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21 июня, 15:18

Canadian Solar Divests Stake in Brazil's Pirapora II Project

Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) has announced the divestment of 80% stake of its Pirapora II solar energy project to EDF EN do Brasil.

07 марта 2015, 07:24

25 миллионов «вежливых людей»

Обжегшись на Украине, российская дипломатия делает ставку не на работу с элитами, а на «мягкую силу» в лице общественных и партийно-политических структур.  В Совете федерации приводят в качестве примера появившуюся в ФРГ партию «Единство», которая состоит из бывших выходцев с постсоветского пространства. Аналогичных сил ждут в Италии и Франции. В четверг члены Совфеда обсуждали механизм выстраивания взаимодействия России с зарубежным «русским миром».  «Организациям соотечественников необходимо переходить к превращению в самостоятельную влиятельную общественную силу в тех странах, где они проживают. Этот процесс должен быть поддержан со стороны России», – заявил председатель круглого стола сенатор Константин Косачев, возглавляющий комитет по международным делам Совета Федерации.  В качестве положительного примера использования Россией «мягкой силы» сенаторы привели формирование в Германии партии «Единство» (Einheit), которая уже получила регистрацию в некоторых федеральных землях ФРГ. Партия была создана весной 2013 года. Ее численность на конец прошлого года составляла более четыре тыс. человек по стране.  В трех федеральных землях были проведены учредительные собрания, в других землях партия ждет документов по регистрации. Несмотря на то, что партия не смогла провести своих депутатов на местном уровне, ее представители работают в комитетах по миграции при нескольких городских советах.  «Можно сказать, что мы поддерживаем позицию России по многим вопросам – по Украине, противодействию переписыванию истории, противодействию росту националистических настроений здесь, в Европе. Здесь мы союзники и готовы поддерживать Россию в этих направлениях», – рассказал РБС председатель партии Дмитрий Ремпель. По его словам, финансовой помощи из России никто не ждет: «Мы немецкая партия, не ориентируемся на российскую помощь, да и не хотим ее, иначе это будет расценено как вмешательство». В то же время эта политическая сила поддерживает контакты с российскими бизнесменами и общественными движениями. В свою очередь, финансирование партии осуществляется за счет членских взносов и пожертвований.

06 марта 2015, 19:26

25 миллионов «вежливых людей»

Российская дипломатия во внешней политике делает ставку на соотечественников

21 октября 2013, 16:26

Атомная китайская эра

Великобритания выбрала подрядчиков для строительства АЭСВеликобритания решилась на строительство на своей территории атомной электростанции, несмотря на осторожное отношение к этому виду энергии на Западе после аварии на «Фукусиме-1». Правда, родоначальница западной атомной энергетики сейчас совершенно не в состоянии строить АЭС своими силами и вынуждена привлекать китайские деньги.В понедельник Великобритания подпишет соглашение с французской компанией EDF о строительстве на территории страны двух атомных реакторов. Общая стоимость проекта составляет 25,9 млрд долларов.Строительством АЭС EDF займется не самостоятельно, будет действовать целый консорциум. В него входят компании EDF Group (45–50%), AREVA (10%), China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) и China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) (в общем 30–40%), передает ПРАЙМ. Принятие окончательного инвестиционного решения ожидается к июлю 2014 года, завершение ввода в эксплуатацию первого блока запланировано на 2023 год. Проект по строительству АЭС создаст в Великобритании до 25 тыс. рабочих мест. После завершения строительства на станции будут работать 900 человек. На АЭС Hinkley Point C будет установлено два атомных реактора типа EPR (European Pressurised Water Reactor). Это атомный реактор третьего поколения, разработанный AREVA, EDF и немецкой компанией Siemens. Станция будет давать 7% электроэнергии Соединенного Королевства. В правительстве ожидают заключения новых сделок по АЭС с другими разработчиками и провозглашают ренессанс атомной энергетики в стране. «Это (сделка с EDF – прим. ВЗГЛЯД) станет вехой для нового поколения ядерной энергетики в Великобритании, важным вложением в нашу будущую потребность в энергии и безопасность поставок», – сказал премьер-министр Дэвид Кэмерон. Несмотря на пафос заявлений официальных властей общественность в Великобритании с досадой относится к новой сделке. Дело в том, что именно Соединенное Королевство было пионером в использовании атомной энергетики в мирных целях. Именно здесь, написали перед сделкой британские СМИ, 57 лет назад была установлена первая АЭС в мире. Она называлась Calder Hall. Город Уоркингтон стал первым городом в мире, получившим свет, тепло и электричество от атомной энергии, пишет Financial Times.Они упустили из виду, что первой АЭС является Обнинская, запущенная на два года раньше Calder Hall. Британская атомная станция стала первой за пределами Советского Союза, но это не умаляет того факта, что Соединенное Королевство в середине прошлого века стояло на передовой в области атомных технологий. Даже США запустили свою АЭС только через год после британской. Но теперь лидерство страны в этой отрасли является историей, пусть и славной. Теперь Великобритания, для того чтобы построить атомную электростанцию, вынуждена обращаться к французским технологиям и китайским деньгам, без которых ее атомная программа не сможет состояться. Эксперты утверждают, что потеря мирового лидерства в этой области стала результатом решений, которые были приняты правительством в 1980-х и 1990-х годах, когда была сделана ставка на газ. «Ставка на газ была ошибкой, отказом от стратегического планирования и лишением себя возможности воспользоваться ядерным вариантом», – отмечает директор инжиниринговой компании Pöyry Мэтт Браун. Последней АЭС, построенной в Великобритании в 1995 году, стала Sizewell B в Саффолке. Там использовался реактор американской Westinghouse. Ожидалось, что тогда Лондон сможет совершить прорыв в ядерной энергетике, построив еще две АЭС. Но проект не состоялся. В 1996 году компания-оператор восьми британских атомных станций British Energy была приватизирована и объявила, что не сможет больше вкладывать деньги в атом. Кроме того, в 1990-х Соединенное Королевство решило не продолжать свою программу по разработке реакторов на быстрых нейтронах, которую государство долго поддерживало. Таким образом, произошел отказ от многообещающей технологии, которую теперь активно развивают Франция, Китай, Индия и другие. «В результате приватизации финансирование ядерных исследований и разработок снизилось, – сказал профессор Эндрю Шерри, директор Далтонского ядерного института в Университете Манчестера. – Способность Великобритании развивать свои собственные ядерные программы и привлекать высококвалифицированных специалистов в сектор упала до очень низкого уровня».Теперь Великобритания вынуждена идти на уступки французам и китайцам. Лондон договорился, что цена на электроэнергию новой АЭС будет составлять 89,5 фунта за мегаватт (144,7 доллара), что почти вдвое превышает среднюю цену на местном рынке. По поводу сложившейся ситуации высказался даже архиепископ Кентерберийский Джастин Уэлби, заявивший, что понимает людей, которые считают установленную цену «необъяснимой». Он призвал энергетические компании проявлять «щедрость», а не гнаться за прибылью. Но может получиться наоборот. Если правительство и EDF не договорятся о строительстве второй АЭС Sizewell C в Саффолке, то цена электроэнергии с Hinkley Point C вырастет до 92,5 фунта. В планах Великобритании снижение выброса CO2 на 80% к 2050 году, в рамках чего ожидается увеличение производства атомной энергии с 12 гигаватт до 75 гигаватт. От стремления Великобритании увеличить выработку атомной энергии стремится выиграть и Росатом. Правда, специалисты отмечали, что шансы российской компании не так высоки, как хотелось бы. «Шансы у Росатома маленькие, потому что у него нет обоснованных проектов, которые могли бы выдержать все требования страны с развитой электроэнергетикой – Великобритании. Он не сможет соответствовать повышенным требованиям западных покупателей, это вам не Турция и не Вьетнам», – говорил газете ВЗГЛЯД бывший замминистра России по ядерной энергетике Булат Нигматулин. Тем не менее, в сентябре глава госкорпорации Сергей Кириенко встречался с министром энергетики Великобритании Майклом Фэллоном. Был подписан меморандум о взаимопонимании по сотрудничеству в атомной энергетике. Кроме того, что не менее важно, Росатом подписал соглашение о сотрудничестве с компаниями Rolls-Royce и Fortum. Через них госкорпорация хочет добиться приближения к британским стандартам. Rolls-Royce обладает опытом в подготовке к лицензированию проектов АЭС регулирующими органами Великобритании, а специалисты Fortum могут помочь при подготовке документации в рамках проработки возможностей по сооружению и эксплуатации АЭС с российскими реакторами ВВЭР на территории страны.http://vz.ru/economy/2013/10/21/655867.html

