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Why nuclear power is a bad way to balance renewable energy

See the YOUTUBE video:

David Toke, Ian Fairlie and Herbert Eppel from 100percentrenewableuk discuss how nuclear power effectively switches off wind and solar power and how a 100percent renewable energy system is much better for the UK than one involving nuclear power

The Government, backed by a lot of public policy reports paid for by pro-nuclear interests, constantly pushes out the view that nuclear power is ‘essential’ to balancing wind and solar power. But what they never mention is the massive waste of renewables that occurs in such a scenario. Under the scenarios planned by the Government nuclear power is paid very high prices to generate power even when there is excess electricity, which pushes renewables to close down. The Government also refuses to undertake serious investigations of how a system that uses excess renewables to create short and long term storage is a much better way of organising our energy needs rather than wasting more money on building nuclear power statitons.

Look at our video which, drawing upon research on the role of nuclear and renewables, discusses these issues.

If you agree the aims of 100percentrenewableuk please join the discussion via our email group.

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100% RUK Hydrogen position statement, version 1

H2

We say Yes to hydrogen for:

  • Energy storage for ‘excess output’ from windfarms and other big renewables in remote locations (BIG YES)
  • Shipping fuel

We say No to hydrogen for:

  • Domestic heating (energy density issue, distribution issues, need for replacement boilers, cost to householders)
  • Anything to do with fossil fuels, CCS or nuclear (for obvious reasons)

We say Maybe hydrogen for:

  • Non-shipping transport – probably mostly freight haulage
  • Industrial uses (steel, cement etc.)

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Cover-up! how consumers will be forced to pay for cost-overruns for Sizewell C construction

In a historic change of policy the Conservatives have  announced that consumers, not EDF, will pay for cost overruns in building Sizewell C. The crucial phrase in the Government’s document on the so-called ‘Regulated Asset Base’ (RAB) model is ‘Cost overruns that were not excluded from the RAB would be shared between investors and consumers through suppliers’ (para 47 page 14). Note: ‘consumers’ means electricity consumers who will have to pay twice for Sizewell C; extra on their bills long before any power is generated and for many years after generation begins. The inclusion of cost overruns on consumers’ bills means that their bills will rocket upwards even before they receive even a single kWh in supply from Sizewell C .

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How regulations designed to suit the gas industry are strangling heat pumps in the UK

The main reason that the UK is falling behind countries like Germany and Denmark in rolling out heat pumps is because building regulations and other regulations are suited to support gas boilers not heat pumps. This claim has been made by a heat pump installer attempting to develop a cheaper heat pump programme.

This contradicts the story emerging from the Environmental Audit Committee which blames high electricity prices relative to gas as being the biggest problem facing the heat pump programme in the UK.

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Consumers to be forced to bail out EDF over failing nuclear reactor

As EDF’s losses on building Hinkley C EPR nuclear plant mount, a leading energy expert says that energy consumers will have to pay twice to pay for a new ‘EPR’ nuclear power plant at Sizewell C. EDF, who is likely to be offered unlimited cash from UK electricity consumers to fund the power plant, is facing a financial meltdown following disastrous cost overruns building other EPRs in Finland and France – and now at Hinkley C as well.
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Ever bigger wind turbines will lead to power price plunge

Ever bigger offshore wind turbines will plunge wind power prices below wholesale power prices. Even as a contract was being announced for GE Renewables to supply 14 MW wind turbines to SSE/Equinor’s Dogger Bank C site, plans were being progressed to test even larger machines, perhaps 20MW by a German research company.

Such turbines could have total blade rotor diameters of around 250 metres.
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Heating bills set for threefold increase to pay for blue hydrogen

Reports suggest that domestic heating bills are likely to soar upwards to around three times their current average rate in order to pay for so-called ‘blue hydrogen’ supplies.

Blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas with a large proportion of the carbon dioxide captured and stored. As a technology it is competing for public funding resources with other more efficient low carbon solutions such as heat pumps. The fact that blue hydrogen will be such an expensive solution to decarbonise heating is likely to tip the scales in favour of strategies that place more emphasis on fitting heat pumps to heat buildings.
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Webinar on how and why the Scottish Govt should set a target to achieve 100 per cent of ALL energy from renewables

Click here to watch a video recording of the webinar, held on December 3rd, of our first webinar (held in collaboration with Commonweal), about achieving 100 per cent of ALL Scottish energy from renewable energy.

The recording here comprises the first 45 minutes of the video featuring the main speakers.
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How much of the UK’s area will be taken up with 100 per cent renewable energy?

Most, if not all, of UK energy supplied under a 100 per cent renewable scenario could be generated using less than 7 per cent of the UK’s surrounding waters for offshore wind farms.

Estimates of the annual amount of energy needed under a (2050)  net zero carbon scenario vary from around 1200 TWh (Friends of the Earth) to around 1700 TWh (Chris Goodwin). Both these estimates assume that energy is delivered mainly in the form of electricity with some green hydrogen and derivatives such as ammonia used for storage and other purposes.
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Government slashes energy efficiency spending to pay for small nuclear power and hydrogen

A leading energy efficiency champion, Andrew Warren, has alleged that the Government is slashing its energy efficiency programme by 80 per cent.

The Government’s ten point plan to tackle the climate emergency includes large amounts of money to pave the way for a programme of ‘small modular reactors’ (SMRs) and payments to gas interests to establish pilot schemes for producing hydrogen from gas with carbon capture and storage (ccs). Finance will also be available to support hydrogen production from windfarms.

What is becoming clear, amidst the low cost pledges to ban petroleum based cars and install 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030, is that the funding package will be dominated by large payments to nuclear and gas industry interests, and largescale cutbacks to the energy efficiency programme.

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Leading experts opt for 100 per cent renewables and reject nuclear power

The undersigned believe that a future based on 100 per cent renewable energy underpinned by traditional and advanced energy efficiency and storage techniques is not only practicable, affordable, but immensely preferable to one that involves nuclear power. Renewable energy offers us a rapid path to net zero carbon transition that, unlike nuclear power, does not involve the need for decommissioning of radioactive plant, nuclear waste or concerns about safety or security threats. With this in mind we regard the prospect of the Government effectively offering unlimited sources of funding to EDF to build Sizewell C nuclear power plant with dismay and urge people to send in their objections to their MPs at this prospect.

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European Marine Energy Centre heralds a triple first project – flow battery, tidal power and hydrogen!

Just how many innovations can you pack into a project? Well not many more than the tidal power-flow battery hydrogen project that is set to be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney! But perhaps newest of all, it is an important step forward towards developing techniques, in this case flow batteries, to store renewable energy in the long term.

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Green hydrogen sidelined as blue hydrogen is set for green light

The oil and gas industry is poised to gain several tens of millions of pounds for what will turn out to be mainly a license to carry on generating carbon dioxide. A flagship ‘blue hydrogen’ scheme, that is one involving production of hydrogen from natural gas and removing part of the carbon dioxide, is to be launched on Humberside if a consortium receives £75 million from the Government. Yet, for all this money, less than 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide produced on the site will actually be captured.

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