Dave Toke, reader in energy politics at Aberdeen University, says the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC’s) recent technical report has effectively sunk nuclear power in the UK.
A careful reading of the evidence produced by the CCC completely upends the former received wisdom that renewable energy could not, on its own, achieve the UK’s long term carbon emission reduction targets. The old argument that large quantities of nuclear power are necessary has been quietly side-lined. Rather, the evidence presented by the CCC says that not only can renewables do the whole job, along with energy efficiency, on their own, but they can do things much more cheaply than either nuclear power or carbon capture and storage.
The CCC argues that investment in renewable energy will save consumers money, whilst investment in nuclear power and carbon capture and storage will cost a lot more.
The CCC estimate renewable energy resources to be very large – 29-96 of GW of onshore wind, 145-615 GW of solar power and 95-245 GW of offshore wind.
Using the lower end of the range, the electricity would be enough to provide all of the electricity needed for a net zero energy economy in the UK. That’s not even counting other renewable energy sources, including biomass and marine renewables.
See nuClear News No.117 for more.