21 октября 2013, 13:45

Экономика: Британия построит себе АЭС на китайские деньги

Великобритания решилась на строительство на своей территории атомной электростанции, несмотря на осторожное отношение к этому виду энергии на Западе после аварии на «Фукусиме-1». Правда, родоначальница западной атомной энергетики сейчас совершенно не в состоянии строить АЭС своими силами и вынуждена привлекать китайские деньги. В понедельник Великобритания подпишет соглашение с французской компанией EDF о строительстве на территории страны двух атомных реакторов. Общая стоимость проекта составляет 25,9 млрд долларов. Строительством АЭС EDF займется не самостоятельно, будет действовать целый консорциум. В него входят компании EDF Group (45–50%), AREVA (10%), China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) и China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) (в общем 30–40%), передает ПРАЙМ. Принятие окончательного инвестиционного решения ожидается к июлю 2014 года, завершение ввода в эксплуатацию первого блока запланировано на 2023 год. Проект по строительству АЭС создаст в Великобритании до 25 тыс. рабочих мест. После завершения строительства на станции будут работать 900 человек. На АЭС Hinkley Point C будет установлено два атомных реактора типа EPR (European Pressurised Water Reactor). Это атомный реактор третьего поколения, разработанный AREVA, EDF и немецкой компанией Siemens. Станция будет давать 7% электроэнергии Соединенного Королевства. В правительстве ожидают заключения новых сделок по АЭС с другими разработчиками и провозглашают ренессанс атомной энергетики в стране. «Это (сделка с EDF – прим. ВЗГЛЯД) станет вехой для нового поколения ядерной энергетики в Великобритании, важным вложением в нашу будущую потребность в энергии и безопасность поставок», – сказал премьер-министр Дэвид Кэмерон. Несмотря на пафос заявлений официальных властей общественность в Великобритании с досадой относится к новой сделке. Дело в том, что именно Соединенное Королевство было пионером в использовании атомной энергетики в мирных целях. Именно здесь, написали перед сделкой британские СМИ, 57 лет назад была установлена первая АЭС в мире. Она называлась Calder Hall. Город Уоркингтон стал первым городом в мире, получившим свет, тепло и электричество от атомной энергии, пишет Financial Times. Они упустили из виду, что первой АЭС является Обнинская, запущенная на два года раньше Calder Hall. Британская атомная станция стала первой за пределами Советского Союза, но это не умаляет того факта, что Соединенное Королевство в середине прошлого века стояло на передовой в области атомных технологий. Даже США запустили свою АЭС только через год после британской. Но теперь лидерство страны в этой отрасли является историей, пусть и славной. Теперь Великобритания, для того чтобы построить атомную электростанцию, вынуждена обращаться к французским технологиям и китайским деньгам, без которых ее атомная программа не сможет состояться. Эксперты утверждают, что потеря мирового лидерства в этой области стала результатом решений, которые были приняты правительством в 1980-х и 1990-х годах, когда была сделана ставка на газ. «Ставка на газ была ошибкой, отказом от стратегического планирования и лишением себя возможности воспользоваться ядерным вариантом», – отмечает директор инжиниринговой компании Pöyry Мэтт Браун. Последней АЭС, построенной в Великобритании в 1995 году, стала Sizewell B в Саффолке. Там использовался реактор американской Westinghouse. Ожидалось, что тогда Лондон сможет совершить прорыв в ядерной энергетике, построив еще две АЭС. Но проект не состоялся. В 1996 году компания-оператор восьми британских атомных станций British Energy была приватизирована и объявила, что не сможет больше вкладывать деньги в атом. Кроме того, в 1990-х Соединенное Королевство решило не продолжать свою программу по разработке реакторов на быстрых нейтронах, которую государство долго поддерживало. Таким образом, произошел отказ от многообещающей технологии, которую теперь активно развивают Франция, Китай, Индия и другие. «В результате приватизации финансирование ядерных исследований и разработок снизилось, – сказал профессор Эндрю Шерри, директор Далтонского ядерного института в Университете Манчестера. – Способность Великобритании развивать свои собственные ядерные программы и привлекать высококвалифицированных специалистов в сектор упала до очень низкого уровня». Теперь Великобритания вынуждена идти на уступки французам и китайцам. Лондон договорился, что цена на электроэнергию новой АЭС будет составлять 89,5 фунта за мегаватт (144,7 доллара), что почти вдвое превышает среднюю цену на местном рынке. По поводу сложившейся ситуации высказался даже архиепископ Кентерберийский Джастин Уэлби, заявивший, что понимает людей, которые считают установленную цену «необъяснимой». Он призвал энергетические компании проявлять «щедрость», а не гнаться за прибылью. Но может получиться наоборот. Если правительство и EDF не договорятся о строительстве второй АЭС Sizewell C в Саффолке, то цена электроэнергии с Hinkley Point C вырастет до 92,5 фунта. В планах Великобритании снижение выброса CO2 на 80% к 2050 году, в рамках чего ожидается увеличение производства атомной энергии с 12 гигаватт до 75 гигаватт. От стремления Великобритании увеличить выработку атомной энергии стремится выиграть и Росатом. Правда, специалисты отмечали, что шансы российской компании не так высоки, как хотелось бы. «Шансы у Росатома маленькие, потому что у него нет обоснованных проектов, которые могли бы выдержать все требования страны с развитой электроэнергетикой – Великобритании. Он не сможет соответствовать повышенным требованиям западных покупателей, это вам не Турция и не Вьетнам», – говорил газете ВЗГЛЯД бывший замминистра России по ядерной энергетике Булат Нигматулин. Тем не менее, в сентябре глава госкорпорации Сергей Кириенко встречался с министром энергетики Великобритании Майклом Фэллоном. Был подписан меморандум о взаимопонимании по сотрудничеству в атомной энергетике. Кроме того, что не менее важно, Росатом подписал соглашение о сотрудничестве с компаниями Rolls-Royce и Fortum. Через них госкорпорация хочет добиться приближения к британским стандартам. Rolls-Royce обладает опытом в подготовке к лицензированию проектов АЭС регулирующими органами Великобритании, а специалисты Fortum могут помочь при подготовке документации в рамках проработки возможностей по сооружению и эксплуатации АЭС с российскими реакторами ВВЭР на территории страны. Теги:  Росатом, Россия и Великобритания, атомная энергетика Закладки: 

17 сентября 2013, 04:00

Study Presents Results on Methane Release and Natural Gas Production

A new study released today by researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, generally tracks with U.S. EPA's most recent estimates for the amount of methane released into the atmosphere each year by natural gas production. The study, which will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by UT Austin with participation from the Environmental Defense Fund and nine major petroleum producers. It was intended to help end the debate over methane emissions from natural gas production -- and to solidify the role gas use can play in helping to limit man-made climate change. Emissions data for gas have been incomplete. EPA released its annual "Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks" in April, which showed that hydraulic fracturing released about 1.5 percent of total output into the atmosphere in 2011. Natural gas systems overall were responsible for 144.7 teragrams of carbon dioxide equivalent in that year, more methane than any other sector, the agency estimated. But EPA's calculations were based on reported estimates, not empirical data. They were panned by industry groups as an overestimation of the sector's emissions, while some reports showed much higher levels of methane leakage. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Colorado, Boulder, for example, released a study finding that leaks in two U.S. drilling sites were between 4 and 9 percent. But the UT Austin study used direct measurements from wellheads being operated by participating companies, including Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Chevron Corp. and arrived at estimates that tracked closely with the ones in EPA's analysis. The new study also showed that so-called green completions, which capture methane at the wellhead, are effective at limiting the amount of methane leaked during production. EPA promulgated a rule last year that will require operators to phase in the use of green completions by 2015, and the UT study showed that the use of that technology had proved even more effective in limiting methane leakage than the agency assumed in its inventory. "EPA has largely gotten it right, both in terms of the amount of methane the production side is producing as well as the need to have regulations for green completions," said Drew Nelson, who worked on the study for EDF. But the study also found that the agency had underestimated the amount of methane leaked by pneumatics -- or valves that keep natural gas moving and maintain pressure in pipelines. Interest in the climate-forcing properties of gas has grown as it continues to displace coal in electric generation. EPA is set to release a new carbon dioxide rule by Friday that industry expects will give further advantages to gas at coal's expense (Greenwire, Sept. 13). Environmentalists, meanwhile, have argued that EPA should consider promulgating a New Source Performance Standard to rein in methane emissions from natural gas production. Nelson said today's study and subsequent ones EDF is collaborating on may help inform future regulatory actions by the agency. "I think the study clearly shows that the regulations that are in place are effective, but it also clearly shows that there are many other opportunities for regulations and to bring these emissions down even further," he said. "The good news from an environmental perspective is that these emissions are much lower than some of the previous estimates that have been put out there, but I don't think this study shows that the problem is solved and we can all go home now and worry about other issues," Nelson added. Understanding the life-cycle greenhouse gas footprint of gas is key to understanding the fuel's overall climate benefits or liabilities, he noted. The gas industry hailed the study as further evidence that more use of its product is a boon to the environment. "The study provides further support for the findings of other credible researchers -- that greater use of natural gas can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Erica Bowman, vice president of research and policy analysis for America's Natural Gas Alliance. "We are continually putting into operation equipment and practices that demonstrate our commitment to lower emissions in the production process. We look forward to working with stakeholders to ensure the best science is applied in future study of this issue and that as an industry we continue the substantial progress we have made through ongoing innovation." Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter Republished from E&ENEWS PM with permission. GreenWire covers the energy and environmental policy news. Click here for a free trial Copyright E&E Publishing  

