Britain to Downgrade Renewables, Embrace Nuclear Power

h/t Jo Nova; In the wake of Britain’s recent catastrophic wind drought, the Boris Johnson administration appears set to embrace nuclear power as their main strategy for achieving net zero.

U.K. Net Zero Emission Plan to Focus on Nuclear Power, FT Says

By Sherry Su 16 October 2021, 20:35 GMT+10

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is to unveil an overarching “Net Zero Strategy” paper as soon as Monday, along with a “Heat and Building Strategy” and a Treasury assessment of the cost of reaching the 2050 goal, the report said.

The main strategy will have a heavy focus on Britain’s nuclear power program. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to give the go-ahead to the documents on Friday, according to the report. 

The creation of a “regulated asset base” model will be key to delivering future large atomic-power stations. Under the plan, households will be charged for the cost of a plant via an energy levy long before it begins generating electricity, the report said. 

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A pivot to nuclear power is marginally less insane than a 50 degree north nation trying to stay warm in winter using solar power, but the new proposal still sounds very expensive.

The “regulated asset base” prepayment for new nuclear plants will drive up the cost of energy for Britons who are already reeling from having to pay for the British Government’s energy market tinkering.

In addition, a commitment to future nuclear power does nothing to solve Britain’s current energy woes. A new generator which is planned to come online in 15 years or whatever does not help keep the lights and heating on today.

When France transitioned to affordable nuclear power in the 1970s, there was bipartisan support for the move. Continued reliance on oil and fossil fuel was seen as a major national security risk. The mass produced nuclear plants were deployed with minimal red tape, and have continued supplying France with affordable, reliable nuclear power ever since.

But a similar will to act decisively does not yet appear to exist in Britain.

It is the rush, the government attempts to impose energy policy, which I believe is making everything so expensive. Nobody will invest in nuclear in Britain without government financial support, because the political risk is too great. Building nuclear plants is affordable, until you add the red tape and the risk the next administration might shut you down.

The best thing the Boris Johnson administration could do, in my opinion, is to lay off the power sector, stop funnelling ordinary people’s utility bill cash to special interest groups through sweetheart deals and guaranteed purchase contracts, and allow the free market to restore reliability and affordability to Britain’s energy network.

Right now Britain’s energy market is a mess, everyone has their hand out. All of these demands for special consideration to achieve non-commercial government energy policy objectives are being subsidised by ordinary people, who are suffering unprecedented energy bills and fuel poverty.

BoJo’s administration has got to stop tinkering, they have to stop trying to kid themselves that they can somehow outsmart the smooth operators who run Britain’s energy industry, the smart boys who are doing very well out of this shambles, at the expense of the British People.

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via Watts Up With That?

October 19, 2021 at 01:00AM

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