Comment on Hunterston nuclear power station closure

Published:27 August 2020

Commenting on the news that the Hunterston nuclear power plant in Scotland is to close next year earlier than expectedDr Jonathan Marshall, Head of Analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

"Nuclear power stations not lasting forever should not surprise anyone. What would be surprising, though, would be power sector emissions increasing again were this clean power gap not filled with low-carbon electricity.

“Quick-to-build, a source of jobs up and down the country, and increasingly cheap, renewable energy sources are the obvious choice to ensure that both emissions and energy bills keep falling. Setting ambitious targets for onshore wind and solar, as seen for offshore wind, would ensure that there is more than enough clean energy to power our lives.

“While a decision on nuclear power funding is expected in the upcoming Energy White Paper, for now the clear answer is to crack on with the solutions that can be delivered reliably, rapidly and at rock-bottom costs.”

Analysis by ECIU suggests that increasing renewable energy capacity would serve as an insurance policy against a possible ‘nuclear gap’ in Britain’s low-carbon power pipeline caused by early closure of ageing reactors. Recently published Government figures also show that electricity generated from wind and solar is 30-50% cheaper than previously thought.