Nuclear energy may have a limited future in the UK if the Labour party gets into power. Even as the country’s main opposition party vows to drastically cut carbon emissions in the next decade, it also wants to rein in the expansion of one of the country’s key sources of low-carbon energy. As the price of renewable energy plummets, it no longer makes sense to fund a wholesale replacement of the country’s aging nuclear fleets, said Alan Whitehead, the opposition party’s shadow minister for energy and climate change. “I don’t think there’s long-term room in the market for a huge fleet of new nuclear,” Whitehead said in an interview on the sidelines of a party conference on Tuesday. “If it’s going to play a disproportionately destructive role as far as markets are concerned, it really doesn’t have much of a place.” While nuclear energy makes up about a fifth of the U.K.’s electricity, most of the plants will shut down within the next decade. That would roughly coincide with the Labour party’s tentative goal to get the country to net-zero carbon emissions. Whitehead favors using more renewables to make up for the supplies that nuclear plants currently provide. He said the plunging cost of offshore wind makes atomic plants hard to justify. Sizewell, could make it through construction, Whitehead said. It would have to either be completely funded by the developers or the government could step in and provide some guarantee during the construction phase, he said. Beyond that there’s no realistic way to fund other projects. That means other nuclear projects that were shelved earlier this year would have no pathway to ever be constructed. That could include EDF’s Bradwell B project, Whitehead said. A spokesman for EDF didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.
Energy Voice 25th Sept 2019 read more »
The latest edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report gives the energy source little hope in the race against fast, widespread, job-friendly, popular renewables. The report reiterates clean power is taking the lead in the world’s energy system and nuclear is not only too costly a remedy for carbon emissions but too slow to deploy. Nuclear output grew only 2.4% last year while solar and wind power volumes grew 18% and 29%, respectively.
PV Magazine 24th Sept 2019 read more »
Nuclear power is losing ground to renewables in terms of both cost and capacity as its reactors are increasingly seen as less economical and slower to reverse carbon emissions, an industry report said. In mid-2019, new wind and solar generators competed efficiently against even existing nuclear power plants in cost terms, and grew generating capacity faster than any other power type, the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) showed. “Stabilizing the climate is urgent, nuclear power is slow,” said Mycle Schneider, lead author of the report. “It meets no technical or operational need that low-carbon competitors cannot meet better, cheaper and faster.” The report estimates that since 2009 the average construction time for reactors worldwide was just under 10 years, well above the estimate given by industry body the World Nuclear Association (WNA) of between 5 and 8.5 years. The extra time that nuclear plants take to build has major implications for climate goals, as existing fossil-fuelled plants continue to emit CO2 while awaiting substitution.
London South East 24th Sept 2019 read more »