10 сентября 2013, 18:25

Naomi Klein: 'Big green groups are more damaging than climate deniers'

Environment movement is in 'deep denial' over the right ways to tackle climate change, says Canadian authorCanadian author Naomi Klein is so well known for her blade-sharp commentary that it's easy to forget that she is, above all, a first-rate reporter. I got a glimpse into her priorities as I was working on this interview. Klein told me she was worried that some of the things she had said would make it hard for her to land an interview with a president of the one of the Big Green groups (read below and you'll see why). She was more interested in nabbing the story than being the story; her reporting trumped any opinion-making.Such focus is a hallmark of Klein's career. She doesn't do much of the chattering class's news cycle blathering. She works steadily, carefully, quietly. It can be surprising to remember that Klein's immense global influence rests on a relatively small body of work; she has published three books, one of which is an anthology of magazine pieces. Klein's first book, No Logo, investigated how brand names manipulate public desires while exploiting the people who make their products. The book came out just weeks after the WTO protests in Seattle and became an international bestseller. Her next major book, The Shock Doctrine, argued that free-marketeers often use crises – natural or manufactured – to ram through deregulatory policies. With her newest, yet-to-be named book, Klein turns her attention to climate change. Scheduled for release in 2014, the book will also be made into a film by her husband and creative partner, Avi Lewis.Klein's books and articles have sought to articulate a counternarrative to the march of corporate globalization and government austerity. She believes climate change provides a new chance for creating such a counternarrative. "The book I am writing is arguing that our responses to climate change can rebuild the public sphere, can strengthen our communities, can have work with dignity." First, though, she has to finish the reporting. As she told me, speaking about the grassroots response to climate chaos: "Right now it's under the radar, but I'm following it quite closely."During your career you've written about the power of brand names, populist movements around the world, and free market fundamentalism. Why now a book and film on climate change? You know, The Shock Doctrine, my last book, ends with climate change. It ends with a vision of a dystopic future where you have weak infrastructure colliding with heavy weather, as we saw with Hurricane Katrina. And rather than working to prevent future disasters by having lower emissions, you have all these attempts to take advantage of that crisis. At the time, it seemed to me that climate change was potentially going to be the biggest disaster-capitalism free-for-all that we've seen yet. So it was quite a logical progression for me to go from writing about disaster-capitalism in The Shock Doctrine to writing about climate change. As I was writing The Shock Doctrine, I was covering the Iraq War and profiteering from the war, and I started to see these patterns repeat in the aftermath of natural disasters, like the Asian tsunami and then Hurricane Katrina. There are chapters in that book on both of those events. Then I came to the idea that climate change could be a kind of a "people's shock," an answer to the shock doctrine – not just another opportunity by the disaster capitalists to feed off of misery, but an opportunity for progressive forces to deepen democracy and really improve livelihoods around the world. Then I came across the idea of "climate debt" when I was doing a piece on reparations for Harper's magazine. I had a meeting with Bolivia's climate negotiator in Geneva – her name is Angélica Navarro – and she put the case to me that climate change could be an opportunity for a global Green Marshall Plan with the North paying climate debts in the form of huge green development project. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy you wrote about the potential of a "people's shock." Do you see that it's happening, a global grassroots response to some of the extreme weather we're experiencing?I see a people's shock happening broadly, where on lots of different fronts you have constituencies coming forward who have been fighting, for instance, for sustainable agriculture for many, many years, and now realize that it's also a climate solution. You have a lot of reframing of issues – and not in an opportunistic way, just another layer of understanding. Here in Canada, the people who oppose the tar sands most forcefully are Indigenous people living downstream from the tar sands. They are not opposing it because of climate change – they are opposing it because it poisons their bodies. But the fact that it's also ruining the planet adds another layer of urgency. And it's that layering of climate change on top of other issues that holds a huge amount of potential. In terms of Hurricane Sandy, I really do see some hopeful, grassroots responses, particularly in the Rockaways, where people were very organized right from the beginning, where Occupy Sandy was very strong, where new networks emerged. The first phase is just recovery, and now as you have a corporate-driven reconstruction process descending, those organized communities are in a position to respond, to go to the meetings, to take on the real estate developers, to talk about another vision of public housing that is way better than what's there right now. So yeah, it's definitely happening. Right now it's under the radar, but I'm following it quite closely.In a piece you wrote for The Nation in November 2011 you suggested that when it comes to climate change, there's a dual denialism at work – conservatives deny the science while some liberals deny the political implications of the science. Why do you think that some environmentalists are resistant to grappling with climate change's implications for the market and for economics?Well, I think there is a very a deep denialism in the environmental movement among the Big Green groups. And to be very honest with you, I think it's been more damaging than the right-wing denialism in terms of how much ground we've lost. Because it has steered us in directions that have yielded very poor results. I think if we look at the track record of Kyoto, of the UN Clean Development Mechanism, the European Union's emissions trading scheme – we now have close to a decade that we can measure these schemes against, and it's disastrous. Not only are emissions up, but you have no end of scams to point to, which gives fodder to the right. The right took on cap-and-trade by saying it's going to bankrupt us, it's handouts to corporations, and, by the way, it's not going to work. And they were right on all counts. Not in the bankrupting part, but they were right that this was a massive corporate giveaway, and they were right that it wasn't going to bring us anywhere near what scientists were saying we needed to do lower emissions. So I think it's a really important question why the green groups have been so unwilling to follow science to its logical conclusions. I think the scientists Kevin Anderson and his colleague Alice Bows at the Tyndall Centre have been the most courageous on this because they don't just take on the green groups, they take on their fellow scientists for the way in which neoliberal economic orthodoxy has infiltrated the scientific establishment. It's really scary reading. Because they have been saying, for at least for a decade, that getting to the emissions reduction levels that we need to get to in the developed world is not compatible with economic growth. What we know is that the environmental movement had a series of dazzling victories in the late 60s and in the 70s where the whole legal framework for responding to pollution and to protecting wildlife came into law. It was just victory after victory after victory. And these were what came to be called "command-and-control" pieces of legislation. It was "don't do that." That substance is banned or tightly regulated. It was a top-down regulatory approach. And then it came to screeching halt when Regan was elected. And he essentially waged war on the environmental movement very openly. We started to see some of the language that is common among those deniers – to equate environmentalism with Communism and so on. As the Cold War dwindled, environmentalism became the next target, the next Communism. Now, the movement at that stage could have responded in one of the two ways. It could have fought back and defended the values it stood for at that point, and tried to resist the steamroller that was neoliberalism in its early days. Or it could have adapted itself to this new reality, and changed itself to fit the rise of corporatist government. And it did the latter. Very consciously if you read what [Environmental Defense Fund president] Fred Krupp was saying at the time.It was go along or get along.Exactly. We now understand it's about corporate partnerships. It's not, "sue the bastards;" it's, "work through corporate partnerships with the bastards." There is no enemy anymore.More than that, it's casting corporations as the solution, as the willing participants and part of this solution. That's the model that has lasted to this day. I go back to something even like the fight over NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Big Green groups, with very few exceptions, lined up in favor of NAFTA, despite the fact that their memberships were revolting, and sold the deal very aggressively to the public. That's the model that has been globalized through the World Trade Organization, and that is responsible in many ways for the levels of soaring emissions. We've globalized an utterly untenable economic model of hyperconsumerism. It's now successfully spreading across the world, and it's killing us. It's not that the green groups were spectators to this – they were partners in this. They were willing participants in this. It's not every green group. It's not Greenpeace, it's not Friends of the Earth, it's not, for the most part, the Sierra Club. It's not 350.org, because it didn't even exist yet. But I think it goes back to the elite roots of the movement, and the fact that when a lot of these conservation groups began there was kind of a noblesse oblige approach to conservation. It was about elites getting together and hiking and deciding to save nature. And then the elites changed. So if the environmental movement was going to decide to fight, they would have had to give up their elite status. And weren't willing to give up their elite status. I think that's a huge part of the