New Nuclear Costs Compared to Alternatives
One of the arguments often used by those against nuclear energy in general, and on Anglesey by PAWB against the proposed Wylfa B in particular, is the supposed higher costs of nuclear generation compared to alternative forms of energy.
On reading the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) Nuclear White Paper Impact Assessment, it seems that all is not what PAWB would have us believe.
The BERR impact assessment suggests that a cost benefit analysis shows the generation cost of onshore wind farming came out at about £56/MWh (MegaWatt hour. Offshore wind farm costs were not surprisingly higher at around £84/MWh.
And looking at other renewable energy means of electricity generation, such as biomass, tidal and wave power had even higher estimated costs.
Some work was also done on electricity generation from fossil fuels such as gas and coal, using the relatively new technology of carbon capture and storage (CCS) where the carbon dioxide produced is sequestered rather than being released into the atmosphere.
New coal-fired generation with CCS in place suggests a cost of between £43-55/MWh.
Compared to the above, new nuclear generation like that suggested for Wylfa B comes out at in a very competitive range of £31-44/MWh.
So if we were to look at the long term decision for low carbon generation in the UK on the basis of cost, then it seems new nuclear generation would be the answer.
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