Nuclear

Middle East nuclear, RWE, Chinese wind turbines

In this week’s podcast: We talk to Deloitte’s head of nuclear, Daniel Grosvenor about nuclear power plans in the Middle East; we look at German utility RWE and the possible sale of UK subsidiary Npower; and, we discuss China’s steps into the European wind market with the country’s biggest turbine maker securing an Irish wind farm deal worth €1.5bn.

Presented by David Blair with Pilita Clark and Vincent Boland.

Produced by LJ Filotrani

David Blair

Over the next decade, Britain is expected to spend some £200bn on overhauling its entire energy infrastructure. Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, tries to justify this colossal price tag by pointing to the future opportunities presented by “green growth”. He reckons the UK can reap a huge dividend by becoming a leader in renewable energy technologies, allowing us to penetrate new export markets in emerging economies. 

But an energy conference organised by the Financial Times in London threw several buckets of cold water over Huhne’s optimistic theory.

BP, EU emissions, India

In this week’s podcast: BP looks to settle potential claims over the Gulf spill; global airlines prepare to be included in EU emission targets; and we talk to Sangram Nayaka, organiser of the Energy Investment Summit in Dehli about India’s energy policy – nuclear vs renewables?

Presented by Sylvia Pfeifer with Pilita Clark and Vincent Boland in the studio in London, and Andrew Charlton from Aviation Advocacy in Geneva.

Produced by LJ Filotrani

Audio Nuclear and gas

In this week’s podcast: Germany to phase out nuclear power; UK utility Centrica leaves a major gas field dormant; plus, the report into the Fukushima disaster raises questions about reactor structures. Presented by Sylvia Pfeifer with David Blair and Vincent Boland in the studio and Gerrit Wiesmann in Berlin. Produced by LJ Filotrani

Kiran Stacey

Naoto KanWednesday has been an important day for the nuclear industry.

First of all, Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan (pictured) told reporters he wanted to remodel entirely his country’s energy supply around renewable technology. He said:

I have repeatedly said that we need to rethink our basic energy policy from scratch… The direction that it may take will likely be centered around wind, solar, and biomass energy.

Kiran Stacey

Tepco president Masataka Shimizu

Tepco president Masataka Shimizu

The news last week that the Japanese government was close to agreeing a bailout plan for Tepco, the electricity company that owns the Fukushima nuclear plant, should have come as a relief for the company and its debt holders.

But the opposite appears to be true. Amid uncertainty over the structure of the bailout and when it might finally be agreed, Moody’s has taken the proactive step of downgrading the company’s debt, saying that the plan as it looks so far actually increases the risk of a default.

The clause that particularly seems to trouble the ratings agency is the one that Tepco will only be insured for compensation payments of up to Y120bn. Anything above that limit will be the company’s liability.

Kiran Stacey

Nuclear towerA global backlash against nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima crisis would lead to higher prices, less energy security and higher carbon emissions, according to Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency.

Birol was speaking as part of the FT’s weekly energy podcast, and told us that if countries around the world scaled back their nuclear ambitions, it would be highly damaging.

Given the scale of the original reaction to troubles at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, it’s interesting to see the degree to which uranium ore prices have stabilized since March. Especially since the crisis itself is doing anything but.

Indeed, via RBC Capital markets on Wednesday:

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