reason why emissions are where they are.At least in American culture, there is always this desire for the win-win scenario. But if we really want to get to, say, an 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions, some people are going to lose. And I guess what you are saying is that it's hard for the environmental leadership to look some of their partners in the eye and say, "You're going to lose."Exactly. To pick on power. Their so-called win-win strategy has lost. That was the idea behind cap-and-trade. And it was a disastrously losing strategy. The green groups are not nearly as clever as they believe themselves to be. They got played on a spectacular scale. Many of their partners had one foot in US CAP [Climate Action Partnership] and the other in the US Chamber of Commerce. They were hedging their bets. And when it looked like they could get away with no legislation, they dumped US CAP completely. The phrase win-win is interesting, because there are a lot of losers in the win-win strategy. A lot of people are sacrificed in the name of win-win. And in the US, we just keep it to the cap-and-trade fight and I know everyone is tired of fighting that fight. I do think there is a lot of evidence that we have not learned the key lessons of that failure.And what do you think the key lessons are?Well one of them is willingness to sacrifice – in the name of getting a win-win with big polluters who are part of that coalition – the communities that were living on the fenceline. Communities, in Richmond, California for instance, who would have been like, "We fight climate change and our kids won't get as much asthma." That win-win was broken because you get a deal that says, "OK you guys can keep polluting but you're going to have to buy some offsets on the other side of the planet." And the local win is gone, is sacrificed. I'm in favor of win-win, you know. The book I am writing is arguing that our responses to climate change can rebuild the public sphere, can strengthen our communities, can have work with dignity. We can address the financial crisis and the ecological crisis at the same. I believe that. But I think it's by building coalitions with people, not with corporations, that you are going to get those wins. And what I see is really a willingness to sacrifice the basic principles of solidarity, whether it is to that fenceline community in Richmond, California or whether it's with that Indigenous community in Brazil that, you know, is forced off their territory because their forest has just become a carbon sink or an offset and they no longer have access to the forest that allowed them to live sustainably because it's policed. Because a conservation group has decided to trade it. So these sacrifices are made – there are a lot of losers in this model and there aren't any wins I can see. You were talking about the Clean Development Mechanism as a sort of disaster capitalism. Isn't geoengineering the ultimate disaster capitalism? I certainly think it's the ultimate expression of a desire to avoid doing the hard work of reducing emissions, and I think that's the appeal of it. I think we will see this trajectory the more and more climate change becomes impossible to deny. A lot of people will skip right to geoengineering. The appeal of geoengineering is that it doesn't threaten our worldview. It leaves us in a dominant position. It says that there is an escape hatch. So all the stories that got us to this point, that flatter ourselves for our power, will just be scaled up. [There is a]willingness to sacrifice large numbers of people in the way we respond to climate change – we are already showing a brutality in the face of climate change that I find really chilling. I don't think we have the language to even describe [geoengineering], because we are with full knowledge deciding to allow cultures to die, to allow peoples to disappear. We have the ability to stop and we're choosing not to. So I think the profound immorality and violence of that decision is not reflected in the language that we have. You see that we have these climate conventions where the African delegates are using words like "genocide," and the European and North American delegates get very upset and defensive about this. The truth is that the UN definition of genocide is that it is the deliberate act to disappear and displace people. What the delegates representing the North are saying is that we are not doing this because we want you to disappear; we are doing this because we don't care essentially. We don't care if you disappear if we continue business-as-usual. That's a side effect of collateral damage. Well, to the people that are actually facing the disappearance it doesn't make a difference whether there is malice to it because it still could be prevented. And we're choosing not to prevent it. I feel one of the crises that we're facing is a crisis of language. We are not speaking about this with the language of urgency or mortality that the issue deserves. You've said that progressives' narratives are insufficient. What would be an alternative narrative to turn this situation around?Well, I think the narrative that got us into this – that's part of the reason why you have climate change denialism being such as powerful force in North America and in Australia – is really tied to the frontier mentality. It's really tied to the idea of there always being more. We live on lands that were supposedly innocent, "discovered" lands where nature was so abundant. You could not imagine depletion ever. These are foundational myths.And so I've taken a huge amount of hope from the emergence of the Idle No More movement, because of what I see as a tremendous generosity of spirit from Indigenous leadership right now to educate us in another narrative. I just did a panel with Idle No More and I was the only non-Native speaker at this event, and the other Native speakers were all saying we want to play this leadership role. It's actually taken a long time to get to that point. There's been so much abuse heaped upon these communities, and so much rightful anger at the people who stole their lands. This is the first time that I've seen this openness, open willingness that we have something to bring, we want to lead, we want to model another way which relates to the land. So that's where I am getting a lot of hope right now. The impacts of Idle No More are really not understood. My husband is making a documentary that goes with this book, and he's directing it right now in Montana, and we've been doing a lot of filming on the northern Cheyenne reservation because there's a huge, huge coal deposit that they've been debating for a lot of years – whether or not to dig out this coal. And it was really looking like they were going to dig it up. It goes against their prophecies, and it's just very painful. Now there's just this new generation of young people on that reserve who are determined to leave that coal in the ground, and are training themselves to do solar and wind, and they all talk about Idle No More. I think there's something very powerful going on. In Canada it's a very big deal. It's very big deal in all of North America, because of the huge amount of untapped energy, fossil fuel energy, that is on Indigenous land. That goes for Arctic oil. It certainly goes for the tar sands. It goes for where they want to lay those pipelines. It goes for where the natural gas is. It goes for where the major coal deposits are in the US. I think in Canada we take Indigenous rights more seriously than in the US. I hope that will change.It's interesting because even as some of the Big Green groups have gotten enamored of the ideas of ecosystem services and natural capital, there's this counter-narrative coming from the Global South and Indigenous communities. It's almost like a dialectic.That's the counternarrative, and those are the alternative worldviews that are emerging at this moment. The other thing that is happening … I don't know what to call it. It's maybe a reformation movement, a grassroots rebellion. There's something going on in the [environmental] movement in the US and Canada, and I think certainly in the UK. What I call the "astronaut's eye worldview" – which has governed the Big Green environmental movement for so long – and by that I mean just looking down at Earth from above. I think it's sort of time to let go of the icon of the globe, because it places us above it and I think it has allowed us to see nature in this really abstracted way and sort of move pieces, like pieces on a chessboard, and really loose touch with the Earth. You know, it's like the planet instead of the Earth. And I think where that really came to a head was over fracking. The head offices of the Sierra Club and the NRDC and the EDF all decided this was a "bridge fuel." We've done the math and we're going to come out in favor of this thing. And then they faced big pushbacks from their membership, most of all at the Sierra Club. And they all had to modify their position somewhat. It was the grassroots going, "Wait a minute, what kind of environmentalism is it that isn't concerned about water, that isn't concerned about industrialization of rural landscapes – what has environmentalism become?" And so we see this grassroots, place-based resistance in the movements against the Keystone XL pipeline and the Northern Gateway pipeline, the huge anti-fracking movement. And they are the ones winning victories, right? I think the Big Green groups are becoming deeply irrelevant. Some get a lot of money from corporations and rich donors and foundations, but their whole model is in crisis.I hate to end a downer like that.I'm not sure that is a downer.It might not be.I should say I'm representing my own views. I see some big changes as well. I think the Sierra Club has gone through its own reformation. They are on the frontline of these struggles now. I think a lot of these groups are having to listen to their members. And some of them will just refuse to change because they're just too entrenched in the partnership model, they've got too many conflicts of interest at this stage. Those are the groups that are really going to suffer. And I think it's OK. I think at this point, there's a big push in Europe where 100 civil society groups are calling on the EU not to try to fix their failed carbon-trading system, but to actually drop it and start really talking about cutting emissions at home instead of doing this shell game. I think that's the moment we're in right now. We don't have any more time to waste with these very clever, not working shell games.• Jason Mark is editor of Earth Island JournalActivismClimate change scepticism theguardian.com © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds 

