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Renewable energy is the way to go for UK, not nuclear white elephants

Scrapping of nuclear plant should see UK renewables filling the void Catherine Mitchell
Professor of energy policy, University of Exeter  19 Jan  19 

Readers respond to news that Hitachi has pulled out of the proposed Wylva nuclear power plant in Anglesey The pulling out of Hitachi from the proposed Wylva nuclear power plant is a good thing for energy policy – not a serious blow as said in the article (Hitachi scraps £16bn nuclear power station in Wales, 18 January). Nuclear power is now one of the most expensive form of electricity there is. But beyond the economics, it no longer fits with the digitalising world that we live in. The global energy system is undergoing change similar to that in telecoms and computers over the last few decades. The energy system is becoming smarter and more flexible and it is on the path to being operated in a completely different way than hitherto because of that.S

Nuclear – with its huge, inflexible output – is the equivalent of a giant boulder in the middle of a motorway. We, the energy customers of Britain, would have ended up paying way over the odds for Wylva, which would have also undermined the UK’s move to a smart and flexible system – which really is the future. We are already going to do that for Hinkley Point C.

Going down the nuclear route has been a wasted decade for UK energy policy. Exiting from the EU and the loss of flexibility we may end up with because of difficulties to do with interconnectors and market arrangements is a far greater threat to security than some phantom nuclear power plant from a previous age.

Stephen Psallidas   Everyone knows that nuclear power creates lethal waste which hundreds of future generations will have to manage, and, despite the risk being very low, can lead to accidents (or terrorist attacks) with enormous impacts. But Hitachi’s abandonment of the new Wylfa nuclear power station is more evidence, as if any were needed, that nuclear power is also fundamentally uneconomic.

Renewable energy is already cheaper than all fossil fuels and new nuclear. And yet, £16bn spent on grid-level energy storage in the UK would enable a further plummet in the price of renewable energy – a huge boost to the UK economy, to energy independence and security, and to a cleaner future. Why do successive governments of both main parties continue to support these massive white elephants?

January 21, 2019 - Posted by | general

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