Approximately, 16% of UK power comes from nuclear reactors, which are almost all due to close soon. The UK Government has gone quiet about nuclear renewal. In late June, the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Nuclear Energy has called for urgent action to revitalise the industry, a call which seems too late to be viable. New UK report suggests massive expansion of offshore wind to 108 GW; this will drive new power needs in the UK. Investors might consider the risks of investing in nuclear technology now and instead consider the rise of companies involved with offshore wind. Four years ago, I wrote about the struggling global nuclear industry and specifically nuclear power in the UK. I updated the UK situation earlier this year. Very recent developments suggest that a further update is timely because what happens in the UK will impact the global nuclear industry. Here I suggest that this is not a time to invest in nuclear technology, but that offshore wind looks increasingly attractive. It takes a long time to get nuclear permitting sorted out and construction commissioned. The clock is ticking for the renewal of the UK nuclear fleet which currently provides ~16% of UK power requirements, but all but one of the existing fleet of 15 reactors plans to close by 2030. The problem seems to be that getting the Hinkley Point C reactors off the ground brought out into the open how expensive and delay-prone building a new nuclear plant has become. Probably focusing the Government’s mind is the fact that financing Hinkley Point C has left the public with a “strike price” of 92 pounds/MWh and 35 year inflation adjusted bill, which is already more than double the cost of a major wind farm (e.g. Dogger Bank wind farm has a strike price of 40 pounds/MWh, IRR of 5.6% and payback time 17 years). No doubt the recently updated 100+ year program to decontaminate the UK’s 17 old nuclear facilities is another confronting fact that may not be an election winner.
Seeking Alpha 4th July 2021 read more »
GUEST BLOG: Tom Greatrex – A new nuclear age. Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, Tom Greatrex says nuclear station closures threaten jobs and climate goals without new investment.
Energy Live News 6th July 2021 read more »