UK’s deteriorating nuclear fleet poses risk to Net Zero carbon goals. The UK could exceed carbon limits if ageing nuclear plants are taken offline early, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has advised in a report.
New Civil Engineer 7th June 2019 read more »
The UK should scale up solar and wind to make up looming potential shortfall in nuclear energy capacity, ECIU argues. Boosting renewable power sources in the UK would provide “no-regrets insurance” against a looming gap in the UK’s nuclear capacity, playing a crucial role in reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the process, a report today by a leading think tank has found. The government’s plans for a fleet of new nuclear plants in the UK are facing major challenges after recent decisions by Hitachi and Toshiba to halt projects in North Wales and Cumbria respectively, creating a shortfall between official projections of future nuclear capacity and what the market appears set to deliver. Meanwhile, the discovery of cracks in graphite bricks around the core of nuclear reactors – such as that which has led to Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire shutting down a reactor – has raised fears some of the UK’s existing nuclear plants could yet close earlier than planned. The industry’s travails could potentially leave the UK with a looming nuclear capacity gap, which could have huge implications for both the electricity system and the UK’s long-term carbon targets, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).
Business Green 7th June 2019 read more »
Increasing renewable energy capacity would serve as an insurance policy against a possible ‘nuclear gap’ in Britain’s low-carbon power pipeline caused by early closure of ageing reactors, a new report finds. Hunterston B Power Station in Ayrshire has been affected by cracks in the graphite surrounds to the reactor core. The report, Cracks in the System, by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) examines the effects of the UK’s existing nuclear power stations closing earlier than government expects. It finds that this would exacerbate the problems caused by cancellation of new nuclear stations. And it concludes that expanding renewable energy capacity, either through increasing development of offshore wind or via a combination of on- and offshore wind and solar, would fill the gap more cheaply than expanding gas generation, an option that would in any case bust legally-binding carbon targets.
ECIU 7th June 2019 read more »