Conservative think-tank Bright Blue has said that renewables must be the government’s ‘Plan B’ in the event that the controversial Hinkley C nuclear power project falls through. Bright Blue’s ‘Keeping the lights on’ report, published yesterday, profiled how it considered the UK should best fuel its energy sector as unabated coal firing plants are phased out by 2025. It uses research commissioned from Aurora Energy Research to provide three scenarios – ‘base case’, ‘low stress’ and ‘high stress’ – under which the security of the UK’s energy supply is tested in light of the government’s planned coal phase out. While all three scenarios indicate that energy security will be maintained, the ‘low stress’ scenario – which entails above-expectations deployment of renewables, nuclear and energy efficiency technologies – results in greater energy security and cheaper household energy bills. Principle in the report’s findings however is the government’s actions in the event that the planned 3.2GW nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C is not built. The project’s fate continues to be scrutinised and EDF has yet to commit to a final investment decision despite repeatedly granting assurances that a positive announcement would be forthcoming. The report indicates that should it collapse, greater renewables deployment “should be ‘Plan B’” given the technology’s capability to “easily fill in the capacity gap” throughout the late 2020s.