Wednesday, November 21, 2012
THE DISAPPEARING MARKET FOR NUCLEAR ELECTRICITY
Copied from the excellent Energy Fair
By the time any new nuclear power station could be built in the UK (2020 or later), the market for its electricity will be disappearing—because of explosive growth in photovoltaics (PV) and because consumers will be able to buy electricity from anywhere in Europe. This is one of the conclusions of a report by the Energy Fair group.
The falling cost of photovoltaics (PV) will lead to a booming market for solar panels, generating large amounts of power during the day when the demand for electricity is greatest. And there will be stiff competition from wind power and other renewables that work at night.
The likely completion of the European internal market for electricity and strengthening of the European transmission grid will enable consumers, including large commercial and industrial consumers, to buy their electricity from anywhere in Europe.
“The disappearing market for nuclear electricity means that there is absolutely no case for subsidising nuclear power with ‘contracts for difference’ or any other subsidy.” said Dr Gerry Wolff of Energy Fair. “If the Government presses on with that policy, we may be saddled with expensive nuclear white elephants that will be paid for by consumers for 25 years or more. This would be worse than the PFI fiasco or the debacle of the West Coast Main Line.”
1 The disappearing market for nuclear electricity is described in Section 3 of The financial risks of investing in new nuclear power plants (PDF), which may be downloaded via bitly.com/JhdNtL.
2 There is abundant evidence that renewables are much cheaper than nuclear power (taking account of all subsidies), they can provide greater energy security, they are much more effective at cutting emissions, they can be built much faster than nuclear power plants, they can easily meet all our needs for energy, now and for the foreseeable future, and they are free from the many problems with nuclear power. Evidence for these points may be found on www.energyfair.org.uk/oppcost.