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Nuclear energy verdict: Costly, slow and very high maintenance via New Economy

The story we published on Friday comparing the costs of new nuclear, now that they have been defined by contract signed by the UK Government for the construction of the $24 billion Hinkley C facility – with clean energy alternatives such as wind and solar, certainly generated a lot of interest, and comment.

Since then, we have received an analysis from Deutsche Bank, which makes some other observations about the cost of nuclear, the comparisons with gas, the price of abatement, and the cost of upkeep for France’s existing fleet.

The first point made by Deutsche is that this deal underlines the fact that nuclear is not cheap, but really, really expensive – a point that should not be forgotten in Australia, where there is still a push for nuclear in some quarters despite the abundant alternatives (in particular solar) that are not available to the UK.

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The UK would need at least as much wind generation as nuclear, and  some low-carbon flexible generation. Deutsche also notes that CCS is highly ambitious, as the technology is not proven, which leaves the most likely scenarios as being high renewables, or high energy efficiency, both of which leave wind and other renewables providing more than 50 per cent of the UK’s generation by 2030.

And just in case anyone feels like arguing that it is just new-build and new generation nuclear that is costly, this graph below should blow a few misconceptions.

Read more at Nuclear energy verdict: Costly, slow and very high maintenance

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