Increasing renewable energy capacity such as offshore wind would serve as an insurance policy against a possible ‘nuclear gap’ in Britain’s low-carbon power pipeline, a report finds. The report, Cracks in the System, by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) examines the effects of the UK’s existing nuclear power stations closing earlier than government expects. It finds that this would exacerbate the problems caused by cancellation of new nuclear stations. And it concludes that expanding renewable energy capacity, either through increasing development of offshore wind, or via a combination of on- and offshore wind and solar, would fill the gap more cheaply than expanding gas generation, an option that would in any case bust legally-binding carbon targets. Accelerating renewables rollout in this way alongside enhanced power system flexibility such as storage would be a ‘no-regrets’ option, the report argues. Report author ECIU head of analysis Dr Jonathan Marshall said, “Although the government has reduced forecasts for the amount of nuclear capacity Britain needs in recent years, no assessment has yet considered the potential impact of the early closure of the country’s ageing fleet of reactors.
Offshore Wind Journal 12th June 2019 read more »