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The Guardian view of offshore wind: cheaper and greener | Editorial

Electricity generated from whirling fans among the waves means that nuclear is rightly vanishing as the answer to meet our energy needs and our climate goalsThe precipitous drop in the price of electricity from offshore wind turbines should be a tipping point for green technology. In 2014 the current generated by a forest of giant whirling fans out at sea was priced at around ?150 per megawatt hour. In the latest auction this week the comparable cost dropped as low as ?57.50/MWh. Even when the cost of providing back-up capacity for still days is added, the cost of producing energy from offshore wind is little more than ?70/MWh. Compared to the new Hinkley C nuclear plant which produces electricity at a cost of ?92.50/MWh, one has to wonder whether as a nation we should persist with nuclear energy as an option to reduce our greenhouse gas output.Hinkley looks like a dinosaur even before it arrives on earth. It's unclear whether the unproven design will ever get built. If it does, the cost of complying with safety and anti-terrorism standards may well be prohibitive. Hinkley was conceived when the conventional wisdom was that we would start to run out of hydrocarbons. Fears of a runaway price for oil and gas now look overheated. The government has however supported plans to install a nuclear power plant, backed by French and Chinese state operators, costing ?18bn. Nuclear power has a trump card: it is a zero-carbon technology which delivers a continuous, uninterrupted supply. This may be a consideration in the years ahead if the UK banned petrol engines and only allowed electric cars. Imagine, say nuclear fans, the surge of demand when everyone got home and plugged in their motors. But we are not there yet. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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