Why the future is nuclear – MoneyWeek – www.28365.365.com_365bet是什么_bet36备用网址365.tv

Onlylastyear,saysCentrica,thatnumberwasamere27%。

Worse,thatfigureisstillrising,with75%ofoursuppliesexpectedtocomefromoverseasby2015。

Giventhatwemake40%ofourelectricityfromgas,thatsabigdeal(another30%comesfromcoaland20%fromnuclear)。

ButwhatmakesitaparticularworryrightnowisthatalargepercentageofourimportedgasisderivedfromRussia。

AndRussiaisnotinaco-operativemoodwhenitcomestoenergysupplies。

Theempirestrikesback

ForevidenceofRussiasattitude,looknofurtherthantherecentdisplaysofRussianmightaroundtheBakutoTbilisioilpipeline–oneofthemoststrategicallyimportantpiecesofkitintheWestseffortstoreduceitsenergydependenceonMoscow。

Thepipelineaccountsfor1%ofglobalsuppliesand,justlikeaproposedgascounterpart,bypassesRussia,shippingoildirectlyfromAzerbaijanontheCaspianSeathroughGeorgia,ontoTurkey,andthenintotheWest。

AndthisisprobablythereasonwhytheRussianstooktheopportunitylastmonthtodropatleast50bombswithinmetresofthepipeline。

InfuriatedbyNatosshiftEastwards,nottomentiontheWesternisationofformersatellitestates,suchasGeorgiaandmostofUkraine,theRussianstatelookskeentomaintainahighlevelofcontrolovertheregionsenergysupplies。

Already,AzerbaijanisconsideringdivertingitspipelinethroughRussiainordertokeepthecountrysex-Moscowmasterssweet。

TheAzeriStateenergyfirmSocarisplanningtoreroutepartofanasyetuncompletedsectionofthepipeline,sending6,066barrelsperday(bpd)to8,087bpdofoilthroughRussiathisyear。

SimilarplansarealsobeingproposedinKazakhstan。

Thissemi-capitulationsuggeststhatthefutureoftheproposedgaspipelineNabucco,whichwassupposedtobypassRussiaviatheCaspian,isbeginningtolookindoubt。

FollowingtheeventsinGeorgia,itremainsvulnerabletoRussianpressureforarerouting。

TheresultofallthisisthatmoreandmoreBritishandEUenergysuppliesareendingupunderRussiancontrol–oratleastunderRussianinfluence。

GordonBrownmightnotseeeverythingclearlythesedays,butevenhehasspottedthis。

Ifwearentvigilant,hesays,werisksleepwalkingintoanenergydependenceonlessstableorreliablepartners。

NotthatBrownortheWestshouldbesurprisedbyanyofthis,ofcourse:asHuttonpointsout,Moscowhasbeenusingenergyasapoliticalweaponinitsoldbackyardforquiteawhilenow。

In2006,MoscowcutoffthetapstoLithuania,whenthelattersoldarefinerytoaPolishfirmratherthantoaRussianbidder。

Andjusttwomonthsago,irritatedbyPraguesigninguptoplayapartinthecreationoftheAmericanMissiledefenceshield,MoscowwentaheadandcutcrudesuppliestotheCzechRepublicby50%。

Indeed,accordingtoTheSwedishDefenceResearchAgency,since1991,theenergyleverhasbeenusedforputtingpoliticaloreconomicpressureonEstonia,Latvia,Lithuania,Ukraine,Belarus,MoldovaandGeorgia,whichinturnhasaffectedmostofEurope。

Thenumberofincidents,iecut-offs,take-overs,coercivepricepolicy,blackmailorthreats,isoverfiftyintotal。

WedontneedRussiaforever

Thegoodnewsisthatenergyindependence–orenergyindependencefromRussia,atleast–ispossible。

Toseehowthiscouldcomeabout,justglanceacrossthechannel,wheretheFrencharewellontheway。

Theyvegottwothingsrightthatwehavegotwrong。

Thefirstisgasstorage。

Intheearly1990s,duringthegreatNorthSeagasboom,Britainwaswallowingingas–butwedidnttaketheopportunityofferedtobuildthenecessaryinfrastructuretostockpilegas。

Asaresult,Britainnowhasenoughstoragecapacitytostockgasforonly13days。

TheFrenchhave99daysworthofgasstoredup。

Thismeansthatshort-termsqueezeshurtusmorethanthem。

Italsomeansthatwehavetoexportshort-termsurplusdomesticproductiontoforeignstoragefacilitiesandthenbuyitbacklaterfromtheFrenchandtheGermansatahigherprice。

Thissoundsinsane–anditis。

ItisalsoonereasonwhyBritainisfacingyetanotherroundofinflation-bustinggas-pricehikesthiswinter。

ScottishandSouthernEnergy(SSE)andE。

ONareincreasingratesbyasmuchas29%thisyear,withTariqAqvar,aSeniorAnalystforenergyatDatamonitorforecastinghighpriceincreasesinthefuture。

