Wind ‘Powered’ Britain Scrambles to Build Nuclear Power Plants as UK Wind ‘Drought’ Hits

There’s a reason that windmills were abandoned in the 19th century: it’s called “the wind”.

In 2018, only profiteers and idiots remain as advocates for wind power.

In the former category stands Bloomberg, which has been front and centre when it comes to promoting the purported ‘virtues’ of subsidised wind and solar. So, it’s somewhat surprising to see their pen-smiths producing pieces like the pair reproduced below.

Wind Disappears in Britain Leaving Turbines at a Standstill
Bloomberg
Rachel Morison
5 June 2018

  • Forecasts show no increase in wind output in coming days
  • Highlights need for back up generation when wind isn’t blowing

Britain’s gone seven days with almost no wind generation and forecasts show the calm conditions persisting until the middle of the month.

The wind drought has pushed up day-ahead power prices to the highest levels for the time of year for at least a decade.

U.K. turbines can produce about as much power as 12 nuclear reactors when conditions are right. During the “Beast from the East” storm that hit Britain in March, they generated record levels of power and at times provided the biggest share of the nation’s electricity.

Wind Drop
Wind output predicted to stay low

Low wind power isn’t a threat to supplies in June when demand is low, but on a dull, dark day in winter, this could be a different story.

The government has to make sure that there is enough back up generation for times when the wind isn’t blowing. Greg Clark, secretary of state for business energy and industrial strategy announced Monday (see next story) that the U.K. will take the next step toward agreeing to help Hitachi Ltd. finance a new nuclear reactor.
Bloomberg

Diesel: what’s really been delivering Britain’s power.

 

Like wind ‘powered’ South Australia, wind ‘powered’ Britain built a fleet of highly inefficient, costly diesel generators for those occasions when the wind does, what it has done since the dawn of time: it stops blowing.

Rachel, it’s no good talking about records set during the one or two ‘big blows’ that happen each year, or trotting out meaningless averages. Electricity consumption is a here and now, kind of thing.

Morison, having expressed her muted disappointment with Britain’s fleet of (only occasionally) whirling wonders, turns to consider a serious power generation source in the next article. One that operates, whatever the weather.

U.K. Moves Toward Involvement on $27 Billion Nuclear Plant
Bloomberg
Rachel Morison
5 June 2018

  • Government talks with Hitachi, Japan on funding Wylfa project
  • U.K. wants to reduce taxpayer costs below what it paid EDF

The U.K. is considering whether to take an equity stake in a 20 billion-pound ($27 billion) nuclear project in Wales, a move that would mark a major step away from private control of energy markets.

Greg Clark, the Cabinet minister in charge of business and energy, confirmed the government has entered detailed negotiations with the developer Hitachi Ltd. and Japan about how to fund the project in Wylfa and that deeper involvement by the state is one of the options. No decision has been made, and the discussions may last months and require numerous regulatory approvals.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration is under pressure to reduce the cost of building a new nuclear plant after awarding Electricite de France SA a deal that at the time paid double the market power price for nuclear energy for decades. By helping Hitachi shoulder construction risks before the plant starts producing, the government could reduce the final cost of the plant to taxpayers.

“The government will be considering direct investment alongside Hitachi and the Japanese government agencies as well as other parties,” Clark told Parliament in London on Monday.

For Britain, a move toward public involvement in the project would reverse some of the work to privatize the energy industry started decades ago by Margaret Thatcher. The French government and CGN are involved in the Hinkley project, but the U.K. was careful to stay out of that project after years of effort to reduce public involvement in energy.

In recent years, the U.K. got more deeply involved in the energy market by offering contracts for difference that guarantee major power plant operators a certain price for their power, ensuring that market fluctuations won’t leave many plants unprofitable. It has to date avoided taking a direct stake in the industry.

The remarks are the first official word confirming what a junior minister in the department outlined last week about how the talks might progress. There are several funding options still being discussed, including a direct equity stake in the project, a sovereign guarantee on loans and a partnership between the U.K. and Japanese governments, Richard Harrington, the under secretary of state for business and industry said in an interview.

Hitachi said in a statement it welcomes Clark’s comments on the project, and will continue to assess its economic feasibility ahead of a final investment decision.

At EDF’s Hinkley project in southwest England, it’s EDF that is paying for construction and all costs until electricity starts to flow from the plant. In the case of Hitachi, the government plans to take more of the risk, according to Harrington. Clark didn’t give details about how the deal in Wales might be structured.

The U.K. is keen to involve the private sector in any financing plan it agrees.

Further Talks
They’re still talking to China General Nuclear Power Corp., EDF and Toshiba Corp. about separate nuclear projects.

“We will now be entering into negotiations with Hitachi on the next phase of the Wylfa project,” Clark said in the statement. “Both the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee have recommended that the government consider variations from the Hinkley Point C financing model in order to reduce costs to consumers.”

“It remains the government’s objective in the longer-term that new nuclear projects – like other energy infrastructure – should be financed by the private sector,” the government said in the statement.
Bloomberg

Nuclear: never, ever troubled by the weather forecast.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Andreas Demmig says:

    Where is the wind..?
    In our german MSM a Windfarmer spoke on TV.
    His turbine didn’t move but he claimed: This is due to the electric current of that coal power plant in the back. That coal current blocks the wires.

    And the dumb reporter just smiled into the camera.

  2. Public – Private co-operative projects have always been a big success. Only one side takes any profit and can back out when things go wrong. The other side with infinite resources can take the loss and clean up the mess.
    The day after they sign the contract somebody in USA will announce a new, cheaper, safer form of nuclear power generation.

    • Bonuses and Honours all round. Then directorships, consultancy jobs and after the five year long inquiry which finds that no-one still alive is to blame we are told that lessons will be learned. Go back to GO and collect £200 (million)

  3. Terry Conn says:

    At least the UK is in with a chance to do something sensible and build some new nuclear reactors – in this country they are illegal.

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