SolarCentury chairman Jeremy Leggett has poured cold water on the case for new nuclear power stations.
In a debate on the UK’s future energy needs held as part of Ecobuild’s seminar series, Leggett outlined a three point argument for why solar PV is better placed than nuclear to plug the 25GW gap predicted to occur by 2020 as coal-fired power stations are taken offline.
He said: “As of last year, the Germans have a target to run their railways on 100 per cent renewable energy. Solar and wind back each other up very well which the Germans have done on scale and proven to its satisfaction.
Secondly, in Japan, 52 nuclear reactors have been turned off out of 54 and the lights have not gone out due to involuntary and voluntary demand management.
“Finally, our average selling price globally has come down 40 per cent whilst last year the industry grew 67 per cent when nuclear is shrinking.
“Nuclear costs $1.7 a watt to generate in China and anything up to $4 elsewhere so I don’t know how people have the nerve to talk about subsidies for renewables.”
He added: “The closer we get to grid parity, the dirtier they (the nuclear lobby) will fight.
“Our costs are coming done while their’s are going up.”
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