World Powers Agree to Reopen Talks with Iran
World powers, including the US and five other countries, have agreed to resume negotiations with Iran in an effort to alleviate the crisis, represented by EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton.
“I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue,” Ashton announced in a statement broadcast from the alliance’s Brussels headquarters. “We hope that Iran will now enter a sustained process of constructive dialogue which will deliver real progress.”
Last January, similar discussions failed and ended in a standstill. Iran proposed to resume talks in February, but Ashton warned in a letter that they must “engage seriously without preconditions” that may otherwise allow them to buy more time to build up an enriched uranium stockpile.
After opening a key military base to nuclear inspectors, Iran made the decision to resume talks about its nuclear program. However, the visit to the Parchin military complex can only take place after agreements are met on outstanding issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
When Iran refused access to the IAEA in a visit in February, Western intelligence reports concluded that the complex may be using the grounds to test nuclear weapons. Iran denies such claims and fears that visits to its sites based on Western information could be a cover for espionage.
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“Imagine that we would constantly demand access to U.S. aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines,” said Sadollah Zarei, a columnist for the hard-line state newspaper Kayhan told the Washington Post. “Naturally that would be a long debate.”
Regardless, it's a good sign Iran is showing adamant signs of cooperation with the IAEA, while the West affirms its goal is not to strip Iran of its rights to nuclear energy.
“Our overall goal remains a comprehensive negotiated, long-term solution which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme, while respecting Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy,” wrote Ashton.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
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.
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.