Marie Claire Brisbois, Lecturer in Energy Policy at the University of Sussex. ‘Relying on large-scale nuclear for base supply is a bit problematic’. “Now the UK does get quite a lot of its power generation from renewable sources, but the amount that we need to completely decarbonise electricity is quite significant. We are also expected to see much more electricity demand as we switch to electric vehicles and as we switch from gas boilers to heat pumps, so demand for electricity is going up. “What the Prime Minister has said is that he is going to depend on sort of large-scale renewable projects and nuclear to supply base supply. “That’s a bit problematic. Nuclear is not particularly good at what we could call peaking. So scaling up or scaling down to make up for problems with intermittency with renewables. So, that’s a question of how that would work. It’s also fairly expensive, one of the most expensive types of generation. So financing that would be problematic.” Ms Brisbois believes there are lots of dynamics within the new all-green grid target, but one of the things that she missed in the Prime Minister’s message was the focus on the issue of electricity demand.
Energy Live News 6th Oct 2021 read more »
William Nuttall: How nuclear energy can help make all UK electricity green by 2035. How would a new generation of nuclear plants help keep the lights on while cutting emissions from the energy sector? Large nuclear power stations have huge turbine generators spinning at high speed. These hold their speed in the face of small national fluctuations, providing stability to the grid. A constant base supply of nuclear power could continue to meet demand when renewable generation falters because the wind isn’t blowing and the Sun isn’t shining. There are other ways nuclear energy can aid decarbonisation. Heat generated in nuclear reactors might be pumped into the central heating systems of homes and other buildings, replacing fossil gas boilers. Nuclear energy could even go towards producing hydrogen fuel – a form of stored energy with potential benefits in heating and transport. And because nuclear fuel like uranium is what’s called energy-dense, even relatively small amounts can offer an ample supply. The UK also has its own fuel factory and plant for enriching uranium, allowing greater national control over the entire process.
The Conversation 6th Oct 2021 read more »
By 2050, total electricity demand in the UK is expected to double as we complete the transition to electric vehicles and low-carbon heating. To meet that demand and to maintain progress to net zero, the UK will need to quadruple its low-carbon generation by 2050. Today, around half of our electricity comes from low-carbon sources, with nuclear contributing some 40 percent of that. It’s a vital ingredient in the UK’s energy mix, providing a low-carbon source of firm, reliable power when the sun doesn’t shine and the winds don’t blow.
The Manufacturer 7th Oct 2021 read more »