The UK’s failing nuclear programme should be scrapped. That’s according to anti-nuclear group Stop Hinkley, which has said Britain’s nuclear efforts are clearly failing to deliver and could only be achieved through huge public subsidies that the nation can’t afford. The group says ministers should instead focus on creating a wide renewable energy mix bolstered by decentralised micro-generation projects, energy storage and energy efficiency technology. It says these sectors are more cost effective, can be deployed faster and actually deliver low carbon climate change objectives, all without generating “thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive waste”. The group points to a number of international energy utilities, such as E.ON, RWE and npower, that have confidently announced their commitment to new nuclear power stations in the past but then had to pull out as they realise they cannot afford the huge levels of investment required. It also highlighted the fact that EDF, which is responsible for the development of Hinkley Point C, issued three profit warnings last year following a string of unplanned nuclear plant shutdowns. Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said: “If you look around the country you find local authorities and communities that are still finding ways to take control of their own energy and make the economic case to install renewables despite cuts in subsidies. “This contrasts with the vast level of public subsidy being offered or sought for new nuclear.” The ‘Brexit’ decision means the UK is going to leave the EURATOM Treaty which deals another blow to UK nuclear policy. The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) have declined to comment.
Energy Live News 20th Feb 2017 read more »
Letter: Dr Charles W Donovan Imperial College Business School, UK. As observed in your report “Demand for price discount puts nuclear plants’ viability in doubt”, the cost of capital is a crucial factor preventing nuclear power developers from lowering their prices. That, in turn, is due to their inability to access cheap commercial debt. Contrast their predicament to renewable energy developers, which have plentiful choices for long-term loans from commercial banks for roughly 80 per cent of total project costs. Markets are saying something important about the risks of these technologies. One must hope that the UK government policymakers are listening.
FT 21st Feb 2017 read more »