Tepco to Push Ahead With Restart of Niigata Nuclear Plant
Tokyo Electric Power Co. -operator of the ruined Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station – vowed to push ahead with its plan to restart another atomic plant in Niigata prefecture as it looks to return to profitability. The idled Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata was the world’s largest nuclear power station by generating capacity. It sits on a site on the opposite coast from Fukushima. Hirohiko Izumida, the governor of Niigata prefecture has yet to give TEPCO his approval.
India Reveals Plans of Building “Ultra Mega” Solar Power Plant
India has unveiled plans to construct an “ultra mega” 4 GW solar power plant on a 23,000-acre site near Sambhar Lake at the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Dubbed as the Sambhar Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project, it is 10 times bigger than the largest solar power plant operating in India today. The force behind the ambitious project, the Ministry of Heavy Industry, expects to complete the 1-GW first phase by the end of 2016.
UK Utilities Blame Clean Energy Policies for Higher Bills
U.K. utilities are pointing the finger on the government saying that its clean energy policies are the cause for higher electricity bills. They say that the cost of solar and wind power, along with the government’s goal to install smart meters in every household have boosted costs for consumers. The remarks were aimed to quell the demands of Ed Miliband, who leads the opposition Labor Party, for the industry to freeze the cost of energy until 2017. The average household power bill has increased 68 percent since 2008 even though the economy suffered a recession.
US Sunshot’s Goals are Unachievable Says Analyst
A new analysis by Lux Research says that the U.S.’ Sunshot Intiative goal of $1 per Watt installed for utility-scale projects by 2020 is not attainable, based on the pace of solar technology exploration being done today. Lux analyst Fatima Toor says that the current industry is still several dollars above the Department of Energy’s marks and suggests that it will still be 13 percent higher even in 2030. Half that $1/W SunShot target relies on improvements in the upstream manufacturing side, meaning $0.50/W prices for modules, which is simply not achievable based on today’s traditional cell designs if producers want sustainable margins, Toor adds.
Image courtesy by Japan Daily Press.