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« Lights that a hurricane can’t blow out | Main | 58 Insane facts about Bitcoin »
Monday
Oct092017

Rising Costs Slow The Growth Of Nuclear Power

We feel like we have been here many times before.

The troubled history of Britain’s replacement nuclear power station Hinckley Point C (HPC) will have received scant, if any, coverage in the U.S.

But the story is an illustration of the blind alley in which nuclear power finds itself. The debate is one that is being (or will be) enacted in many other countries that rely on nuclear power as part of their energy mix.

Eight years behind schedule, HPC should have come on stream by the end of this year, but is not now likely before 2025 at the earliest (and probably later even than that distant date).

In the meantime, repeated delays have added to the costs.

A Rising Price Tag

Now estimated at £19.6 billion ($26 billion), it would be one of the most expensive structures ever built in the U.K. Last year, the British government pushed the financial risk onto French power generator and owner-to-be of the plant EDF Energy as part of a dealthat has already settled on an eyewatering £92.50/MWhr fee for power produced, index linked for 35 years, the Financial Times reported.

Since that part of the agreement was made in 2013, inflation has pushed that figure to over £100/MWhr, the Financial Times reported, compared to offshore wind at £60/MWhr and unsubsidized new natural gas generation at even less.

Never mind the rights and wrongs on how an inept series of U.K. government politicians and civil servants got lobbied into agreeing to such a position. The fact remains no one, probably not even EDF themselves — and certainly not their shareholders — really wants the project to go ahead.

Fortunately, alternatives are emerging.

more.....


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