Mark Lynas blog -Under the proposed Contracts for Difference system currently passing through Parliament as part of the Energy Bill, if the wholesale price of electricity is higher than the strike price in future, the generator will pay the difference back to the taxpayer; if it is lower they receive a subsidy to top it up. Either way this fixes the price for a decade and a half, allowing investments to be made on the basis of a known revenue stream for wind, solar, biomass or whatever.
here’s the important point about the new figures: nuclear is likely to be highly competitive with all the renewables, and may still be the cheapest option. Current negotiations around the ‘strike price’ to be paid for nuclear-generated electricity from Hinkley Point C are understood to be converging on a price in the £90-100 range – my guess is that the final deal will see the UK Government paying just under £95 per megawatt-hour for nuclear electricity under the new system.
President Obama’s speech only mentioned nuclear energy briefly, in passing – a great disappointment to those of us solidly behind nuclear energy who were listening intently. What appears in the printed material is really not much better than what’s appeared before. We can expect further push on Small Modular Reactors, the plan says; but is that really promising any more than continuance of the first round of DOE SMR funding? Is there any promise of an increase? No, and no. So the words are just a continuation of previous policy. But the President did say some things that might put off a number of solidly pro-nuclear folks that had nothing at all to do with nuclear energy.
Nextbigfuture – Limits to Growth says we have overshot the earth’s human carrying capacity, but other studies, like the Brookings institute, disagree. Actually, poverty has been massively reduced, energy efficiency has increased, food productivity has increased, available resources have gone up and we are on the cusp of massively increasing food, water and energy while reducing pollution and increasing per capita wealth. These trends can continue with the development of breeder reactors and the extraction of Uranium from seawater