EDFisincreasingpricesby20%inBritain。

ButinFrance,thesamefirmisincreasingitspricesbyamere5%。

SoFrancestoresmoregasthanwedo。

However,theotherkeytotheequationisthatFranceneedslessgasthanus。

IntheUK,around80%?

ofourtotalelectricityneedscomefromfossilfuels。

ButinFrance,thatnumberisonly10%。

Themajorityoftherestcomesfromnuclearpower–areasonablycleansourceofenergy(dependingonhowyouaccountforwastedisposal)。

Butmoreimportantly,forsecuritypurposesatleast,itsonesourcethatisfreefromRussiandomination:theworldsbiggesturaniumminesareinthemorefriendlynationsofCanada,AmericaandAustralia。

Francegeneratessomuchofthestuff,thatitevenexportsthesurplus。

Backintheoilcrisisofthe1970s,Francedecidedtobeginweaningitselfoffforeignoilsuppliers。

Theresultwasanuclearboomthathasseennuclearsshareofelectricityproductionincreasetenfoldsince1974。

SowhyisntBritainfollowingsuit?

BecauseofGovernmentparalysis。

Forsomeyearsnowthestatehasresteditshopesontheappearanceofamagicalkindofalternativeenergythatmighthelpitoutofitsenergyhole。

TheEUhasgivenBritainatargetofmeeting15%ofourenergyneedsfromrenewables,suchaswindpowerandsolarenergy,by2020,andtherehasbeenageneralpretencethatthismightbepossible。

Ifitwere,itwould,ofcourse,benobadthing。

AccordingtotheDepartmentforBusiness,EnterpriseRegulatoryReform,iftheUKachievedthe15%target,gasimportswouldbereducedby12%–16%by2020。

Butgiventhatweonlysourced5%ofourelectricityneedsfromrenewablesthisyear,upfrom4%in2007,that15%targetlooksalongwayoff。

Thatmeanswehavetofocusonold-fashionedenergysourcesfornowifwewanttokeepthelightson(asmostofusdo),somethingtheGovernmenthasonlyrecentlyaccepted。

Andthatinturnsuggeststhatwemightnowgetthenewcoal-firedpowerstationswesobadlyneed(manyoftheexistingplantsaresoontobephasedout)?

andwemightgettojointherestoftheworldingoingnuclear。

Therearecurrently435operatingreactorsaroundtheworldandanother35intheprocessofbeingbuilt(Chinahasembracednuclearprettywhole-heartedlyandhas11reactorsalreadypouringoutpower)。

YetnonuclearstationhasbeenbuiltinBritainsinceapressurisedwaterreactoratSizewellwasfinishedin1995。

AndonlyinJanuarythisyeardidJohnHutton,encouragedperhapsbyashiftinthegreenlobbytowardsnuclearacceptance,finallytellparliamentthatnuclearpower,shouldhavearoletoplayinthiscountrysfutureenergymixalongsideotherlow-carbonsources。

Thenextmoveistoactuallytakesomeaction。

WhenFrenchenergygiantEDF,whichoperates59nuclearreactorsinFrance,agreedinprincipletobuyBritishEnergyearlierthisyear,theGovernmentwasthrilled。

TheUKsnuclearpowerstations(eightoutoftenofwhichareoperatedbyBritishEnergy)?

aremostlycomingtotheendoftheiroperatinglivesandareoftenturnedoffforsafetyreasons。

Thismeansthatattimestheyarepoweringnot20%ofourgrid,astheyaresupposedto,butaslittleas15%。

Thisdealwassupposedtokickstartthebuildingofanewgenerationofnuclearpowerstationswiththefirstbatchcomingonlinein2017。

ButitfellthroughinAugustasbigBritishEnergyshareholderspulledtheirbackingforthedeal(overadisagreementonboththestructureandtheprice)。

Thisclearlyputsthe2017dateinsomejeopardy,butitisunlikelytoderailBritainsnuclearrenaissancecompletely。

Ifwedontwanttospendthenext50yearsinsemi-darkness,wedonthavemuchchoicebuttogetbuilding–whateverthecost–andtheGovernmentknowsit。

Ourexistingnuclearpowerstationshavetobedecommissionedandnewonesneedtogoupsharpish。

Thismightnotbegreatnewsfortaxpayersorforenergybills–themoneyisgoingtohavetocomefromsomewhereandtheaveragereactorcosts£845mtoputup。

Butontheplusside,itshouldbegoodnewsforthecompaniesinvolvedindoingtheworkandforinvestorsinthosefirms。

Thenuclearboomaroundtheworldshouldalsomeanthatinvestorsinmarketleaders,suchasAreva(EPA:CEI)andEDF(EPA:EDF),willdowell。

BothArevaandEDFarecurrentlyofferingtheirengineeringexpertisetoemergingeconomies,suchasIndiaandChina。

Uranium,whichhasfallendramaticallyfromitshighsoverthelastyear,isalsoworthalookforlong-terminvestors。

