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Europe’s challenged: the unco-ordinated situation of aging nuclear power, and ever cheaper renewables

It is time for Europe to face its nuclear challenge, Ft.com 30 Apr 17 Nick Butler, This post is co-authored by Shahin Vallée The energy market in Europe is being radically transformed by formidable forces, but governments and companies alike are so far failing to adapt to a changing world. Some of the greatest risks lie in the nuclear sector. The scale of the challenge suggests that only a pan-European approach can produce viable solutions but can the continent, in the wake of Brexit, deliver the necessary co-operation? Three principal factors are at work:

 The rapidly declining marginal cost of renewable energy (solar and wind), is threatening the economics of nuclear and fossil-fuel powered generation and, starting in Germany, breaking down the business models of the established utilities.
The increasing openness of the European energy market is such that policy decisions taken in one country immediately weigh on others. This is accelerating the pressure on the business models of utilities.
 An entire generation of nuclear power plants built in the 1960s and 1970s is reaching the end of its working life. Plants will need to be retired, decommissioned securely and in some cases replaced at very high cost. Decommissioning know-how, however, is minimal and there is no standardised and affordable model for the development of new nuclear capacity or its integration into a system in which renewables will be a growing force. The response to the common challenges has been disparate and unco-ordinated…….https://www.ft.com/content/2b79ac79-aef0-3252-b712-7c5cddeef171
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May 8, 2017 - Posted by | general

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