Curb new nuclear crops and again renewables, government advisers say

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain shouldn’t again a couple of new nuclear plant after Hinkley Point C is constructed earlier than 2025 as a result of renewable power is the bottom value for customers, an impartial advisory group to the government mentioned on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A windfarm is seen on Anglesey, north Wales May 2, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Britain plans to construct a brand new fleet of nuclear crops to exchange ageing coal and nuclear reactors set to shut within the 2020s in addition to to assist minimize the nation’s carbon emissions.

However, non-public traders have proved reluctant to tackle the large prices of latest nuclear crops, and the government has come beneath hearth for agreeing to pay a value for electrical energy from EDF’s (EDF.PA) Hinkley Point C plant – attributable to come on-line by the top of 2025 – which is means above rival energy tasks.

Last month, the government mentioned it would make investments instantly in one other new nuclear plant deliberate by a unit of Japan’s Hitachi. (6501.T)

However, the National Infrastructure Commission mentioned moving to an electrical energy system powered by renewable power sources could possibly be the “safest bet” in the long run and be the bottom value consequence for customers.

According to its calculations, the price of an electrical energy technology combine with a excessive amount of renewables can be akin to constructing additional nuclear crops after Hinkley Point C and cheaper than implementing carbon seize and storage on fossil gas crops.

Established in 2015, the fee is an impartial physique to supply recommendation to the government on how finest to satisfy the nation’s long-term infrastructure wants.

In its first ever evaluation for the government, which it’s required to provide as soon as each Parliament, the fee advisable steps ought to be taken to make sure renewables account for 50 % of electrical energy technology by 2030.

Currently, round 30 % of Britain’s electrical energy comes from renewables resembling wind and solar energy, up from 12 % 5 years in the past.

“An energy system based on low-cost renewables and the technologies required to balance them may prove cheaper than building further nuclear plants, as the cost of these technologies is far more likely to fall, and at a faster rate,” the fee mentioned.

“The National Infrastructure Assessment therefore cautions against a rush to agree government support for multiple new nuclear power stations, and proposes that after Hinkley Point C in Somerset the government should agree support for only one more nuclear plant before 2025,” it added.

The government has as much as a 12 months to reply to the fee’s suggestions.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Mark Potter

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