Nuclear Free Germany?
Germany has announced that it is to abandon nuclear energy by 2022. An interesting move in that nuclear has been one of the promised energy sources of the future. Eight of Germany’s 17 nuclear plants are to be closed this year with the remaining nine being closed by 2022. The energy that has been generated from nuclear sources should be saved by cutting energy usage by 10% by 2020 and by doubling the use of renewable sources to 35% of the total output. There remain concerns about if the shortfall in power generation will be me from renewables and there could be issues of additional peak loading on the power grid. The policy results from the recent nuclear disaster in Japan, caused by the earthquake. More details are on this news article.
Channel Grid Link
A new grid connection between France and England is due to be created using the channel tunnel service tunnels. A 500MW direct current interconnector will connect the two countries adding to the wider European electricity network. This link is in addition to a new link between England and the Netherlands, the the 1,000MW BritNed connection, which opened in April. Both of these links will help to balance renewable energy supplies between European countries and should spread the load for renewables allowing exports to occur when it is windy in the UK or imports to be brought in when the wind dies down. The BritNed cable runs from the Isle of Grain in Kent to Maasvlakte near Rotterdam. Many off-shore turbines are now off the Kent coast so any excess power from here can be exported to the Netherlands now and France when the new tunnel connection opens. See this article for full details.
For sustainable transport options for light rail think Parry People Mover! This new breed of light weight and low cost train may provide a solution for rural services in the future. The trains run between Stourbridge Town and Junction in the West Midlands and could offer a low cost alternative to some private railways around the country who wish to introduce commuter services. See Parry People Movers for details.