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Hinkley Point “Not Essential” – Richard Black

August 27, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




From Sky News:


A new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point is not needed for the UK to meet its energy and climate change targets, a report claims.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) argues that more wind farms and gas-fired power stations would be enough to keep the lights on, while also saving £1bn a year.

The new power infrastructure would also have to be combined with measures to manage energy demand, but the ECIU says its research shows Hinkley Point C is "not essential".

Hinkley Point C would involve French energy firm EDF building two new reactors at the existing Hinkley site, with the plan part-financed by China General Nuclear Power.

But concerns have been raised by intelligence agencies that allowing China to invest in the UK’s nuclear energy market could be a danger to national security.

ECIU director Richard Black said his organisation’s report showed there were other alternatives to avoid an energy black hole in Britain.

"Despite years of debate on Hinkley, we’re still not sure whether or not it’s going to get built – the Prime Minister is due to make a decision next month, but even if she says yes there are many other issues that could derail the project, including legal cases and EDF’s financial woes," he said.

"So we wanted to know how essential Hinkley is for the ‘energy trilemma’ – keeping the lights on whilst cutting greenhouse gas emissions and keeping costs down.

"Our conclusion is that it’s not essential; using tried and tested technologies, with nothing unproven or futuristic, Britain can meet all its targets and do so at lower cost."

The ECIU proposal would involve building four extra wind farms on top of those already scheduled for construction, combined with measures encouraging the population to use electricity more efficiently and productively.

The report claims this approach could save up to £20 per year on average household energy bills.

But EDF Energy dismissed the suggestion, saying that the alternatives presented by the report are "not credible".

"HPC’s cost is competitive with other large-scale low carbon technologies," the company said in a statement.

"It will generate electricity steadily even on foggy and still winter days across Northern Europe.

"It will play a crucial role as part of a future, flexible energy system."


The ECIU is the outfit set up to propagate climate change propaganda, and it is funded by a series of shadowy liberal foundations in the US and Europe. It is headed by Richard Black, formerly the totally objective and unbiased Environment Correspondent at the BBC.

Hinkley is lined up to provide capacity of 3.2GW and annual output of 25.2TWh, about 7% of the UK’s supply.

Mr Black reckons that we can replace this by building an extra 7.2GW of offshore wind capacity, on top of the 5.1GW which we currently have. This would also be on top of the extra 17.4GW, which is already projected to be constructed between now and 2030.

Of course, as we know, the wind does not always blow, so he suggests that we also build 3.2GW of gas generation, to use as back up.


Of course, anyone with an ounce of commonsense would have suggested that we just build the gas capacity anyway, and forget about Hinkley and the heavily subsidised and inefficient windmills!


Currently, offshore wind contributes only 5% to UK generation.






The full ECIU report is here:

  1. Derek Buxton permalink
    August 27, 2016 1:57 pm

    It seems Black is suggesting that we have rationing, WHY? Rationing is for reducing shortages caused by some emergency, we are not so threatened. Except of course by the rich, green idiots who wish to rule us, the Sovereign People of this Country. It is the job of government and the National Grid to provide for the needs of the Country not ration them. Scrap the EDF contract by all means but then buy new nuclear from whoever can offer the best, S. Korea have a good reputation for providing such on time and on budget, EDF have problems. We need secure, affordable energy now! Winter is coming fast.

  2. Harry Passfield permalink
    August 27, 2016 2:28 pm

    Beat me to it, Derek.
    When I saw:

    combined with measures to manage energy demand

    I realised that Black is really advocating keeping the people under control by rationing their power usage. Thus his support for Smart metering. Well, if this country ever gets to the point of rationed black-outs the people who brought about such a situation should learn to fear the people affected – especially as the new cold climate change starts to worry the idiots in the CCC.

  3. 1saveenergy permalink
    August 27, 2016 3:01 pm

    Centrica are already trying to bribe people in to allowing smart meter installation with offers of ‘free power’ –

  4. August 27, 2016 3:08 pm

    My local ITV news had a report based on this yesterday, it was full-on renewables zealotry, covering waste incineration, solar panels, and some embarrassingly non-rotating wind turbines, all meant to convey the impression that nuclear power was not needed. We know that the BBC, Sky and Channel 4 are also controlled by renewable zealots (though I’ve not watched C4 since their dreadful exploitation of the Somerset Levels floods), making a clean sweep of UK TV.

  5. August 27, 2016 3:12 pm

    Right with you Derek & Harry. Typical “Liberal Fascism” from Black.It’s not clear how offshore wind at £160 MWh will save households £20 a year

  6. AlecM permalink
    August 27, 2016 3:20 pm

    Actually, Black may well be right so long as there is sufficient gas-fired power generation to replace wind energy when it is a dead calm AND which can operate in the same way as hydro plant does in well-organised ‘renewable’ generation systems such as Spain and the Bonneville Power Authority.

    These systems use hydro and pump storage plus other measures to allow up to ~40% renewable energy to co-exist with large steam turbines. We don’t have the hydro and no corporation will construct CCGTs only to be used for a few 100 hours a year.

