With nuclear projects on the news at the moment, I’d like to provide a quick perspective on security of supply.
Nuclear projects are getting cancelled due to escalating development and construction costs: Moorside (Sellafield in Cumbria) is on hold due to Toshiba’s nuclear exit yielding a deficit of 3.8GWe to the UK’s security of electricity supply. Wylfa will not go ahead due to Hitachi’s exit. This will add a further deficit of 2.6GWe. Together 6.4GWe capacity that will not be available to the grid.
Even ambitious renewables plans will not be sufficient to replace this. It will require interconnectors, already projected at 20GWe by 2030, or Natural Gas power generation, set to increase from 30GW now to 35GW in 2030.
The Guardian concluded that cancelled nuclear new build could be replaced by wind but that there would be intermittency issues. These would be addressed by storage (batteries and other technologies), imports, and technology that reduces the peak demanded by big users in return for a financial incentive. In summary, security of supply will be saved by implementing immature storage technology developed and manufactured abroad, by importing power generated abroad, and by paying local users to use less power (which in turn reduces GDP). This does not feel very much like security to me.
Building gas fired power stations onshore is one solution but, similarly to the electrical security of supply issue, decreasing gas production in the UK leads to a need to import fuel gas. MFDevCo’s gas to wire solution resolves both security of supply of electricity and security of supply of gas.
MFDevCo has the right solution at the right time. Gas to wire improves economic recovery of resources, has the cleanest hydrocarbon based power generation solution, delivers baseload power on demand, and is readily developed and installed using mature technology. This is a UK solution available now that actually does improve security of supply.
Peter-Giles Robinson, Projects Manager
Disclaimer: This is a non-technical brief. My opinions and assumptions do not necessarily represent those of the company, nor do they make warranties or commitments on behalf of the company. Please feel free to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information.