EDF will be paid between £55 million and £73 million for halving power output from Britain’s biggest nuclear reactor this summer under an agreement to prevent blackouts. National Grid, the company with the task of keeping Britain’s lights on, said that it had asked the French energy group to continue to limit generation from Sizewell B in Suffolk until late September. That is the maximum period negotiated in a contract that The Times revealed in May had been agreed to help to prevent the network being overwhelmed by excess power during the pandemic. Electricity demand dropped by as much as a fifth at the height of the lockdown and, although it is returning to normal levels, National Grid said that it was lower than expected and that there was a risk of a second wave that could suppress demand again. Keeping Sizewell operating at half-output enabled it to “prepare for such an event at minimal cost”. Juliet Davenport, of Good Energy, a renewable energy supplier, claimed that the contract was “evidence that inflexible, expensive nuclear power is not fit for the clean energy system we need”.
Times 8th Aug 2020 read more »