Australian news, and some related international items

Case for abandoning nuclear energy has never been more powerful

Grim truth is that these huge projects are a financial dead end  

We are in a strong position where electricity supplies are secure and costs are falling, says Greg Clark, in a letter to the Financial Times this week. He should know since he is the UK’s business secretary. Never mind that the contractors behind two nuclear power stations have pulled out because they dare not take the risk, while a third promises to be an epic financial disaster, and that the remaining two on the drawing board seem increasingly likely to stay there.

 Mr Clark is relentlessly upbeat: “Britain’s electricity requirement for the 2030s is not a problem of shortages but the much better challenge of abundance.” This challenge has already translated into a rise of 8 per cent last year in the cost of domestic electricity, and a looming 11 per cent rise in the absurd “price cap”, as the cost of subsidies for “green” energy slides sneakily into household bills. However, he is right about abundance. The fracking revolution has utterly changed the balance for both oil and gas supplies, and made a nonsense of the UK government’s decade-old assumptions about ever-increasing prices.
As Dieter Helm, Mr Clark’s go-to expert on energy costs, argues in a paper this week, the trouble dates back to when the Liberal Democrats were tossed the energy brief in the coalition government. Chris Huhne and Ed Davey were achingly green, but because they assumed oil was running out, the pair reluctantly supported new nukes, laying the foundations for today’s meltdown.
The grim truth is that these huge projects are a financial dead end, driven there by changing technology along with escalating safety requirements and the costs of decommissioning. As Mr Helm argues, there is a powerful case for abandoning nuclear altogether. Mr Pollyanna Clark, meanwhile, promises yet another energy white paper this summer. Oh dear.

January 26, 2019 - Posted by | General News

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