear Power Plant?]

If we put a man on the moon we can design batteries that will store wind and solar energy for future use. We can also design more efficient turbines and panels that will increase the energy created from the elements. Nuclear energy needs to be scrapped and monies need to be redirected towards the future, green, renewable energy sources.  

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Apr 16, 2021

Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada

Dominic Ellis
2 min
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to take critical steps toward construction
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to take critical steps toward construction...

Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.

The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction. 

The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.

The project has support from Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.

The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”

A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth. 

Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."

The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.

Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019. 

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