Nuclear power has become “outdated by technology” and offshore wind can produce power more quickly and cheaply, an energy scientist told the BBC. Professor in energy and climate change Charlie Wilson said there was no longer a good case for a new £20bn Sizewell C plant on the Suffolk coast. He said new ways to store wind turbine energy meant supplies could be maintained even in low winds. EDF, the firm behind Sizewell C, said nuclear was key for UK energy needs. The government said nuclear was vital for the “UK’s low-carbon energy future”. Prof Wilson, of the the Norwich-based Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, said nuclear power cost twice as much as wind power. Electricity generated by wind turbines costs about £40 per megawatt hour, compared to £92.50 which is the projected cost of the latest nuclear plant being built at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, he added. He said in the past nuclear power was seen as key because in any weather it provides the same baseload power – baseload refers to the minimum amount of electric power needed to be supplied to the electrical grid at any given time. “The view in the 1970s-1990s was that you needed this large firm baseload power generation like nuclear,” he said. “The game-changing technologies around storage and flexibility mean intermittent renewables – like large offshore wind farms – are now viable as a reliable generation source.
BBC 25th Sept 2021 read more »