Our analysis finds that for nuclear energy to be a financially viable addition to the UK energy mix, cost reductions of at least 30% are needed, compared to the electricity price of the Hinkley Point C project presently being built which has a 35-year contract for price support (a Contract for Difference) at £92.5/MWh in 2012 prices. This finding is part of a wider exploration of the capacities of generation and storage technologies that could be built to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions electricity system for Great Britain. Nuclear energy is one of the possible zero-carbon sources. The full analysis will be published in a briefing paper (due in January 2021) to provide evidence to policymakers on the lowest-cost direction of energy system evolution towards this target. For now we would like to share our results on nuclear, which are relevant to the ongoing talks between EDF Energy and the UK government to secure construction of a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk. The Sizewell C project would provide 3.34GW of electricity, enough to power 6 million homes, and comes with the expectation of boosting jobs, skills and apprenticeships in the area.
Energy Futures Lab 23rd Nov 2020 read more »
The Committee on Climate Change (May 2019) forecast that by 2050 the need for energy in the UK will likely near double what it is today. Energy production will need to switch towards low carbon sources with an estimated 40-55 GW of extra low carbon electricity needed to power the UK. How do we supply this fundamental demand? What we need is a mixed system containing significant use of renewables such as wind, wave and solar, along with firm low carbon power which can be provided by nuclear if this can be made affordable. This need is reinforced by a recent assessment by Energy Systems Catapult (March 2020), which identified: the need and potential for a significant small nuclear contribution to the future energy mix in electricity, heat and hydrogen.
Innovate 24th Nov 2020 read more »