Nuclear power risky and expensive
15th September 2016 | Commercial Energy
An article in The Guardian claims that the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will offer only risky and expensive solutions from the 20th Century. The old regime of large, centralised power plants is being replaced by a smart, efficient and widely distributed network, powered by increasing amounts of renewable energy.
New York State’s energy plan is to deliver 50% renewable electricity by 2030 and a 23% cut in energy use by buildings. It seems that the Government will improve the energy efficiency of just half the homes retrofitted by the last government.
Renewable energy and other technologies are plummeting in price, but nuclear power continues to grow ever more expensive: even if the UK negotiates a sharp cut in the subsidies for Hinkley, it still will not be complete by 2026 at the earliest, by when a capacity crunch will have hit the UK as old power stations close.
Hinkley puts a lot of generation capacity in one plan – as risky as putting all your eggs in one basket. Two attempts to build the same reactor in France and Finland are way over budget and behind schedule.
There are better ways of dealing with the electricity demand in the future, including the ability to store electricity and making the grid smarter – both of which would save a lot of money. Also, capturing and storing carbon from fossil fuel plants has received little attention from the government compared with Hinkley.
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