Global Energy News Roundup: June 7

The Forum on Energy weekly news roundup brings together a mix of global energy stories from around the web. It is published every week. Please visit our page on Twitter via @forumonenergy

Cabinet of Japan Aims to Curb Carbon Emissions 

The Cabinet of Japan adopted a white paper on Friday that calls for cutting carbon emissions by promoting renewables and nuclear energy. The white paper explains how Japan is facing an “urgent task” to reduce carbon emissions that are coming from utilities that are relying heavily on fossil fuels to make up for shortages of nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima accident. Japan is aiming for further development of renewable energy and set a 22%-24% target and maintains nuclear at about the same level. Japan also pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 26% from 2013 levels by the year 2030. According to the article, renewables accounted for 16% of Japan’s energy supply in 2017, while nuclear accounted for just 3%. Coal and natural gas accounted for 74%.

Source: The Miami Herald

VW Executive Believes Germany Should Preserve Its Nuclear Power Plants

Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group has been expressing his thoughts about the decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to shut down her country’s nuclear fleet by 2022. Diess has stated that “if we’re really serious about climate protection, the nuclear power plants should run for longer. He stated his belief that Germany’s goal of closing its last coal-fired power plant in 2038 is “far too late” and that Germany “should have quit coal first and then nuclear.” Currently only 7 nuclear reactors are operating in Germany, which is down from 17 in 2011. Coal and lignite make up 35% of Germany’s electricity mix, keeping the country far away from its climate goals.

Source: Bloomberg Opinion

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission At Risk of Losing Cybersecurity Experts

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is at risk of losing its cybersecurity experts in the years ahead. This could limit its ability to ensure that US nuclear power plants are safe from digital attacks. According to the article, nearly one-third of the NRC’S cybersecurity inspectors will be eligible for retirement by the end of fiscal year 2020. The Inspector General (IG) worries that there won’t be enough people trained to replace those entering retirement. Nuclear power plants are increasingly becoming targets for online adversaries and a shortage of cybersecurity experts can leave the NRC struggling to do its job fully. The Office of the Inspector General wrote in a recent report that “if staffing levels and skill sets do not align with cybersecurity inspection workload requirements, NRC’s ability to adapt to a dynamic threat environment and detect problems with [nuclear power plants’] cyber security programs could be compromised.” The IG has advised the NRC to improve its process for addressing skill gaps and managing its workforce.

Source: Nextgov