The government’s surprise delay in signing the contract with EDF to build the Hinkley C nuclear power station has opened up a the space for a forward-looking UK energy policy, writes Jonathon Porritt – one that moves us into the world of low cost renewables, and smart new technologies vital to the global clean energy transition. But is Business & Energy Greg Clark for real? Don’t rule it out! Artificial Photosynthesis! Of all the technologies the Times might have prayed in aid of its critique of nuclear, as yesterday’s technology, Artificial Photosynthesis would be quite a long way down the list. Emerging breakthroughs in nano-solar, storage, fuel cells, hydrogen, demand optimisation, smart grids and so on, would all take precedence in most analysts’ scoping of exciting future prospects. everything hinges on whether this review is basically just providing a breathing space for Theresa May to consult further with our security forces, while simultaneously testing out the possibility of negotiating an even marginally less humiliating financial deal, or whether there’s an appetite for starting out to explore – in earnest – what plan B would actually look like – in other words, a UK energy strategy without Hinkley Point.
Ecologist 9th Aug 2016 read more »
Theresa May should look to Denmark instead of France to secure Britain’s future energy needs. The new prime minister on July 29 put plans to build two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point under review. Gallic nuclear knowhow would be one way to satisfy the country’s demand for carbon-neutral electricity – but May should be heeding the message coming out of Scandinavia too. As things stand, the UK is proposing to guarantee French state-controlled utility EDF a minimum price of 92.50 pounds for each megawatt-hour of electricity produced at the 18-billion-pound Hinkley Point project. Back in 2013, when the deal was struck, offshore wind was almost 50 percent more pricey. Wind technology’s costs have plummeted since then. The latest generation of wind farms on the ocean is producing electricity for less than 85 pounds per megawatt hour rather than 130 pounds, new data from state-controlled Danish utility DONG Energy shows. Bigger and more efficient turbines contribute, as well as improvements in construction and grid connection. This progress, which is faster than even DONG expected, is undermining the economic case for Hinkley Point. Offshore wind is already 8 percent cheaper. And the gap is likely to widen, as the industry continues to be on a steep learning curve, while construction costs for nuclear plants have a notorious tendency to creep upwards.
Breaking Views 8th Aug 2016 read more »
Reuters 8th Aug 2016 read more »