New nuclear is a lose-lose situation for Britain

● By Matthias Reeg, German Aerospace Center ● The first new nuclear power station in Britain in nearly 20 years is to be built, an announcement that comes only two and a half years after the disaster at Fukushima focused the world’s attention the drawbacks of nuclear power. At a first glance it looks like the nuclear industry is back in business in Europe. The deal between French energy giant EDF, which operates Britain’s existing nuclear power plants, and the planned Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, and the British government was pitched as a win-win situation for everybody. The consumers are assured of their electricity supply, the government invests in jobs and bolsters a “cutting-edge” low carbon technology that will help Britain hit it’s CO2 emissions targets, and EDF secures a profit margin of 10%. The deal guarantees EDF a price of £92.50 (about €110) per megawatt hour (MWh) for 35 years from the time the plant starts generating, inflation linked to the consumer price index. The UK government, in its overflowing generosity, has also agreed to underwrite 65% of the £16 billion cost of building the plant. But looking at the numbers more closely reveals a different picture. A picture, in fact, that is entirely the opposite. The deal is a confession in public, a statement of failure of a technology that was never and probably will never be built and operated at competitive cost. This becomes clear when comparing nuclear power with other options that society has at its disposal to replace fossil fuel energy, tackle climate change, and foster energy independence. In Germany, Energiewende, or energy transition, a grand project to de-carbonise energy generation, had already begun in 2000 when a feed-in-tariff scheme was introduced to help ease renewable energy sources such as wind and solar into the market. Back then, the total share of electricity generated from renewable energy was about 6.5%, with about 4% accounted for by hydroelectric power ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

Cookies helfen bei der Bereitstellung unserer Dienste. Durch die Nutzung erklären Sie sich mit der Cookie-Setzung einverstanden. Mehr OK