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30 июля 2013, 20:42

Итальянская Edison инициировала пересмотр контракта с "Газпромом"

Итальянская Edison, "дочка" французской EDF Group, инициировала арбитражное разбирательство с "Газпромом", чтобы пересмотреть условия долгосрочных контрактов и привести их в соответствие с рыночными ценами на газ. Об этом говорится в финансовом отчете EDF. Аналогичное разбирательства Edison будет вести и с компанией ENI. В июне 2013 года немецкая RWE выиграла арбитраж против "Газпрома" о ценах на газ.

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19 марта 2013, 18:50

New nuclear power station gets planning consent

Energy secretary Ed Davey grants EDF permission to build and run two reactors at Hinkley Point in SomersetPlans for the first new nuclear power station for nearly a generation in the UK have got the go-ahead from the energy secretary, who has said he is granting planning consent.Ed Davey told the House of Commons the French energy firm EDF would be allowed to build two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset, on the site of an existing power station, which is due to close in 2023."It's vital to get investment in new infrastructure to get the economy moving," Davey said. "[Hinkley] will generate vast amounts of clean energy and enhance our energy security. It will benefit the local economy, through direct employment, the supply chain and the use of local services."The two 1.6-gigawatt reactors will become one of the biggest power plants in the UK, providing enough electricity for up to 5m average homes. The nuclear plant is expected to be the first in a series of new ones the coalition has proposed as part of its plans to replace ageing coal and nuclear facilities that are due to be closed over the next few years.However, the symbolic decision on planning permission still leaves Davey's department for energy and climate change and EDF locked in negotiations over how much subsidy the company will get during the life of the plant. It is thought officials are discussing a contract that would guarantee the French company being paid nearly £100 for each megawatt hour of electricity produced over 30 to 40 years.Under the system, called "contracts for difference", if the market price, which is about half that level, is lower than the agreed minimum "strike price", electricity suppliers will have to pay the difference by making a surcharge on customer bills; if the market price rises higher, then the company would forfeit the difference.EDF and government officials also have to agree how much the company will pay for long-term storage of nuclear waste. "Discussions on both those are on going and intense, but I expect them to be concluded shortly," Davey said.Critics say the subsidies will cost bill-payers at least £1bn a year, pointing out that a strike price of nearly £100 would be higher than all but the highest of the government's forecasts for future electricity prices up to 2030, and in opposition to a host of government policies designed to reduce that price.However, ministers believe the contracts for difference, available for all low-carbon power, will help develop a variety of energy sources including renewable energy as offshore wind, nuclear, new gas plants and, in future, carbon capture and storage equipment fitted to gas and coal plants. These sources would make the UK more resilient to fluctuating power prices, and reduce the carbon emissions on which climate change is blamed.Davey declined more than once to comment on the negotiations, but added: "When the deal is concluded we will be completely transparent on that deal, whether it's on the strike price, the length [of the contract] or other details."There are additional concerns that when a deal is agreed with EDF, the European commission could launch an inquiry into the subsidies, which would qualify as state aid. That would delay the project by at least 18 months. EDF would then have to begin finding funding of up to £14bn to pay for construction of the turbines.Approval has been granted for the design of the EPR (European Pressurised Reactor) reactor, and the Environment Agency last week agreed to the environmental permits needed.Building the reactors is expected to create 20,000-25,000 construction jobs, and 900 permanent jobs when the plant opens.Katja Hall, the CBI chief policy director, said: "This is a big step forward on a critical energy infrastructure scheme. Major projects like this not only help us to overcome our energy challenges, but provide a real boost to growth, creating thousands of jobs directly and through the supply chain. A balanced energy mix is essential in order to ensure secure, low-carbon and affordable supply in the future, and new nuclear is a key part of this."Keith Allott, chief adviser on climate change at WWF-UK, a wildlife protection group, said: "Backing nuclear means shifting a huge liability to British taxpayers for the cost of building, electricity and, crucially, dealing with the waste."Unlike renewable energy, the costs of nuclear keep on rising, as witnessed by the fact that the only reactors currently being built in Europe are massively over-budget and far behind schedule. Focusing on renewables and energy efficiency, on the other hand, where the UK has huge potential to be an industrial leader, could deliver both huge cost reductions and a substantial boost to UK economic growth and manufacturing."The most recently built nuclear plant in Britain is Sizewell B, which was constructed in 1995.Nuclear powerNuclear wasteEnergyWasteEd DaveyClimate changeWind powerRenewable energyCarbon capture and storage (CCS)Fossil fuelsCarbon emissionsCoalJuliette Jowitguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

15 марта 2013, 01:07

Nuclear power plans threatened by European commission investigation

Proposed nuclear reactor in Somerset could be delayed by two years if competition directorate launches full-scale investigationBritain's planned nuclear reactor programme could be delayed for years, and the nation's long-term energy policy thrown into turmoil, as European commission officials launch the first stage of a formal investigation into the use of taxpayer subsidies to support the development.Sources in Brussels have indicated that Britain hopes to win approval for a multibillion-pound deal with French energy giant EDF at the initial stage, which usually takes two months.But if after a preliminary investigation the EC's competition directorate decides to launch a full-scale investigation, that would last at least 18 months and probably two years or more. Such an outcome is made more likely by reports that ministers and EDF are discussing a minimum or "strike" price for the nuclear-generated electricity of a little under £100 per megawatt hour – nearly double the current market rate. However ministers will be hoping that their regular meetings with EC officials will make it more likely that a full inquiry will be avoided.Under the proposals, a nuclear power station – the first for a generation – will be built at Hinkley in Somerset, and the government will guarantee a minimum price for the electricity produced for 30-40 years, a deal which could cost customers a billion pounds a year or more.News of the latest obstacle to the nuclear building programme comes before the expected announcement next week by the energy secretary, Ed Davey, of whether EDF has won planning permission for the 3.2 gigawatt Hinkley nuclear plant. He is widely expected to give the scheme the go-ahead.Expectations are rising that Davey could also announce some details of the new contract, including the strike price, in what would be a useful counter to critics that the coalition is not doing enough to stimulate investment to boost the economy and tackle the UK's threatened energy shortages.A delay imposed by Brussels would cast new doubt on the £14bn project as it would be likely to make it harder for EDF to raise the capital needed until its contract with the government was fully approved. That in turn would delay the entire nuclear build programme, under which the government wanted 16 gigawatts of new nuclear power operating by the middle of the next decade."The government wouldn't need state aid approval for nuclear if it wasn't trying to subsidise a risky technology that could wind up costing more than the renewable alternative," said Doug Parr, policy director for the anti-nuclear campaign group Greenpeace.Maria Madrid, spokeswoman for Joaquín Almunia of Spain, the European commission vice-president in charge of competition, told the Guardian: "The commission is in contact with the UK authorities on this issue, but has not received a formal notification so far. We are discussing this issue. It's confidential. We never communicate on preliminary discussions."Nuclear powerEnergyEuropean commissionEuropean UnionEuropeEnergy industryEDF EnergyJuliette JowitIan Traynorguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

13 марта 2013, 16:47

EDF drops lawsuit against environmental activists after backlash

Energy company accused of undermining peaceful protest with civil action against campaigners who occupied power plantThe energy company EDF has dropped a £5m civil lawsuit against a group of 21 activists who occupied one of its gas-fired power plants for a week in October 2012, in a move described by supporters of the demonstrators as a "humiliating climbdown".EDF faced a strong public backlash against its civil suit, which was described by opponents as an attempt to undermine peaceful protest in the UK, after details of the action were published in the Guardian.The parents of one of the activists launched an online petition, which attracted 64,000 signatures in less than a month, including those of Richard Dawkins, Mark Ruffalo, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky, while several hundred apparent EDF customers posted on social media that they were switching to an alternative energy provider in protest at the action.EDF had said the action against the campaigners was necessary to ensure that others considering similar campaigns "understand that they may face consequences" for the cost and disruption they cause.The activists, part of the No Dash for Gas group fighting against a new generation of gas plants in the UK, had occupied the site of a gas-fired power plant owned by EDF in West Burton, beginning last October. Several remained strapped to a cooling tower at the site for over a week, the longest such occupation in the UK.EDF's claim against the activists said this action had caused damage in excess of £5m, a figure that included staff and labour costs, delays to the completion of the station, specialist security and lost carbon emission credits.The graphic designer Hannah Davey, one of the activists named in the suit, said the end of the civil action was a substantial victory for the campaign. "EDF's bullying lawsuit has bitten the dust because people power fought back," she said. "They thought they were taking on 21 of us, but they soon faced a movement that stood with us against an energy giant and its lawyers … only a few of us went up that chimney, but 64,000 people came down."Another activist, Danielle Paffard, said the decision to drop the lawsuit would re-energise the environmental movement. "EDF has sustained an unmitigated defeat," she said. "A domineering company with an appalling record of pollution was trying to break the climate movement with a lawsuit they thought would silence opposition, but they failed. Our campaign to expose the lie behind the new dash for gas will continue, with a growing movement and new allies."EDF said it had dropped the civil action as part of a settlement with the protesters, which it called a "fair and reasonable solution". "Following an offer we received from the protesters' lawyers to settle the civil case, EDF Energy has been working to agree a compromise agreement acceptable to both parties," said a spokesman."The protesters, who have all pleaded guilty in court to aggravated trespass, have agreed in principle to accept a permanent injunction which prevents them from entering multiple sites operated by EDF Energy. As a result of this, EDF Energy is dropping its claim for civil damages against them and believes that this is a fair and reasonable solution."The company said it was a supporter of renewable energy, but added: "In order to keep the lights on in Britain, a mixture of energy sources is needed to provide reliable low-carbon energy."Protest groups including UK Uncut, Plane Stupid and Greenpeace had made public statements on the potential consequences of a victory for EDF in their civil case, warning that requiring protesters to face bills into the millions for taking part in direct action protests could bring an end to such forms of civil disobedience.The Green MP Caroline Lucas also raised the case through a written question to parliament with regard to allegations from some of the protesters that officers from Nottinghamshire police had been involved in passing on papers relating to EDF's civil case."In light of the allegations of complicity of officers in the efforts by EDF to stop the protests, we also need to ask questions about just whose interest the police are serving," she said. "Our police force is there to uphold the law and protect the public, not to defend the interests of private companies and their shareholders."Nottinghamshire police had strongly denied serving any papers relating to the civil case, but acknowledged acting as a conduit between EDF and the protesters and said they had provided a copy of the civil action to a solicitor acting for one of the activists "as a courtesy to the activist".A civil injunction against the activists, barring them from EDF power stations across the country, remains in force. The activists also still face potential prison sentences as a result of criminal charges in relation to the occupation of the power station.All 21 pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated trespass at Mansfield magistrates court on 20 February. Several have previous convictions for similar actions in relation to protest, and so could face custodial sentences, which would be the first prison sentences for climate change activists in the UK.Seventeen of the defendants will be sentenced on 20 March; the remaining four will be sentenced two weeks later, on 2 April.No Dash for GasEDF EnergyGasActivismGasEnergy industryJames Ballguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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10 марта 2013, 04:00

EDF subsidy to put UK on nuclear path

The Government is understood to have agreed a 35-year subsidy to French energy group EDF to build the first in a new wave of nuclear power stations.

