SPED – November 2011 - SPED in the UK & Ireland
UK Process News
If you have read my pieces before you will have realised that energy is a key interest of mine. Without sufficient power an economy cannot function and without its provision at reasonable cost, an economy cannot be competitive.
The biggest issue facing the traditional engineering contractors in seeking UK work is funding. Pharma has stopped, there is some biochem, but little new chemical. All of European Governments like the USA are watching the pennies. But they all also need power when the economy expands once more.
But even more likely to cause the demand for new power generation facilities, is the cutting back on fossil plants that cannot meet upcoming European emission standards and the operators are simply refusing to carry to the necessary engineering modifications to bring them into compliance.
Germany decided unilaterally to shutdown all its nuclear power by 2022 and the UK has to as they reach their design life, with further extensions in several cases.
So the issue remains power station builds of one form or another are needed and will provide much work. But without funding of the infrastructure or subsidies such as are provided to Wind & Solar it will be a last minute rush to burn Gas.
In the UK there is a new Electricity Market policy, the Electricity Market Reform. This appears to be sensibly guaranteeing nuclear the base load and not allow their undercutting when there happens to be surplus wind. But it does not indicate help in providing more pipes for the infrastructure to carry CO2 to the North Sea for EOR. Nor is there any movement on a site for a long term nuclear waste repository. Although the current sites will be used for the replacement stations, if these moves above are enough to get the operators (who happen to French or German owned) to invest.