Nuclear power: Suffolk’s Sizewell C is too expensive says ex-energy minister Ed Davey

Posted: September 27, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, Nuclear power, opinion
Tags: , ,

As someone until last month involved with a renewables company, he would say that, wouldn’t he? The green jobs claim may also be over-optimistic, if Scotland’s experience is anything to go by.
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Ed Davey, who approved a nuclear plant in 2013, says the “economic case” is no longer there, reports BBC News.

Instead the new Liberal Democrat leader argues the government should invest more in renewable energy to help boost the economy.

“The economic case for nuclear power is not there any more,” said Mr Davey.

Energy firm EDF, which is behind the £20bn proposals, said the plant on the Suffolk coast would deliver low-carbon electricity.

Mr Davey, energy minister during the 2010-15 coalition government, approved plans for a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in 2013 and secured Chinese investment for the site on the Somerset coast.

At the time he described it as “a milestone on the road to decarbonisation”.

But now he said: “The cost of offshore wind energy has fallen dramatically and renewables are cheaper than nuclear.

“We can build them locally, we don’t need Chinese investment. Let’s tap into this energy source that we control, that is clean, green and that creates green jobs in the region.”

Continued here.

  1. Gamecock says:

    Then build a £1bn nuclear plant. It can be done. Easily. The reason why it’s not is government.

  2. pochas94 says:

    I deplore those who cannot see nuclear as inevitable on the path to a secure, healthy, peaceful world. I dismiss those without the means to afford that premium fuel, hydrogen, preferring to burn fossils which liberate ugly, foul smelling gases laden with toxic CO2, or carry with them tons of useless batteries made with toxic metals mined by children in Africa. I laugh at those who, like Don Quixote, would turn to windmills as suitable for anything but museum pieces. Fie on them all!

  3. Curious George says:

    “invest more in renewable energy to help boost the economy.”
    Break windows to help boost the glass industry.

  4. oldbrew says:

    “The economic case for nuclear power is not there any more,” said Mr Davey.

    But wind power and nuclear are not directly comparable. One is intermittent and unreliable, the other is nuclear power.
    – – –
    Re the ‘economic case’ can Mr Ed tell us where the £3 trillion is coming from?

    Net zero and the national ruin


  5. ivan says:

    It wouldn’t cost that much for nuclear power stations If RR were given the go-ahead to produce modular units, just hook together as many units as needed to get the power output required.

    The only thing holding that back are the stupid regulations produced by the government to appease the old biddies at Greenham Common and those that follow the Linear No Threshold models of exposure (all nuclear is bad). Revise those regulations and nuclear power would go forward.

  6. Phoenix44 says:

    In what way are nuclear jobs not clean and Green and jobs?

    And why not have somebody else risk their capital? We used to think foreign investment in the UK was a good thing.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Phoenix says: And why not have somebody else risk their capital?

    They won’t do it if it’s financially risky, as recent events confirm.

  8. Phillip Bratby says:

    I said at the time that Ed Davey approved a large strike price for the out-dated EPR design of Hinkley C and that he had done this so that in the future he could say how expensive nuclear power is.

  9. Phil Salmon says:

    This is funny – someone in the elitosphere has started getting anxious that a generation of hard protest work to kill off the nuclear industry might turn out an astronomical and fatal environmental own goal:

    I’m in my 50’s but I think I’ll live long enough to see this black comedy of energy idiocy and muddled contradictory eco-posturing descend into the purest and most delightful farce! I’ll probably freeze to death in an unheated home but it will still have been worth it 😂

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    Phil Salmon:
    Does he still work for the BBC?
    Could this be the start of a radical new approach – of quoting real, verifiable figures rather than “estimates” thrown up by opponents of the idea?

  11. Phil Salmon says:

    Graeme no 3
    According to the article the author Justin Rowlatt is the beeb’s chief environmental correspondent.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Without nuclear the hole in the green energy bucket is far too large to fill, assuming gas is off the menu and large scale CCS is impossible for technical and economic reasons.

    But Germany, a supposed leading example of green energy virtue, has already plumped for Russian gas. Meanwhile there are attempts to talk up hydrogen, but that looks doomed on a global scale due to those pesky technical and economic reasons.

  13. Bill says:

    I’m not sure I understand the ‘too expensive’ meme. The UK consumer subsidizes unreliables to the tune of £10-12bn a year. Wouldn’t that be enough for the UK to self finance nuclear power? Yes the UK consumer would still be paying but the outcome would be much better for everyone (except of course for rabid enviros and others with their hands stuck firmly in the cookie jar). Dump renewable subsides and use the money to build something worthwhile with a 50+ year lifetime that delivers power regardless of the weather. After all we told continuously that renewables are becoming soooo cheap, in which case they shouldn’t need a subsidy at all

  14. oldbrew says:

    Big nuclear is prone to long delays and hefty cost overruns. Nobody wants to pick up the bill for that.

  15. Oldbrew -Sydney’s second airport project was started in 1986 and is now expected to be completed in 2026 (if no further political delays or union bans) ie 40 years. The Toowoomba Qld Welcamp domestic and international airport (mainly freight) was built on private land by contract companies (concrete, building etc) in which the owners of the land had large shareholdings and control in 1.5 years. If there were no political interference and erected by engineering companies a nuclear plant could be built in about 2 years at a cost of around $A1000M of 1500MW size. It is politics, approval delays, court appeals, changes in legislation etc that extend the time and it is activism delays, more court costs, more feasibility studies union demands etc that raises costs. Clear everyone out and give the complete contract to a group of South Korean companies (eg KAERI, KEPCO, HYUNDAI etc). They will have it built in 2 years after the paperwork and contracts are all signed. At present South Korea are built 4 power station with a capacity of 5600MW. And by the way South Korean Nuclear power is the cheapest of types of power in aggregate in the world -cheaper than using imported coal; only coal fired power station sited next to a low cost coal mine would be cheaper.

  16. oldbrew says:

    cement – Kepco were part of the UK’s Moorside nuclear project but it all fell apart.

  17. pochas94 says:

    “Big nuclear is prone to long delays and hefty cost overruns.”
    Let’s see what happens if we can get the regulators and emotional hysterics out of the way.

  18. oldbrew says:

    Those fantasy green jobs again…

    29 Sep 2020
    A professional reconversion scheme for coal workers that was once billed as Romania’s most ambitious green jobs programme to date has fallen into disarray one year after its launch following the recent change of government.
    . . .
    The aim of the ‘Wind Power academy’ was to train 5,000 miners over 10 years, offering the prospect of new jobs in a booming industry.

    But one year into the scheme, and in the absence of renewed funding or political support from the government, only one person from Jiu Valley has graduated from the academy and now works in the wind industry.
    . . .
    The winning candidate was 26-year-old Ștefan Birchi from Jiu Valley, who was working at a wind farm in Sweden before he was interviewed in April 2020. Enache said the main criteria for selecting candidates was English proficiency, as future wind power technicians would be required to work in various different countries.
    – – –
    They only wanted people who spoke English – ideal for UK workers then 😆

  19. oldbrew says:

    Horizon secures more time for Wylfa planning decision
    01 October 2020

    A decision on planning consent for the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant project on Anglesey that was due to be made yesterday has been delayed until 31 December, as requested by Horizon Nuclear Power, the UK project developer owned by Japan’s Hitachi.