    So, the problem reduces to installing plant with a 30 s ramp up/ramp down time constant AND equivalent to 2.5 Hinkley Point Cs. That could be done by installing 10 million CHP fuel cells in 40% of homes plus others in small businesses. The metal ceramic systems are 55% efficient methane to electrons and by using the waste heat, mean 40% less fossil fuel for a given electrical plus heat output, 70% if used to power heat pumps with a 3:1 energy gain. Furthermore, they will be unsubsidised; just a replacement for conventional gas heaters.

    Only one drawback though: with solar cells on roofs they will take out 25% of peak Grid demand so grid prices will be slashed, particularly off-peak. I estimate that half the wind farms will become uneconomic so that they can be recapitalised with no subsidies. Now where’s that fraccing rig to give us the cheapest electricity in the World with home owners getting a 2 year ROCE?

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      August 27, 2016 6:25 pm

      For clarification AlecM, where would you put the amount of pumped storage to keep the UK going for say 48 hours of calm and cold?

      • AlecM permalink
        August 27, 2016 7:48 pm

        Pumped storage is not possible. David McKay showed 8 hours was possible.

        My plan based on micro-generation does the same job to keep the grid stabilised but can be scaled up much more than is possible by flooding Scotland and the Lake District, albeit it needs fraccing as well.

        Then we rebuild the nuclear industry based on molten salt, atmospheric pressure reactors which burn waste nuclides, say 15 years at least.

  7. martinbrumby permalink
    August 27, 2016 3:41 pm

    I would as soon take notice of Richard Black on energy policy as I would Harold Shipman on Care for the Elderly or Jimmy Savile on Child Care.

    And for not completely different reasons.

    I suppose more charitable folk than me will suggest that Black may be stupid but means well.

    I’m not so sure.

    Thank goodness the latter two are pushing up daisies.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    August 27, 2016 4:05 pm

    The point is, as has been said elsewhere, if you’ve got all this lovely dispatchable – and much cheaper – gas power backup for the whirligigs, what’s the point of turning them down so as to allow inefficient subsidy farmers on to the grid? Oh…

  9. August 27, 2016 5:08 pm

    ‘It is headed by Richard Black, formerly the totally objective and unbiased Environment Correspondent at the BBC.’

    Shome mishtake shurely 😉

    • August 27, 2016 5:19 pm

      New plan: Hinkley Point to burn money instead…

      • yonason permalink
        August 28, 2016 4:09 pm

        But they already have (un)renewables to do that.

        Oh, wait, I think I see. They need backup, just in case waste isn’t proceeding at a fast enough pace? wink wink nudge nudge?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      August 27, 2016 6:49 pm

      Shome kind of pishtake, shurely. 🙂 Eh?

  10. It doesn't add up... permalink
    August 27, 2016 8:22 pm

    Richard Black – not essential. Useless, in fact.

    Anyone who can put a series of numbers in order can work out that 40<<92.50<155<168.

    There are no prizes for guessing what the numbers relate to: readers here will be familiar with them.

  11. yonason permalink
    August 28, 2016 4:05 pm

    “…concerns have been raised by intelligence agencies that allowing China to invest in the UK’s nuclear energy market could be a danger to national security.”

    Of course. But they wouldn’t need China to invest if they hadn’t wasted their resources on unaffordable ideologically driven (un)renewable gimmickry.

  12. August 28, 2016 7:05 pm

    There’s enough evidence to convincingly portray Richard Black (and his chums at the blobby ECIU) as credulous and deluded fools.

    Trouble is…. – they are more than that – they are a profoundly dishonest bunch of shysters.

    They seek to have power over the population (power? that’s unfortunate in this instance!) – without resorting to the ballot box or making their case in open debate – they seek to subvert the democratic process .

    Do ECIU have any engineers or people with a background requiring any form of numeracy? – Sky don’t and obviously can’t be arsed to go find somebody to shred apart this toxic blobby-ness in the manner that it so richly deserves,

    • daveR permalink
      August 29, 2016 12:17 pm

      The very name itself – the self-styled ‘Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit’ – is straight out of any prospective dictators copybook. They know that, but such has been the extent of their infestation, parasitisation and outright bastardisation it’s now broadly assumed to be the new acceptable ‘norm’.

      I suggest folks like Black, Harrabin, Jones, Hansen etc, need to be rapidly re-acquainted with the highly investigative works of Doktor Ziegle…

  13. Coeur de lion permalink
    August 28, 2016 9:11 pm

    Watch grid watch website for real time read out of wind’s contribution. Usually insignificant .

    • yonason permalink
      August 28, 2016 9:54 pm

      Oh, thanks for the remind. I meant to post it, and thought I had. Ooops. Here it is.

      As you say, “insignificant” I imagine they would need at least 20x the current capacity to often, but not always meet demand, and then at least double or triple that for pumping, assuming they had somewhere to pump to, and sufficient fresh water to pump in the first place.

    • daveR permalink
      August 29, 2016 12:27 pm

      Clive Best reckons you can add about 40% to eg. bmreports. Forty percent of often diddly squatch of course is still DS…

  14. August 30, 2016 5:23 pm

    Save our Coal Fired power stations and there is no imminent power supply problem, and the costs are minimal. Sadly, we can no longer build our own power stations of any type…….good to have so much affluence despite export trade disappearing….OMG/LOL etc.

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