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24 февраля 2013, 18:44

EDF faces calls to drop legal action against activists

8,000 sign petition calling on energy company to abandon £5m civil action against activists who occupied power plantMore than 8,000 people in 24 hours have signed a petition calling on the energy company EDF to drop a £5m civil action against 21 activists who occupied one of its power plants last October.The campaigners, from the No Dash for Gas pressure group, occupied EDF's West Burton gas plant for a week. All pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated trespass in court on Wednesday and are awaiting sentencing in March and April – but they are also facing a civil claim from EDF, which is seeking to recover more than £5m in damages and costs from the protest.The Change.org petition against the civil claim was started by semi-retired schoolteachers Barbara and Russ Fauset, the parents of Claire Fauset, one of the activists named in the suit."Claire and her friends act on principle and are entirely altruistic in what they do," they say in the petition text. "She has lobbied the government, emailed companies, signed petitions and marched with placards, but nothing changed. So Claire and her friends decided they needed to take more decisive action to get the government and energy companies to change their ways. The company says that they have to take the consequences for their actions."It's heartbreaking to think that Claire and her friends are being punished for putting themselves at risk for the good of humanity."The petition characterises the civil claim as a threat to protest in the UK – a view echoed by other direct action groups – and calls on EDF to "drop this unprecedented legal assault".EDF's civil claim seeks redress for damage to the site, the cost of extra security, lost earnings, and carbon credits that had been activated for use on the dates of the protest. Speaking earlier this week, when the Guardian first reported on the civil claim, a spokesman for the company said the action was necessary in the light of the disruption caused."EDF Energy supports the right to lawful protest and respects differing points of view. However, the consequences of this illegal activity put lives at risk, caused considerable disruption to the site during its construction, and considerable financial losses. It also delayed the completion of the new power station – part of a massive investment in the UK's energy supply, which will provide enough electricity for 1.5m homes."It is important that those considering this kind of action understand that they may face consequences through civil action for the damage, cost and disruption they cause."Supporters of the protesters have been inundating EDF's Facebook wall and Twitter account with hundreds of posts criticising the company and calling on it to drop the civil action."Stop bullying rightful protestors," wrote one. "Put your efforts to converting to renewables and show leadership in clean energy itself." Another – climate campaigner Ben Stewart – jokingly suggested that Zingy, the company's animated mascot in its UK advertising, would not support the company's case."Does Zingy know what the grown-ups at EDF are up to, trying to stifle peaceful protest with a legal hammer?" he wrote. "Have you even told Zingy yet? I think you have, and I think Zingy doesn't like it but you're holding him under duress."Change.org is one of the UK's most-visited petition-hosting websites, hosting campaigns against page three in the Sun newspaper (82,000 signatures), for Amazon to pay more in UK tax (92,000), and a successful campaign against the extradition of UK student Richard O'Dwyer (253,000), launched by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in conjunction with the Guardian.ProtestEDF EnergyEnergyJames Ballguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

21 февраля 2013, 04:11

EDF launches £5m civil claim against group of activists who shut down power station

The energy company EDF has launched a civil claim for £5m in damages against a group of activists who shut down one of its gas-fired power stations in a week-long protest last year.

20 февраля 2013, 22:56

Activists claim police siding with power company EDF in lawsuit

Notts force say they are 'not involved' in civil actions, while campaigner warns energy firm's move will hit right to protest The energy company EDF is seeking more than £5m in damages from a group of more than 20 activists who occupied one of its power stations for a week last year, in an action campaigners claim could stifle the right to protest across the country.Some of the campaigners named in the legal case also claim that officers from Nottinghamshire police overstepped their role by helping EDF issue protesters with details of the civil action against them, including in one instance allegedly chasing a bailed campaigner down the street and passing him the papers.The dispute centres around the occupation of the gas-fired West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire in October last year. Activists belonging to the "No Dash For Gas" protest group occupied the site, scaled one of its towers and remained there for a week, the longest such occupation in Britain.Twenty-one activists pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated trespass at Mansfield Magistrates Court in connection with the protest on Wednesday. Seventeen of these will be sentenced on 20 March, with the rest to be sentenced on 2 April.The ongoing civil action is mounted against more than 20 named respondents, plus the "No Dash For Gas" association itself, court documents seen by the Guardian show. The action includes an injunction barring those named from the site, but – in an unusual move in the UK – also has a provision to recover damages, interest, and court costs from the activists.A statement made in the action by Graeme Bellingham, the director of CCGT Construction, the EDF subsidiary supervising the power plant's construction, puts the cost of the occupation at more than £5m, including staff and labour costs, delays to the completion of the station, specialist security and lost carbon emission credits.In a statement, EDF said it supported the right to "lawful protest" but it was important anyone considering direct action should be aware "they may face consequences through civil action for the damage, cost and disruption they cause."Green groups supportive of the campaigners' aims have condemned the action, their view is a punitive attempt to deter others.John Sauven, the executive director of Greenpeace, likened the action to the McLibel case, a legal action mounted by McDonald's in the 1990s against two activists which dragged on for more than a decade and attracted massive negative publicity for the restaurant chain."EDF's lawsuit represents the opening of a new front against peaceful protest," Sauven said. "It's difficult to imagine how we at Greenpeace could have run our successful campaigns against illegal rainforest timber imports or pirate fishing if every time we took direct action we were landed with a multimillion-pound bill."EDF's civil claim is an attempt by a state-owned French company to undermine the British tradition of organised dissent. The company would do well to rethink what they're doing before they have a McLibel on their hands."The warnings were echoed by members of other direct action groups. Anna Walker of UK Uncut said the threat of "multimillion-pound lawsuits" could "crush" the organisation's right to protest, warning "if EDF gets away with this we will have a weaker democracy", while Joss Garman, co-founder of the anti-airport expansion group Plane Stupid said the action could leave people with "one less tool to defend themselves".Some of those named directly in the action raised further concerns that Nottinghamshire Police was assisting EDF in mounting its civil claim. A solicitor acting for some of the protesters who had been arrested was passed a copy of the EDF action by police, while others say they were passed papers directly. Nottinghamshire police has drawn the ire of environmental campaigners as the force involved in the undercover policing controversies, whereby officers were criticised for having relationships, and fathering children, with environmental activists while infiltrating their groups.West Burton protester, Danny Chivers, said he was leaving the police station after being bailed when one of the officers who had been dealing with his arrest ran out of the station after him. "He said 'Mr Chivers, there's something I was meant to give you. I'm serving this on you as a courtesy to EDF'," Chivers said, referring to a documents giving details of the civil case."One thing that really concerns me about this affair is: in whose interests are the police acting," he continued. "They're meant to be working in the public interest, not acting as messengers for private companies to help them to bully protesters."Others named in the case said they shared concerns police had passed some of their details to EDF, based on consistent mis-spellings of their name, or re-use of temporary (and sometimes incorrectly labelled) addresses, in correspondence.Nottinghamshire police said the force "was not involved" in any civil actions against the protesters, and said "activists were not served papers by Nottinghamshire police".However, a spokeswoman acknowledged the force had acted as a conduit between EDF and protesters."We provided a copy of the civil action to a solicitor representing one of the activists – this was as a courtesy to the activist," she said. "During the protest a message board was employed to relay messages to the protesters. Police agreed to assist in notifying the protesters that a writ had been served by EDF."On the topic of sharing information, she added: "Details of those arrested for committing criminal offences (which was in itself a matter of public record) were shared with EDF on whose property those offences had been committed in order that they could take steps to protect their property and prevent further offences from taking place at their property."In its statement EDF said: "EDF Energy supports the right to lawful protest and respects differing points of view. However, the consequences of this illegal activity put lives at risk, caused considerable disruption to the site during its construction, and considerable financial losses. It also delayed the completion of the new power station – part of a massive investment in the UK's energy supply which will provide enough electricity for 1.5m homes. It is important that those considering this kind of action understand that they may face consequences through civil action for the damage, cost and disruption they cause."ActivismEDF EnergyPoliceEnergyEnergy industryProtestJames Ballguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

