Writing on Hinkley C

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Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation appears to have got passed the final key hurdle, European Commission approval. I’ve written something on the issue over the Energy Collective here.

Hinkley C is in the words of some commentators, the world’s most expensive power plant. But who gains from such language? Offshore wind power developers who offer up electricity at a rate 50% higher than Hinkley C? Onshore wind power developers who offer up electricity at the same rate as Hinkley C? Strangely offering up anti-nuclear arguments that play directly into the hands of opponents of renewable energy is viewed as a sensible strategy by the folk who run organisations such as Greenpeace.  But  perhaps we can all agree with them that £90/MWh is too much to pay for electricity, and welcome a new dash for gas.

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2 thoughts on “Writing on Hinkley C

    Proteos said:
    October 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    If Britons really begin to oppose onshore wind farms and nuclear reactors vendors can’t do much better than £90/MWh, a dash for gas is what is going to happen. Or a return to coal.

    If EDF wants another go at building a reactor in Britain, they’ll certainly have to lower their price by noticeable amount.

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    jmdesp said:
    October 10, 2014 at 10:17 am

    In Japan, the closure of the nuclear plants was in effect a dash for gas. It rose the cost of gas by 50% for all of Asia. I don’t know about England, but in winter it also results in supply tensions in the south of France, because all LNG is now going to Asia at a much better price, and pipeline capacity gets insufficient to carry everything from the north of Europe.

    Assuming that you can strongly increase the demand for gas and keep similar prices is a bad idea. If not enough nuclear and renewable is built, it will very quickly become a dash for imported coal, just like in Germany (lignite has now already reached the top level planned, all future plans are for hard coal, of which Germany already imports 8 times more than it produces).

    Japan is building coal now as fast as it can in order to shut down first the oil plants, but next the gas plants.

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