Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Prof Steve Thomas Says Confirms Offshore Wind is a Cheaper Option Than Nuclear

Professor Stephen Thomas spoke at a SANE meeting in Oldbury in September 2009 when he explained to an astonished audience how expensive nuclear power is to generate.

This is a letter from the FT

Nuclear’s cost advantage over wind is suspect

Published: April 28 2010 03:00
Last updated: April 28 2010 03:00

From Prof Steve Thomas.

Sir, I am surprised that your editorial “The doubts about the Lib Dems” (April 23) claims that offshore wind is “is roughly three times as expensive as nuclear to build”. A recent survey funded by the European Commission (“Wind Energy – The Facts”) under its Intelligent Europe programme found the average construction cost in 2008 money of the five offshore wind farms completed in the UK from 2003 to 2008 was about €2,200 (about £1,900) per kilowatt of installed capacity.

The UK government, in its 2008 white paper on nuclear power, “Meeting the Energy Challenge”, assumed nuclear plants would cost £1,250/kW. So, if we take the UK government's nuclear cost estimate, offshore wind is only 50 per cent more expensive than nuclear. However, if we look at the reported prices bid at various calls for tender in the past two to three years for nuclear capacity in, for example, Canada, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, this figure is highly suspect.

The nuclear vendors competing in the UK are offering prices of at least $5,000/kW or £3300/kW. This is in line with forecast costs from US utilities planning to build nuclear plants in the US. If we compare these more soundly based estimates of nuclear with out-turn costs for offshore wind, offshore wind is only two-thirds the cost of nuclear power.

This comparison is of pre-construction estimates for nuclear with actual costs for offshore wind. Given that it would be a rarity for a nuclear project to come in on cost, the likelihood is that the cost advantage of offshore wind over nuclear would be even larger.

Steve Thomas,

Professor of Energy Policy,

Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU),

Business School,

University of Greenwich,

London SE10, UK

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