Another study has been published showing that when it comes to energy costs, renewable energy comes out the clear winner over nuclear power – even if talking about offshore wind. And that’s even with stripping out all subsidies.
In fact, according to new calculations by the Energy Fair group, nuclear power is about £40/MWh more expensive than offshore wind. Nuclear costs “at least” £200/MWh it says, while the cost of offshore wind power is £140/MWh. "This confirms that nuclear power is entirely uneconomic," says Dr Gerry Wolff of Energy Fair.
There is now “abundant evidence” that renewables are much cheaper than nuclear power, he says, adding that renewables
can provide greater energy security;
are much more effective at cutting emissions;
can be built much faster than nuclear power plants;
can easily meet all our needs for energy, now and for the foreseeable future;
provide more flexibility than nuclear power;
provide diversity in energy supplies; and
they are free from the many problems and risks associated with nuclear power.
In terms of the fight against climate change, security of energy supplies and other considerations, “nuclear power diverts attention, effort, and large amounts of money away from renewables and the conservation of energy, where those resources would be more effectively spent”, he continues. A similar point has been made by PricewaterhouseCoopers this week in relation to the potential ramp-up of shale gas exploitation, after the firm found that global efforts to decarbonise are failing to stem global warming.
Dr Wolff stresses there is “absolutely no case for subsidising nuclear power with contracts for difference” or any other subsidy. “Pressing on with that policy will lead to a disaster that will dwarf the PFI fiasco or the debacle of the West Coast Main Line."
Energy Fair concludes: “We get bigger cuts in CO2 for a given amount of money, and we get them sooner, if we choose renewables with energy conservation -- and without using nuclear power. We certainly don't need both.”
Click here to find out more about calculating the real cost of renewable energy by reading our special Renewable Energy Focus series of articles on the subject, published earlier this year