The crown estate has waded into the battle over Hinkley Point, pointing out that offshore windfarms are already being built at cheaper prices than the proposed atomic reactors for Somerset. While not arguing the £18.5bn nuclear project should be scrapped, the organisation – still legally owned by the Queen – said that the government’s current Hinkley review makes it a good time to consider the advantages of other low carbon technologies. The crown estate said that windfarms at sea will be on course to meet 10% of the country’s electricity by 2020 while Hinkley Point C is not expected to be constructed till the mid 2020s, to produce 7%. “The [wind] sector has undergone a sea change over the last few years, driven by rapid advances in technology, cost and the industry’s ability to deliver on time and to budget,” said Huub den Rooijen, the director of energy, minerals and infrastructure at the crown estate. “In the Netherlands, there has been an even bigger step change. In the busy time around the EU referendum, many people will have missed the publication of their most recent offshore wind tender. “Although there are differences in terms of regulation, most would agree that the Dutch are now going to be paying the equivalent of about £80/MWh for their 700 megawatt windfarm. That is significantly lower than Hinkley Point at £92.50/MWh.”
Guardian 14th Aug 2016 read more »
Huub den Rooijen Director of energy, minerals and infrastructure at Crown Estate. With the government re-examining the case for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point, it’s a good time to reflect on recent breakthroughs in another low carbon technology: offshore wind. Offshore wind is already meeting about 5% of the UK’s electricity demand, more than any other country globally, and is on course to meet 10% by 2020. The sector has undergone a sea change over the last few years, driven by rapid advances in technology, cost, and industry’s ability to deliver on time and to budget. In fact, over the last three years, construction costs have come down by more than 40% in the UK alone. And by 2025, industry and government expect UK prices to be comparable with new gas generation at about £85 per megawatt hour (MWh).
Guardian 14th July 2016 read more »
Letter Norman Kilpatrick: David Bloomfield (letter, Aug 13) is absolutely right. Britain needs a reliable supply of energy, under its own control, preferably without carbon dioxide production or radioactive waste generation, produced day and night, all year round. There is a massive supply of almost untapped energy around our coasts; billions of tonnes of seawater are moved to and fro twice daily in tidal flows. These flows are reliable and predictable (unlike wind) and though tide will be slack four times daily in one area, flow will be strong in other areas at these times. Unlike solar, there would be a constant supply of tidal energy and, unlike fossil fuel, it would not, once established, produce any carbon dioxide, nor would it run out within a century or two. This country could design and build a variety of tidal turbines producing energy before a brick has been laid at Hinkley Point. An incentive c ould be a money prize for the university department designing the most cost-effective tidal turbine. British steel would be vital for the project, and the ship-building and heavy engineering skills and equipment in Portsmouth and elsewhere could again be used.
Times 15th Aug 2016 read more »