19 февраля 2013, 00:30

Nuclear power: ministers offer reactor deal until 2050

Energy firms may get 40-year backing after government U-turn on subsidiesThe government is launching a last-ditch attempt to sign up energy companies to build new nuclear power stations by proposing to sign contracts guaranteeing subsidies for up to 40 years.The coalition agreement reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in 2010 promised that nuclear power stations would be built only if the industry got no public subsidy, but costly overruns for new reactors overseas and the exit of several major utilities from the UK programme, most recently Centrica, have driven ministers and officials to backtrack on that pledge and accept they will have to provide financial support.The Guardian has learned that ministers, intent on keeping the guaranteed wholesale cost of each unit of energy below the politically crucial figure of £100 per megawatt hour, are proposing to extend contracts from the 20 years originally envisaged to at least 30 and possibly as long as 40 years."To build the full 16GW (gigawatt) at the same price would cost £250bn over 40-year contracts, and over 30-year contracts £150bn," said Tom Burke, a founding director of the environmental campaign group E3G.Industry sources believe the likely agreed price for the first project in the pipeline to be contracted on this timescale – two 1.6 GW reactors to be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset by the energy company EDF – will be below £100, though not by a large margin. That price, however, is more than double the market price for electricity, and higher than all but the most expensive government forecasts for the future."It makes a huge difference if it's 30, 35 or 40 years," said one industry source with knowledge of the negotiations.Whitehall sources said they were confident that although the cost of the new reactor would be very high, that will start to fall with subsequent projects, and could fall as low as £55-56 a unit later in the programme. The Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, Martin Horwood, commenting on the threat to extend contracts to 40 years, said: "Over that timescale it's ludicrous because we should really see renewables come into their own: there's no justification for subsidising nuclear like that."At the same time some MPs are concerned that the energy bill, which is being scrutinised by MPs, would allow future governments to give nuclear power stations more money if it was needed, without telling parliament.Suspicion about the clauses in the bill enabling future financial support have been fuelled by industry claims in recent weeks. Vincent de Rivas, chief executive of EDF, told MPs that he wanted the government to guarantee buying all the possible output from the new nuclear plants, not just what was needed.Horwood said he supported most of the bill and the funding mechanism being used, but would be tabling amendments over the financial support being extended to a much older technology like nuclear power – a technology that Lib Dems have traditionally opposed.MPs are also angry about the government's changing rhetoric on subsidies. Since the 2010 promise there would be "no public subsidy", ministers have modified it to say no "unfair" subsidies – wording intended to cover support for a range of technology. This month the energy secretary, Ed Davey, admitted to MPs the funding mechanism could differ between technologies and even individual projects.Under the proposed funding system, called contracts for difference, companies such as EDF that build and operate nuclear reactors would be guaranteed a minimum "strike" price for the energy they generate.If the market price falls below this strike price, the difference will be made up by a surcharge on customer bills; if the market price rises higher then the generator will have to refund the difference. "This is Jesuitical Casuistry," said Paul Flynn, a Labour MP and long time anti-nuclear campaigner. "He [Davey] is saying there will be a subsidy. Perhaps an enormous subsidy. But you, parliament and the public, will not know what it is until it is too late to change."Burke, who is visiting professor at Imperial and University colleges in London, calculated that at just below £100 a unit, if the market price stabilised at £50 – which is below the lowest government forecast market price of £59 in 2030 – EDF would receive £50bn in support from the government over four decades for Hinkley.The government argues that despite the problems getting new nuclear plants built it is essential to keep nuclear power alongside renewable energy and new gas plants to keep prices lower and help reduce the risk of over-relying on one technology. Long term the government hopes to build up to 16GW of new nuclear power to help diversify the energy sources, also including renewable energy and new gas power, to keep prices down and make the UK more resilient to supply problems with one technology.The Department for Energy and Climate Change said in a statement: "No commitment has been made on commercial terms or a strike price. Ongoing discussions are focused on finding a fair, affordable deal, which represents value for money for consumers. Any agreement reached will be laid before parliament, and will include details of the strike price."Nuclear powerEnergyGreen politicsLiberal-Conservative coalitionConservativesLiberal DemocratsJuliette Jowitguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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14 февраля 2013, 18:57

EDF moves to rein in capital spending

Net debt soars at French nuclear power group as it warns once more that it will only build new UK reactors if profits are guaranteed

29 января 2013, 20:00

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's Entrepreneurial Approach to Leadership

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper got his start in public service thanks to a bartender. Hickenlooper had spent 15 years building a brew pub business up from scratch, eventually expending it to three states. In 2003, after a conversation with customers about the plan to change the name of Mile High Stadium, one of his bartenders told him he should run for mayor of Denver. So he did, won, and pledged to bring his entrepreneurial approach to the public office. In 2010, he was elected governor and is now bringing that approach to this broader role. We caught up with Governor Hickenlooper at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos to check in on how that approach has fared and hear what lessons he's learned along the way. An edited transcript of our conversation appears below. Give our readers a sense of your experience in the private sector and how it shaped your approach to government. I actually came to Colorado as a geologist. Loved the job, but I got laid off. I was out of work for two years and had the idea of launching a brew pub — this was before they were a common concept, in 1986. I spent two years honing the idea and raising money and we opened in 1988. We were the first brew pub in the Rocky Mountain region and we opened in an area known as lower downtown that was a bunch of abandoned warehouses. Not a lot of people went down there. So one of the first things we did was collaborate with the other businesses in the area to try and raise awareness. We bought ads together, we had a brewers' fest to bring people down and spend time in the neighborhood. In 2003, all my customers were complaining about the renaming of Mile High Stadium. And a bartender of mine said: "You should run for mayor." So I talked to a lot of mayors around the country to understand the job — could you make a difference, was it fun, would I be good at it? And so I decided to run. Our whole campaign was about bringing an entrepreneurial style of government to the office. So what did that mean? We tried to hire a lot of people from business. That was the first thing. Most people, when they get elected, they hire the people that helped get them elected because they think they'll help cover their back. But they aren't managers. They've never been trained. They don't have the experience, so you have risk adverse people who grew up where there's no benefit to taking a risk. There's only downside. So we brought in a talented group of people from all walks of life — not just business — but not one was a political appointee. I had only met 10 percent of the team before the transition process happened and we had a transition of 450 people. So you found success with that approach at the city level. How has it done at the state level? Have you had to change your approach? Oh man. In government they love to attack each other. People get so dug in with their positions and they end up with a self-interest that is about protecting that position no matter what. To get business done, you have to get people to expand their sense of self-interest and then get those self-interests to overlap. That's when you get a transaction. Then you get progress. Have you been able to get people to come together to find commonality? Sometimes. Here's an example. In Colorado we have a lot of shale gas and with hydraulic fracturing we can drop the price dramatically. But there's been a lot of concern over safety and what's in the fracking liquid. And the fracking companies weren't disclosing. So I called the CEO of Halliburton and said you're getting killed over here on this. You have to find a way to let people know what's in there while still protecting your intellectual property. I told him even Coca-Cola puts its list of ingredients on the can. So he came over and we brought in the regional head of the Environmental Defense Fund and we got to see where there was some common ground. We ended up having a press conference where the regional head of the EDF and the regional head of Halliburton both claimed victory. That's where transactions happen — defending your old turf isn't going to bring about progress. You mentioned hiring before. What's your approach there? What do you look for in a candidate? I really [want] to see how well can they bring people together. How well they empathize. How they listen to people. That's the best way to persuade someone: listen to them. Geoff Smart, the author of a book called "Who," helped us with our transition to the governor role. He really trained me on this — before you hire anyone for a really senior position, spend a lot of time and write down what skills you need in the role, what the objectives are, what kind of person you really want. Sounds obvious but if you talk to CEOs and ask them how much time they spend on this, it isn't a lot. Writing a job description is one thing but really looking at the characteristics, the traits, the kind of experiences you want is so key. What's one of the most important lessons you've learned as a leader, either in the public or private sector? The single biggest thing came from when I was running the brew pub. I learned how contagious your own mood is. That's the single thing. If you're in a bad mood, within a half hour, everyone on the staff is. When you go through that door it's show time. Kurt Vonnegut was a friend of my dad's at Cornell and he said something once: "You have to be very careful who you pretend to be, because that's who you're going to become." We had a couple real tough years in the restaurant business and by just forcing myself to positive and optimistic and cut jokes, things went better. I was still working 60, 70 hours a week, but all the sudden we started getting breaks.

