To meet our climate targets, we need to ramp up nuclear energy in the UK. Nuclear and renewables must be seen as complementary options in a balanced energy policy – not alternatives, argues the Prospect union’s Sue Ferns. It seems that everyone’s got an opinion about the cost of nuclear energy, and most of those opinions are rooted in the cost of building Hinkley Point C (HPC). Whether you believe that investment should have gone ahead or not, it’s certainly valid to ask whether there is a better way of doing it. But a proper conversation about cost must also include the carbon cost of alternative fuel sources; the regional economic cost if nuclear is no longer an option: the political cost to any government that cannot maintain security of supply and the cost to our environment if we do not act now to cut emissions. Prospect’s report ’Making the case for new nuclear’ shows that the UK is facing a reduction of 30% of current electricity generating capacity by 2030 as a result of the planned phase out of coal, decommissioning of nuclear plant and potential closure of ageing gas plant. This would leave the UK increasingly reliant on a mix of variable renewables and imports via interconnectors – physical energy links between other countries and the UK. Our analysis, based on work by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Audit Office, shows that a 50% government stake in new nuclear would generate £1.35 in tax revenue for every £1 spent. It could result in strike prices 13% lower than the average for offshore wind in 2017 and 42% lower than at HPC.
Left Foot Forward 11th Oct 2018 read more »
Scientists say we must keep global temperature rise under 1.5C – so what does that mean for the UK? Next week, ministers are likely to ask their advisers how Britain can reduce carbon emissions in line with that target. They’ve declared what they’re calling Green GB Week – a celebration of the UK’s achievement as a world leader in tackling climate change whilst increasing the economy. But will they make the huge carbon cuts still needed on these six key issues?
BBC 12th Oct 2018 read more »