Tag: Sees

UK Government Sees Future Energy Mix Involving Small Nuclear Reactors, But Financing Remains Obstacle

KEY POINTS

  • A  nine-member association of companies have pledged to build 16 small nuclear power stations by 2050
  • Each mini reactor would be in operation for up to 60 years and provide 440 megawatts of electricity per year
  • The program is expected to create 40,000 jobs.

The British government is considering investing 2 billion pounds sterling ($2.6 billion) to help build small nuclear reactors as part of London’s overall strategy of developing cleaner energy and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The financing program – details of which have yet to be finalized, Bloomberg reported – would involve the government buying an equity stake in various new small nuclear stations across the country. Smaller reactors, as the government envisions, may be a more economical strategy to build up nuclear power in the country.

Indeed, a nine-member consortium of companies, including Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and construction giant Laing O’Rourke Plc, have pledged to build 16 small nuclear power stations by 2050 on existing nuclear sites. This program is expected to create 40,000 jobs.

Each mini reactor would be in operation for up to 60 years and provide 440 megawatts of electricity per year — enough to power the city of Leeds (a city of 480,000 people), Financial Times reported.

The government’s funds “should deliver sufficient cash to get the consortium through building the factories and well on the way to construction of power stations prior to finding more money from other sources,” a source told FT.

“Nuclear power will play a key role in the U.K.’s future energy mix as we transition to a low-carbon economy, including through our investments in small and advanced modular reactors,” a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said.

The government’s initial investment would be part of the first tranche to construct five such small nuclear stations.

“There is a broad strategic commitment and the way in which the finance is arrived at and categorized are questions for further debate,” Energy Minister Kwsai Kwarteng said at the Conservative Party conference on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a big supporter of nuclear power and renewable energy. At the Conservative Party conference on Tuesday, he vowed the U.K. will become a “world leader in low-cost clean power generation.”

“Imagine that future – with high-skilled, green-collar jobs in wind, in solar, in nuclear, in hydrogen and in carbon capture and storage,” Johnson said.

The U.K. currently has just one large-scale new nuclear project in the pipeline – the Sizewell C plant in Suffolk, which is expected to be built by French utility Electricite de France SA, or EDF.

While the U.K. government said it is committed to nuclear energy, further plant construction will depend upon financing and eager investors.

“In Sizewell C we think we have the design, a supply chain and industry and what we need now is a funding model,” said Simone Rossi, chief executive officer of EDF’s U.K. subsidiary.

If EDF can secure a mix of government and private funding, it hopes to begin construction of

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Indonesia’s Labor Law Sees Stocks Rally as Workers Protest

(Bloomberg) — Indonesia’s new law, aimed to simplify labor and investment rules, has been met with a rally in local markets and concern from global investors as well as labor unions.



a group of people walking down the street: Workers transport carts loaded with boxes at Tanah Abang market in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Indonesia is scheduled to announce its second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Aug. 5.


© Bloomberg
Workers transport carts loaded with boxes at Tanah Abang market in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. Indonesia is scheduled to announce its second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Aug. 5.

Parliament agreed to pass the omnibus bill on jobs creation in a plenary session Monday, sending the rupiah and stocks to gain as much as 1.3% the next day. The vote was brought forward from Oct. 8, preempting a three-day strike by about 2 million workers who sought to reject it. The strike will still happen from Tuesday.

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Indonesian Workers Rally Against New Job Bill, Massive Layoffs

The law, which revises more than 70 existing regulations, has aroused controversy since President Joko Widodo announced it last year. While it cuts red tape and simplifies overlapping rules, labor unions and activists said the revisions would erode workers’ rights and environmental protection.

Global investors with $4.1 trillion of combined assets under management have also warned that the law could have a negative impact on deforestation and climate change.

Environmental Protection

“Economic development and protection of the environment need not be mutually exclusive,” the investors wrote in an open letter, while requesting a video call with the government to discuss the matter.

The bill’s passage could help Jokowi shore up an economy that’s set to slip into another contraction in the third quarter as the continued spread of the coronavirus damped household spending and investments. The government has sought to speed up state spending, while warning that growth can’t come from the public sector alone.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the law as it’s able to answer and resolve various issues hampering investments that would create jobs, said Chairman Rosan Roeslani in a statement.

Centralized Decisions

The law also sets out a more centralized decision-making process, which could simplify layered and conflicting requirements from central and local governments, and so reduce investment uncertainty, economists at PT Bahana Sekuritas in Jakarta wrote in a note.

The government is setting up an unemployment fund to allay workers’ concern over the reduction in severance pay and the introduction of indefinite labor contracts. The fund will give cash payments, provide access to the job market and pay for training, with the premiums paid for by the state budget.

Other changes included in the jobs creation omnibus law:

Government to set up one-map policy to solve the issue of overlapping land claims and conflicts, which would ensure legal certainty for businessesThose who hire foreign workers are required to submit a plan for how the employee will work, while banning foreigners from holding roles that oversee personnelSimplified process for registering intellectual property and getting halal certificationLaw to speed up the construction of low-cost homesLaw maintains workers’ rights to maternity and menstruation leave

(Updates throughout with statements from unions

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