New nuclear power stations in the UK can no longer compete with windfarms on price, according to the boss of a German energy company’s green power arm.
Hans Bunting, the chief operating officer of renewables at Innogy SE, part of the company that owns the UK energy supplier npower, said offshore windfarms had become mainstream and were destined to become even cheaper because of new, bigger turbines.
Asked whether nuclear groups that want to build new reactors in the UK could compete with windfarms on cost, even when their intermittency was taken into account, Bunting replied: “Obviously they can’t.”
His comments came after MPs criticised the £30bn cost to consumers for EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, and said ministers should revisit the case for new nuclear before proceeding with more projects.
Innogy recently secured a subsidy of £74.75 per megawatt hour of power to build a windfarm off the Lincolnshire coast, which is £17.75 cheaper than Hinkley and should be completed about three years earlier.
“What we see now [with prices] is with today’s technology. It’s not about tomorrow’s technology, which is about [to come in] 2025, 2027, when Hinkley will most likely come to the grid … and then it [windfarms] will be even cheaper.”