A new German-Finnish study suggests renewables paired with storage systems could power the entire globe by 2050. This is good news for the planet and bad news for EDF, the main company behind the Hinkley C nuclear power station. The study estimates that the cost of making renewable energy available every hour of the day, every month of the year will fall to €52/MWh, well below the strike price set for Hinkley C, which starts at £92 and rises with inflation.
Supporters of nuclear power have argued that we need a baseload level of reliable energy for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, but this report shows how renewables can provide that by investment in storage and in changes to how the grid works. The rapid technological changes driving the current energy revolution are leading us to a world where energy consumers become local energy producers. Hinkley’s subsidy is due to run until 2060 and to be paid for by consumers using grid electricity, but in the next couple of decades we can expect to see many millions of producers/consumers disappearing off the grid. Who is going to want to buy energy from Hinckley, when it is available locally at half the price?