‘Relying on large-scale nuclear for base supply is a bit problematic’

Marie Claire Brisbois, Lecturer in Energy Policy at the University of Sussex spoke to ELN about the Prime Minister’s commitment to green the UK’s grid by 2035 and the concerns it raises

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Depending on large-scale nuclear to supply base supply is a bit problematic.

That’s the suggestion from Marie Claire Brisbois, Lecturer in Energy Policy at the University of Sussex Business School who spoke to ELN about the challenges ahead of the Prime Minister’s new commitment for all Britain’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2035:

“Now the UK does get quite a lot of its power generation from renewable sources, but the amount that we need to completely decarbonise electricity is quite significant. We are also expected to see much more electricity demand as we switch to electric vehicles and as we switch from gas boilers to heat pumps, so demand for electricity is going up.

“What the Prime Minister has said is that he is going to depend on sort of large-scale renewable projects and nuclear to supply base supply.

“That’s a bit problematic. Nuclear is not particularly good at what we could call peaking. So scaling up or scaling down to make up for problems with intermittency with renewables. So, that’s a question of how that would work. It’s also fairly expensive, one of the most expensive types of generation. So financing that would be problematic.”

Ms Brisbois believes there are lots of dynamics within the new all-green grid target, but one of the things that she missed in the Prime Minister’s message was the focus on the issue of electricity demand.

Listen to the podcast to hear the entire interview.

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