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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Decentralised Energy – it’s the future for Britain

 No 2NuclearPower, nuClear news No.93, March 2017  2014 saw a spate of reports from Investment Banks and energy analysts which concluded that, amongst other things, conventional utility models are no longer fit for purpose. The reports highlighted the changes to the old centralised utility model which are on the horizon and the importance of new technologies. They suggested that decentralised energy supply will be increasingly important in the future. (See nuClear News No.68 – Decentralised Energy Marches On).

UBS, for instance, declared that it is “time to join the [solar] revolution”. Citi Research predicted “that solar, wind, and biomass continue to gain market share from coal and nuclear into the future”.

As far back as 2012 Moody’s said:

“What were once considered stable companies have seen their business models severely disrupted. Given that further increases in renewables are expected, these negative pressures will continue to erode the credit quality of thermal based utilities in the near to medium term .” (1)

At the beginning of 2016 the Chief Executive of Engie UK, Wilfrid Petrie, predicted “…the emergence of a new type of organisation within cities,” which don’t want to sell a huge amount of energy but focus instead on the demand side. “The future is going to be much more about decentralized energy,” he said. (2)

Now finally EDF may be catching up. Les Echos, the French business newspaper, carried an extraordinary article from Senior Vice President Marc Boillot who said “large nuclear or thermal power plants designed to function as baseload are challenged by the more flexible decentralized model”. He says that the centralised model of power production is dying, to be replaced by local solar and wind, supplemented by batteries and intelligent management of supply and demand. Not only will this be cheaper in the long run but customers are actually prepared to pay more for solar electricity and actively work to reduce usage at times of shortage. His conclusion is that “the traditional model must adapt to the new realities, thus allowing the utilities to emerge from …hypercentralized structures in a world that is becoming more and more decentralized”. (3) http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo93.pdf

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March 4, 2017 - Posted by | general

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