26 января 2013, 00:02

Revealed: who can fly drones in UK airspace

Missile manufacturer, police forces and golf video company among more than 130 groups licensed to use technologyDefence firms, police forces and fire services are among more than 130 organisations that have permission to fly small drones in UK airspace, the Guardian can reveal.The Civil Aviation Authority list of companies and groups that have sought approval for the use of the unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, has not been published before – and it reflects the way the technology is now being used. The BBC, the National Grid and several universities are now certified to use them – as is Video Golf Marketing, which provides fly-over videos of golf courses.Including multiple or expired licences, the CAA has granted approval to fly small UAVs more than 160 times."People are going to see more and more of these small vehicles operating around the country," said John Moreland, general secretary of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVS), a trade body with more than 100 members. "There are any number of uses for them, and the technology is getting easier to use and cheaper all the time. These vehicles can operate anywhere in the UK, within reason."However, privacy campaigners have grave concerns about the proliferation of the technology and want an urgent review of regulations. "The increasing use of drones by private companies and government bodies poses a unique set of problems," said Eric King, head of research at campaign group Privacy International."The CAA considers health and safety issues when deciding whether or not to grant licences to operate drone technology, but this is a very low bar. We need new regulation to ensure privacy and other civil liberties are also taken into account during the decision-making process."In the last two years the CAA has required anyone who wants to fly a small UAV in British airspace to apply for permission. The aircraft must weigh less than 20kg and operators have to abide by certain rules. These include not flying them higher than 122 metres (400ft), or further away from the operator than 500 metres – this is deemed the pilot's "line of sight".The CAA list shows that three police forces, Merseyside, Staffordshire and Essex, have permission to use UAVs, as do three fire services, Dorset, West Midlands and Hampshire.Some of Europe's biggest defence companies can also fly them, including BAE Systems, Qinetiq and missile manufacturer MBDA. A company that supplies UAVs and other equipment to the Ministry of Defence, Marlborough Communications, is also registered, along with crime-scene and counter-terrorism specialist GWR & Associates.Shane Knight, a spokesman for Marlborough, said: "If you can put these systems up in the sky, and they are safe, then they have many uses. If you are a police force, a fire or ambulance service, and, for instance, you are responding to a large fire, then you have a choice of sending out your people to do reconnaissance of an area, or you could use one of these small UAVs. Why put people in danger when you can use one of these systems? These UAVs are getting much better, and much smaller."The National Grid uses them to inspect power lines, while the Scottish Environment Protection Agency wants one to patrol and photograph remote areas, said Susan Stevens, a scientist in the agency's marine ecology department. "The UAV equipment is currently being trialled," she said."As an operational service it will have many uses, such as capturing aerial imagery of estuaries, wetlands and riverbanks, and to provide a snapshot of the environment before and after development work," she said.Moreland said the unmanned systems suffered from the perception that they were all "killer robots" flying in the sky, but he thought this would diminish as the public got used to seeing them."We are going to see all sorts of systems coming out over the years," he said. "The operating bubble is going to expand like mad. Some of these systems will be able to look after themselves, and others will rely on the quality of the operators."You don't have to be a qualified pilot … The person could come from a modelling background, or he may be a video game player. There are plenty of people you could imagine being able to control these systems in a delicate way."Gordon Slack, who owns Video Golf Marketing, said he had taught himself to use his UAV. "Once you know how to operate it, it is not too complicated. We've done six videos for golf courses, with a few more in the pipeline."However, Chris Cole, the founder of the Drone Wars UK website, also raised concerns about privacy and civil liberties. "While companies and regulators are putting in place the technologies, procedures and regulations that will see drones routinely fly over our heads, they appear to be washing their hands of the consequent and obvious impact on privacy and civil liberties," he said."We are already under huge amounts of surveillance when we are in public. Unless we are vigilant, drones will see surveillance – by police and security agencies or simply by private companies – spread into our private space."King added: "The British government's abject failure to recognise and address the human rights issues involved in the increasing ubiquity of surveillance drones has created a huge potential for abuse."Bigger UAVs can be flown only in restricted airspace. The military has permission to fly UAVs in certain areas, but otherwise, the testing of the larger systems takes place at the privately owned West Wales airport, which says it is "the only site in Europe that can enable the flying of unmanned aerial systems under regulated conditions … over land and sea".Organisations seeking approval to fly small UAVs in UK airspace(Owner ID number/Company name)1 HoverCam2 Meggitt Defence Systems3 EagleEye (Aerial Photography) Ltd4 Remote Services Limited5 High Spy RC Aerial Photography6 Magsurvey Limited7 Pi In The Sky8 Qinetiq9 Eye In The Sky10 AngleCam11 Helicam Ltd12 Flying Minicameras Ltd13 S & C Thermofluids Ltd14 Remote Airworks (pty) Ltd15 National Grid16 Dragonfly Aerial Photography17 BlueBear Systems Research18 William Walker19 European UAV Systems Centre Ltd20 In-House Films Ltd21 MBDA UK Ltd22 European UAV Systems Centre23 Dorset Fire & Rescue Service24 Conocophillips Limited25 Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service26 West Midlands Fire Service27 Advanced Ceramics Research28 UA Systems Ltd (Swisscopter)29 Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd30 Flight Refuelling Limited31 BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd32 Lindstrand Technologies Ltd33 Upper Cut Productions34 Cranfield University35 Peregrine Media Ltd36 Horizon Aerial Photography37 Rory Game38 Alan Stevens39 Helipix LLP40 Re-use*41 Mike Garner42 Cyberhawk Innovations Ltd43 Staffordshire Police TPU44 Merseyside Police45 Health and Safety Laboratory46 David Hogg47 MRL Ltd48 MRL Ltd49 Re-use*50 Dominic Blundell51 Re-use*52 Re-use*53 Skylens Aerial Photography54 Bonningtons Aerial Surveys55 Small UAV Enterprises56 British Technical Films57 CARVEC Systems Ltd58 Flying-Scots'Cam59 Pulse Corporation Ltd (t/a Overshoot Photography)60 Motor Bird Ltd61 Advanced Aerial Imagery62 AM-UAS Limited63 Re-use*64 Gatewing NV65 Questuav Ltd66 Advanced UAV Technology Ltd67 Air 2 Air68 MW Power Systems Limited69 Re-use*70 Roke Manor Research Ltd71 Re-use*72 NPIA73 Pete Ulrick74 Re-use*75 SSE Power Distribution76 University of Worcester77 Re-use*78 Rovision Ltd79 Callen-Lenz Associates Ltd (Gubua Group)80 SKM Studio81 GWR Associates82 Phoenix Model Aviation83 Copycat84 HD Skycam85 Re-use*86 Gary White87 Aerial Target Systems Ltd88 Aerial Target Systems89 Re-use*90 Video Golf Marketing Ltd91 Re-use*92 Helivisuals Ltd93 Essex Police94 Marlborough Comms Ltd95 Re-use*96 Siemans Wind Power A/S97 Altimeter UK Ltd t/a Visionair98 T/A Remote Imaging99 Re-use*100 Daniel Baker101 Sky Futures102 Aerovironment Inc103 Spherical Images Ltd104 Flying Camera Systems105 Highviz Photography106 ESDM Ltd107 Flying Camera Systems Limited108 Edward Martin109 Digital Mapping and Survey Ltd110 EDF NNB GenCo Ltd111 EDF112 Re-use*113 AerialVue Ltd114 Minerva NI Limited115 Flying Fern Films Ltd116 Out Filming Ltd117 Hexcam Ltd118 McKenzie Geospatial Surveys Ltd119 Resource UAS120 Plum Pictures121 Jonathan Malory122 Mas-UK Ltd123 Bailey Balloons Ltd124 David Bush125 Southampton University126 Helipov127 Costain Ltd128 Sky-Futures129 Jonathan Blaxill130 Roke Manor Research Ltd131 Colin Bailie132 British Broadcasting Corp133 Simon Hailey134 Re-use*135 Trimvale Aviation136 PSH Skypower Ltd137 Aerosight Ltd171 Re-use*173 Colin Bailie174 Simon Field175 Re-use*176 Aerial Graphical Services177 Think Aerial Photography178 Hedge Air Limited179 Scottish Environment Protection Agency180 Skypower Limited181 Elevation Images182 Universal Sky Pictures183 MBDA UK Ltd184 Helicammedia185 Oculus Systems Ltd186 MASA Ltd187 Doozee Aerial Systems Ltd188 Selex Galileo189 Whisperdrone190 Z-Axis191 Rotarama Ltd192 Re-use*193 BBC (Natural History Unit)194 Flying Camera Company195 Flying Camera Company* Short-term approval that was granted, but now no longer appliesSource: CAADronesSurveillancePoliceMilitaryEmergency servicesBAE SystemsPrivacyNick Hopkinsguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. 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15 января 2013, 17:07

French energy groups lose their momentum

The hold that the French state keeps on GDF Suez and EDF is hindering their performance – and their share prices – relative to their European peers