Cornwall Insight – an influential energy consulting firm – says wind and solar capacity could replace the need for additional nuclear power in the UK, but some form of support for them will probably still be needed.
Findings from their Benchmark Power Curve show that meeting UK’s fourth and fifth carbon budgets without commissioning new nuclear capacity is a real possibility. Not only this, but the forecasts predict that meeting these targets can be achieved at a lower cost compared to developing a new fleet of reactors.
Continual improvements to the development and operation of renewable technologies such as wind and solar see them become increasingly cost-effective, allowing the UK to meet its targets without the need for additional new nuclear capacity. But deployment may still need some form of support above and beyond the power markets. (1)
Ben Hall, head of new business at Cornwall Insight, said its latest forecast marked a “notable shift away from previous thinking” that new nuclear would be needed to meet climate targets in the UK. Wind and solar are increasingly competitive on costs and could well negate the need for new nuclear capacity, he argued. (2)