Nuclear energy has a role to play in helping the UK meet the government’s latest climate targets, according to Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit head of analysis Dr Jonathan Marshall. This week the government announced its new aim to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. Previously, the UK had a target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050. Marshall emphasised that a range of different energy schemes are likely to be needed to enable the UK to reach the ambitious new targets. “These targets are quite demanding so ruling out anything is probably a bad idea,” he said. “Having as much solar and wind as possible is useful but the different characteristics of nuclear mean it has benefits for the general energy mix. “The targets do involve electrification of a lot of sectors so if the government is going to go for nuclear there is a need for the electricity from it.” Marshall added that with EDF looking at the potential for on-site hydrogen generation at some nuclear power stations, “there are ways of incorporating nuclear into this more flexible, dynamic power grid”. Progress with nuclear power schemes has been slow to date.
New Civil Engineer 23rd April 2021 read more »