Sotooarecleancoalcompaniesofvarioussorts(wearegoingtoneedtokeepusingcoalformanydecadestocome,howeverfastwebuildnewnuclearreactors)。

Seethebox?

belowformoredetails。

Aselectionoffirmstopoweryourportfolio

Therearetwosectorsfornuclearinvestorstofocuson:thosewhowillbebuildingandoperatingthenewreactors,andthosewhowilldecommissiontheexistingones。

Butwiththefirstnewreactornotcomingonlineuntil2017attheearliest,itsbestthatinvestorsfirstfocusonthelatter。

Theclean-upindustryisexpectedtomakeabout£100bnoverthenext75years,doingeverythingfromtearingdownoldreactorstotreatingthespentwastefromoldnuclearwarheads。

ThatputsnuclearservicefirmssuchasCostain(LSE:COST)intopoleposition。

Civilengineeringprojectsaccountfor80%ofitsorderbook,meaningitisrelativelyimmunefromtheheadachesaffectingothercompaniesinthebuildingsector。

AmajorcontractortoSellafield,inthefirstsixmonthsoftheyearitalsosecured£900mworthofnewwork,includingaseven-yearcontractwithSevernWaterandworkonFarringdonstationinLondon。

Thesharescurrentlytradeat£26,givingaforwardp/eof9。

46times,whichseemstoocheap。

RedhallGroup(AIM:RHL)isapurerplayondecommissioning。

Ithasjusttwomaindivisions-nuclearservicesandengineeringservices。

Thefirmtookinover£40minrevenueinthefirsthalfoftheyear,andrecordeda116%jumpinprofitsinthesixmonthstoJune。

Withitsengineeringbusinesslargelyfocusedonthegrowingnuclearindustry,inJulyitwona£22mcontracttomanufactureandsupplyspecialistequipmenttoSellafieldsThorpnuclearreprocessingplant。

Redhallhasamarketcapof£64mandtradesonaforwardp/eof21。

Amec(LSE:AMEC)isthebiggestplayerintheUK?

market,having,alongwithAmericasURSCorporationandFrenchnucleargiantAreva,justwonthe£5bn-pluscontracttocleanupSellafield。

Thedealisforaninitialfiveyears,butcouldrunaslongasseventeen,makingitoneoftheUKsbiggestpublicprocurementdeals。

Amecrecordeda38%jumpinpre-taxprofitsforthefirsthalfoftheyearof£92。

3m,upfrom£66。

9mayearearlier。

Itemploys1,300nuclearengineersintheUKalone,andiscurrentlybuildingadivisioninNorthAmerica,aimedatgettingtwostallednuclearplantsinCanadaworkingagain。

Thesharestradeonap/eofaround20times,butgivenitsrateofgrowthandmarketpositionitmaywellbeworthit。

Thenextplaceforenergysecurity-consciousinvestorstoputtheirmoneyisintherenewablesector,where,ifwe,ormostotherwesterncountries,aretohaveahopeofmeetingthevarioustargetsbeingbandiedabout,muchworkneedstobedone。

Thewind-powersectorisofparticularinterest–notethatitaccountedfor35%oftheelectricity-generationcapacityaddedin?

Americalastyear。

Butmostoftheoperatorsinthissectorarealreadygrosslyovervalued,soinvestorswouldprobablybebetteradvisedtoheadforfirmsmakingtheelectronicpartsthatgointothem。

Zoltek(NASDAQ:ZOL),acarbonfibremanufacturer,isthepickofthebunch。

Itsellsitsmaterialstowind-powergenerators,suchasDenmark-basedVestasandSpanish-basedGamesa,andsawa25。

4%increaseinsalesinthefirstninemonthsofthisyearonthefirstninein2007。

Onaforwardp/eof26,itsnotcheap。

Better,onaforwardp/eof11。

5times,mightbeMEMCElectronicMaterials(NYSE:WFR),whichmakessiliconwafersforsolarpanels,amarketforecasttobeworthmorethan$16bnby2012。

LyxorlauncheditsNewEnergyETF(LSE:LNEW)inMarch,investingin20stocksinvolvedinalternativeenergyandhasrisen23%sincelaunch。

Itstotalexpenseratiois0。

60%。

PowerSharesGlobalCleanEnergyfund(LSE:PSBW)isbasedontheWilderHillNewenergyglobalinnovationindex,whichhasreturned28%overthreeyears。

Itscomposedoffirmsthatfocusonrenewablesourcesofenergy。

IntheUSthePowerSharesGlobalWindEnergyPortfolio(NASDAQ:PWND)isbasedontheNASDAQOMXCleanEdgeGlobalWindEnergyIndex。

Itsup10%overoneyear。

AndMarketVectorsNuclearEnergyETF(NYSE:NLR)trackstheDAXglobalNuclearindex,whichis42。

2%uraniummining,25。

6%plantinfrastructure,24。

0%nuclear,4。

6%uraniumstorage,2。