Nuclear power producers scared of wind competition in the UK



The French government-owned power monopoly EdF and the German power giant E.ON have warned the British government they may be forced to drop plans to build a new generation of nuclear power plants in that country unless the government scales back its targets for wind power.

The threat has turned into an own-goal because in it the power companies admit what nuclear opponents have always maintained: Serious expansion of renewable energy sources leaves no room for inflexible nuclear power stations, which are designed for the most constant output achievable.

"The analysis of EdF und E.ON is correct,” says Ulrich Kelber, a senior member of the Social Democratic parliamentary party in Berlin. “A high proportion of nuclear power does not jibe with a high proportion of renewables.”

Kelber says the latest move by the power giants makes ever clearer that nuclear energy is a hindrance-technology standing in the way of climate-compatible energy production and more competition on energy markets.

EdF’s and E.ON’s demands – contained in submissions to the British government's renewable energy consultation – reinforce the worries of wind developers that the two sectors cannot thrive simultaneously.

The power giants said attempts to reach 35% of electricity generated by renewables is not only unrealistic but also damaging to alternative schemes such as nuclear plants.


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Wind will be cheaper

by fizick


And the nuclear power industry is correct to be concerned. Wind will soon be cheaper than nuclear. And long distance transmission technology is making wind more base load suitable. Ultra high voltage DC transmission is already a mature technology. The Chinese are building an UHV DC grid to transport power from the three gorges hydro project as far as 4500 km. We are also likely to have room temperature superconducting technology in the not too distant future.

Improving storage technologies are also increasing the base load suitability of wind and other renewables. Ultra-capacitors in particular are set to revolutionize this aspect of energy technology.

Fission power is a dud and obsolete technology, or soon will be. It makes no sense to be investing in this technology.

The lies

by Mar Bucknell


Wind has always been cheaper than nuclear if you do cradle to grave accounting. Nuclear only looks attractive even in capitalist economics terms if you don't count the costs of decommissioning reactors and storing waste.