Plans for nuclear plants in Britain face fresh uncertainty after government advisers warned against backing costly new reactors. The nuclear industry wants the government to commit to a funding system to back the construction of reactors, including EDF’s proposed Sizewell plant in Suffolk. However, the National Infrastructure Commission, set up in 2015 to provide impartial advice to the government, reiterated concerns in a report about backing more nuclear plants. It noted that there had been cost reductions in renewable power technologies such as wind and solar over the past ten years, but “costs of building and running nuclear power stations have not fallen consistently, even in countries that have built fleets of similar reactors”. Given the potential for other non-intermittent technologies to complement renewables, it said that this “weakened the case for committing to a new fleet of nuclear power stations”.
Times 7th March 2020 read more »
Analysis published today by the National Infrastructure Commission suggests that increased investment in new technologies such as low carbon hydrogen generation could be the best way to deliver low cost power to UK consumers while also helping reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Detailed modelling using the latest available industry data suggests that consumers could see electricity bills up to 30 per cent lower than under alternative energy mixes if hydrogen power generation proves as effective as the projections suggest. Net Zero: Opportunities for the power sector separately notes cost reductions in bringing renewable technologies on stream over the past ten years, while costs of building and running nuclear power stations have not fallen consistently, even in countries that have built fleets of similar designed reactors. When considered alongside the potential for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage to run baseload – providing a constant, reliable flow of power – this weakens the case for committing to a new fleet of nuclear power stations now, the report concludes. The new report comes as the government prepares to deliver a white paper on energy and a long-awaited National Infrastructure Strategy.
National Infrastructure Commission 6th March 2020 read more »
RenewableUK is welcoming the National Infrastructure Commission’s Net Zero report which was published today. RenewableUK’s Director of Future Electricity Systems Barnaby Wharton said “This report highlights the central role that low-cost wind will play in the UK’s clean energy system in the decades ahead, so that consumers reap the full benefits of cheap electricity, as well as the importance of developing new technologies like renewable hydrogen, wave and tidal power. The NIC is right to urge the Government to continue with the positive progress they’ve made so far and to be ambitious in its vision to reach net zero emissions using a wide range of clean sources”.
RenewableUK 6th March 2020 read more »