The deal was signed Tuesday, Feb 24, during a meeting in Rome between Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The pact covers research and waste treatment as well as the construction of the nuclear plants. As part of the accord, Italian and French energy firms ENEL and EDF are to build at least four European pressurized water nuclear reactors (EPRs), the first of which is to be operational by 2020. France's EDF said it would extend its nuclear know-how to Italian company ENEL for the plants' construction. "We need to wake up from our slumber, and adapt to a future of renewable energy and nuclear power," Berlusconi said at a joint news conference with Sarkozy. "France, with great generosity, is opening to us. And let us recall that they can meet 80 percent of their energy needs with nuclear power, a source of clean energy using a safe system," Berlusconi said. Sarkozy: nuclear energy key to future EPRs are considered the next … [Read more...] about Italy Signs Deal With France for Return to Nuclear Power
Enel green power
Strong winds and strong state support: Romania is on its way to becoming wind energy's paradise. Back in 2008, the Bucharest government agreed on a law to promote renewable energies, which it published in the Romanian government gazette. However, the European Commission has to approve these plans since they count as state aid. It was not until this summer that the document was submitted to Brussels for signature. Missing: legal framework Things are not going fast enough for Dana Duica These delays are a huge problem for potential investors who want to support wind parks. "We are missing a stable legal framework," says Dana Duica, chairwoman of the Romanian Wind Energy Association. "Many companies have already made very important investment decisions since the law was published in 2008. But now, years later, it has still not been applied." From 20 to 1,000 Despite these starting problems, wind energy has experienced an enormous boom in Romania, one of the … [Read more...] about Romania pushes for clarity on wind power
Joined by the European energy commissioner, EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso chided European countries for being too nationalistic in the energy sector, and not working hard enough to find a common EU approach to the continent's approaching energy crisis. Nationalism an energy problem At the moment, 50 percent of the EU's energy use is dependent on energy imports. By 2030, according to the report, that figure could rise to 70 percent and require more than 1 trillion euros of investment in infrastructure. Though Europe is a champion of alternative energies and low-emissions cars, the report accuses the continent of not working hard enough to integrate its utility markets and increase competition among energy providers fighting for Europe's 450 million consumers. "We should refuse nationalism of an economic kind, especially in the energy sector in Europe," said Barroso. The comments came on the heels of German utilities company E.On's failed takeover of Spain's … [Read more...] about Europe Searching for a Better Energy Strategy
Australian mining shares sagged Monday as the country's stock market was the first to feel the impact of the Paris climate agreement, with fossil fuel companies ranking among the biggest losers. The sell-off was broad-based, with BHP Billiton down 3.49 percent, Rio Tinto shedding 2.04 percent, and Santos slumping the most ending 4.84 percent lower. But analysts said it was still too early to attribute the fall in Australia's traditionally strong mining sector to the results of the Paris climate pledges that aim to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels by cutting greenhouse gas emissions. "It's difficult to strip out what impact there has been, if any, given the day already had so many negatives," CMC Markets chief analyst Ric Spooner told the news agency AFP, pointing to weak oil and iron ore prices in Australia's mining-heavy economy. "That said, it's possible that investors will increasingly start to look to the … [Read more...] about Investors rethink portfolios after climate deal
Nuclear power is facing a fight for its life. Increased safety concerns, weak energy markets, and shifting technological potential look to be pulling the rug from under the 20th-century dream of a nuclear future of clean, cheap and plentiful energy. Struggling projects across the Visegrad region illustrate the difficulties. In spite of the shadows cast by Chernobyl and Fukushima, and the pickle in which US-Japanese giant Westinghouse finds itself, nuclear remains at the forefront of national energy strategy in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The projects have spent years treading water, and many are thought unlikely to ever become a reality. Yet in contrast to many countries to the west, it's not public opinion but hard cash that's the problem. "Nuclear is a religion in Visegrad," announces Jan Haverkamp of Greenpeace CEE (Central and Eastern Europe). "There is no discussion of investment risk or real safety concerns. The only thing discussed is who will pay for the … [Read more...] about Central Europe keeps the nuclear faith
Jhoy Lavenga can hardly imagine a life without power outages. She sells sardines at the Coron market on the Philippine’s Visayan Islands, and she’s learned to keep candles ready to keep her business going. The islands’ electricity grid, operated with the help of three generators, often breaks down: like in many developing countries, blackouts in the Philippines are a near-daily occurrence. Decentralization the key When it comes to global access to electricity, many believe that official statistics are unreliable because numbers are often inflated to improve a country’s image. Sridhar Samudrala is the Asia director at the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE), a non-profit organization working to accelerate the global deployment of decentralized energy. Samudrala is currently working on a project in Thailand that is to integrate renewable energies into a smart grid. “Worldwide energy security no longer exists because of instable … [Read more...] about Are smart grids an energy game changer?