h/t Energywise; The UK needs “a power sector two to three times the size of the one today… ” – but who is going to pay for this?
Energy UK CEO: “We are on the cusp of a new energy era”
Wednesday 18 October 2023
Image: Energy UK
Emma Pinchbeck, Chief Executive of Energy UK, addressed the audience at the Energy UK Annual Conference, highlighting the broader challenges affecting the energy sector.
“The costs of projects have gone up by as much as 40% – such that no offshore wind developers could bid into the government’s most recent renewables auction. And hanging over all of this, the havoc that rising temperatures and extreme weather are already inflicting on countries and people across the world.”
Ms Pinchbeck said the UK needs “a power sector two to three times the size of the one today to power that future economy and to build five times the amount of infrastructure in the decade ahead as in the previous three.”
Read more: https://www.energylivenews.com/2023/10/18/energy-uk-ceo-we-are-on-the-cusp-of-a-new-energy-era/
I don’t know how much longer Brits will put up with this politically inflicted hardship. According to a survey by Currys, 69% of Britons have had to make lifestyle changes to cut costs. (also h/t Energywise). Currys is Britain’s answer to Walmart.
A power sector three times the size of today, providing the same energy as today, is not a good thing, it would be an economic disaster. Consumers at best would receive the same electricity as today, but they would have to pay three times the wage costs of today’s electricity sector. On what planet would this be a good thing for consumers?
If British consumers genuinely want affordable zero carbon power, and protection from wild fluctuations in global energy prices, the only viable option is to copy the French nuclear program.
France is the only major country in the world which successfully decarbonised most of their electricity sector, without the help of a fortunate abundance of hydroelectricity. Nuclear generates just under 70% of French electricity. And best of all, from a consumer point of view, nuclear plants are shielded from global energy price fluctuations, because unlike fossil fuel plants which require continuous refuelling, nuclear plants only need to be refuelled every two years. Even better, most of the next batch of fuel can be recovered from the spent fuel. Two years between refuelling cycles is plenty of lead time to secure a good deal and ensure affordable continuity of power generation.
Copy what works.