11 Sep 2017: Reports that offshore wind farms will be built for a record low price in the UK early next decade are good news, but should not overshadow the fact that one technology alone cannot solve the UK’s power challenges and the full range of low-carbon technologies will be needed to provide reliable and readily available power, the London-based Nuclear Energy Industry (NIA) said on 11 September 2017.
The NIA, which represents more than 260 companies in the nuclear sector, was responding to the results of a government auction for subsidy contracts which show two offshore windfarms will be built for �57.50 per MWh.
The price is half of what new offshore windfarms were being awarded just two years ago. The strike price for the Hinkley Point C nuclear station in Somerset was agreed by the government and developer EDF at �92.50/MWh.
The NIA said National Audit Office analysis confirmed nuclear is cost-competitive with other low-carbon projects, and when you compare Hinkley Point C’s strike price of �92.50/MWh to the �140/MWh for the Hornsea offshore wind project agreed at the same time with a delivery date in the 2020s, the cost case for nuclear is clear.
Subsequent nuclear projects, regardless of technology, will likely have a lower cost, the NIA said. The simplistic “technology versus technology” debate fails to appreciate that different power sources provide different elements of a balanced energy mix, the NIA said.
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