Constellation Energy has become the latest USA Utility to cancel its proposed new nuclear energy plant to be built in Maryland.Despite a Loan Guarantee from Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the US Green Stimulus,Constellation has found the economics of the Nuclear Reactors as unworkable.In fact this is keeping with the trend of other utilities in the Developed World who have found New Nuclear to be too expensive.While a number of cyclical factors are at play (Wind Energy has also been affected) in hindering the development of these plants,it seems a secular shift has occured.Finland has become the poster boy of a Nuclear Project Disaster with the main developer Areva bleeding from losses as time and cost overruns have almost doubled.The increaseing costs of environment and safety regulations has increase manifold since the last spurt of nuclear energy construction in the 1980s.The Nuclear Renaissance has proven to be a complete failure in the Western Countries.While China continues with its aggressive Nuclear Expansion plans,construction in the US has come to a virtual halt.Exelon which is the largest Nuclear Energy Operator in the USA has also halted developed of 2 new reactors in Texas.These Utilities have said that they need much higher energy prices and a carbon tax before going ahead with reaction construction.Note Exelon recently bought a Wind Energy Operator as Solar/Wind become the favored Green Energy choices.
A US expert has said that India was the target of the Stuxnet Attack rather than Iran.India’s Insat 4B Communications Satellite suffered from a malfunction recently and it used the same Siemens software which was the target of this Worm Attack.India has been subject to Chinese cyberwarfare attacks in the past .This has led to a general wariness in the Indian Establishment over Chinese origin companies like Huawei operating in India.Tensions between Indian and China have been rising over a range of issues such as territory,supply of arms and nuclear reactors to Pakistan and construction of military bases around India.The failure of an Indian Communications Satellite without any explicit attack done surreptitiously by Chinese hackers does not seem far fetched.Nothing would be clearly known to the general public given the clandestine nature of these cyberwarfare between nation states.However India’s decision to bolster its cyberwarfare capabilities and the recent decision by Google to abandon China,all point to China using cyberattacks as an instrument of statecraft.
Renewable Energy is Easter Europe has boomed driven by government incentives and subsidies.Many of these countries like Estonia,Bulgaria and Czech are cutting or already have cut generous feed in tariffs paid to Green Energy Investors.While Czech has seen an unprecedented Solar Boom leading to a massive public backlash,Estonia and Bulgaria have seen huge wind energy projects.The Green Energy has boomed in the last 2 years mainly as governments in these countries try to meet the Renewable Energy Target of 20% by 2020 set by the European Union.These East European countries have been hit hard by these EU directives as the costs have spiralled
The Government of India has formed a high powered panel to look into replacing the usage of diesel powered gensets by Renewable Energy in Telecom Towers.India has around 300,000 Telecom Towers most of which are powered by expensive diesel generators.The reason is that a lot of the telecom towers are situated in far flung areas where the grid does not exist.Also the power supply in India is erratic and not reliable with 10 hour electricity blackouts not an infrequent occurrence.In these cases a backup supply of electricity supply is badly needed.Diesel Generators are the most popular form with Diesel heavily subsidized by the government in comparison to normal petroleum.Also Diesel Generators are widely available without huge capital costs.
United Kingdom a Laggard on Renewable Energy
UK has been the biggest laggard in Renewable Energy amongst the European Union.Despite being a leader in Offshore Wind,it severely lacks in other forms of Green Energy like Solar,Biomass etc.It has been very late in introducing a Feed in Tariff Scheme which has been a huge success in Germany and other countries.While there have been booms and busts caused by poorly designed FIT schemes in Czech and Spain,UK does not suffer from this problem.The Subsidy Scheme adopted by UK favors small distributed installations which is currently the aim of the other EU countries.This review has led to uncertainty in the minds of Green Investors as Government Subsidy is essential for reasonable returns.
Why UK is Reviewing the FIT
The Labour Government which implement this Green Policy has changed and the new PM David Cameron is trying to radically change the Government Policy.He has sharply curtailed the UK Budget and may want to change the Opposition Party set Green Policy as well.This seems to be the only justification behind this move which can only be described as erratic.
Tamil Nadu is one of India’s most prosperous and industrially advanced states located at its southernmost extreme.The state has shown remarkable progress in the field on Wind Energy utilizing almost 80% of its Wind Power Potential with 40% of India’s total Wind Installations.With the right mix of policies,Tamil Nadu has also become the hub of Wind Energy Manufacturing with Global Heavyweights like Suzlon,Gamesa,Vestas all building plants in the State.A number of new players like Sterling Infotech and Lietner have also started manufacturing Wind Turbines in Tamil Nadu due to favorable networking effects.The state is also generates the 3rd largest amount of biomass energy with around 340 MW installed.Here are the reasons why Tamil Nadu has become the Biggest Renewable Energy State in India.
1) Tax Holidays and Subsidies – The government has given attractive subsidies to attract Wind Power Developers to the state.Rs 3.39 ( 8c/Kwh) is the tariff given to Wind Energy besides another 1c/Kwh received from the Federal Government as Generation Based Incentive (GBI).The projects in the state easily make 25-30% returns on their investment attracting a whole host of private industry developers.The Industry also gets a 10 year tax holiday,custom duty exemptions and accelerated depreciation boosting the returns even further.A 20 year PPA at fixed prices helps in building investor confidence .