Press Releases

NIA comment on reported offshore wind strike prices

08 September 2017

Commenting on reports of the latest Contracts for Difference allocation, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:

“Reports that the cost of future offshore wind projects may fall (if they are constructed) is good news, but as the UK renewable trade body, informed commentators and industry experts have made clear, one technology alone can’t solve the UK’s power challenge.

“With two thirds of the UK’s currently despatchable generation capacity due to retire by 2030, including all but one of the current nuclear fleet, the UK will need the full range of low carbon technologies to provide the reliable, secure and readily available power for homes, businesses and public services.

“As National Grid have recently highlighted, the amount of power we will need as road vehicles shift from petrol and diesel to clean electricity will increase. We need new infrastructure to meet that pressing need.

“The LCOE is far from being a good comparator for different ways of generating power, but the National Audit Office’s (NAO) own analysis confirmed nuclear is cost competitive with other low carbon projects, and when you compare Hinkley Point C’s strike price of £92.50/MWh to the £140/MWh for the Hornsea offshore wind project agreed at the same time with a delivery date in the 2020s, the cost case for nuclear is clear. Subsequent projects, regardless of technology, will likely have a lower cost.

“The NAO’s report also highlighted that using a different financing structure could have resulted in a lower strike price. Given the impact of the cost of capital on large scale infrastructure, that is something the NAO were correct to advise government to consider for future projects.

“There is no one single, silver bullet solution to meet this challenge, and the simplistic technology v technology debate fails to appreciate that different power sources provide different elements of the balanced energy mix we need for the future. All low carbon power sources will be needed, and we should focus on ensuring we can deliver the optimum mix for our future requirements.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) is the trade association and representative voice of Britain’s civil nuclear industry. It represents more than 260 companies including nuclear power station operators, new build developers and vendors, those engaged in decommissioning, waste management, all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, supply chain and consultancy companies. Find out more at www.niauk.org.uk or @niauk.
  2. The nuclear industry generates a fifth of all electricity used in the UK, directly employs around 65,000 professionals. The power generated by existing power stations avoids the emissions of 40 million tonnes of CO₂ a year – the equivalent of taking around half of Britain’s cars off the roads. Take a look at the Jobs Map.

Media Contact:

Rupert Lewis: 020 7766 6642 / 07894 595717 rupert.lewis@niauk.org