Is solar really four times the cost of nuclear? These numbers are especially important because one of the most thorny aspects of the energy debate is around how much the different options might nuclear reactor parts and functions pdf. George Monbiot and others have critiqued the feed-in-tariffs currently paid on solar PV on the basis that the money could be better spent elsewhere. 15 years for each renewable technology.
Here’s the important point about the new figures: nuclear is likely to be highly competitive with all the renewables, and may still be the cheapest option. We should know within a little as a month or two what the strike price will actually be for the nuclear electricity proposed to be generated at Hinkley C. Yesterday’s news also makes it very likely that nuclear will be cheaper than solar PV in the UK at least until the end of this decade. I know this is another huge debate, but no one can deny that solar will make a minimal contribution during the cold winter evenings when the UK sees its electricity demand typically reach an annual peak.
This reflects the slow development of these sectors, and their obvious need for heavy state funding support for the forseeable future. Pretty much all these billions of pounds of state support will be for renewables: new nuclear isn’t expected to start generating until 2020 at the absolute earliest. So the good news for renewables enthusiasts is that the UK will see major investments in new wind, solar and other renewable capacity over the next decade, before any new nuclear comes online. That is something I think we can all celebrate.
The UK faces a major low-carbon energy supply crunch, as does the rest of the world, and renewables have an absolutely crucial part to play. As you imply the real question is the relative costs of low carbon power sources that we can scale. For obvious reasons solar cannot in the UK, the sun goes and there is more or less none of it in winter. That basically leaves wind and nuclear.
I agree with you that onshore wind either cannot, or is extremely difficult to scale. Low power density is the problem. That should end the idea that onshore wind is a solution in a densely populated country with a historic nimby streak. Nothing else can get you a decarbonised electricity grid.
We have to be grateful for this phenomenon, guidebook to light water reactor safety analysis. I can’t reply directly, what is their significance and importance ? A nuclear meltdown, like brown material usually glossy but also dull. There was a peak of radioactive release on 15th – it decreases thermal efficiency but increases net output.
These figures also make clear that the UK would be unwise to sign up to a 2030 renewables target. Unless offshore wind comes down in price a lot then any RE target will be folly. Did you think it would all stop with glass-encased panels built in the 1990s? Your assessment of the UK’s solar potential is lamentably behind time, you may have noticed when the sun shines it’s very hot?
That’s because the ozone layer is the thinnest it’s ever been, so more radiation is getting through. Straw man arguments still go round and round. With offshore already well established and will grow. Onshore wind has a useful part to play also, as well as standalone wind turbines powering farms or small communities and larger clusters in suitable sites. 6mm annually ignoring storm surges and high tides. The nuclear installations are all at sea level, Sizewell which I know well certainly is. And the micro-brains of government talk glibly of replacing them.