All existing UK reactors are scheduled to close by the end of 2031 with the exception of Sizewell B, which is expected to secure a 20-year life extension to 2055. In terms of replacement capacity, Platts Analytics sees a first 1.6 GW EPR unit at Hinkley Point C coming online in 2027, around a year behind EDF’s own schedule, with a second unit online in 2028. It assumes Sizewell C (another 3.2 GW EPR project) will go ahead, but with construction only starting in the mid-2020s with completion in the early 2030s. In the interim the UK would become more reliant on imports and flexible capacity to meet demand, a UK power trader said. The 1.4 GW North Sea Link to Norway is scheduled to come online later this year, while linkage to the continent is set to increase further in 2023 via the 1.4 GW Viking link to Denmark. “Higher volatility is to be expected as the large units drop off, and we become a lot more coupled to the continent,” another UK power trader said. Finally, as dispatchable power stations closed, competition in the UK capacity market should decrease and clearing prices rise, supporting the investment case for flexible assets such as batteries, according to Alan Smallwood, optimization director at asset manager Anesco.
S&P Global 8th June 2021 read more »