Wylfa is completely dead

I have a big smile on my face today. I knew the auction figures for the next round of offshore wind farms would be low, but I didn't expect them to be as low as £57.50/MWh.


A lot of the reports today compare this with strike price of £92.50/MWh agreed for nuclear energy from Hinkley Point C ... apparently forgetting that this price was agreed some time time ago, and increases with inflation, so that the nuclear subsidy is, even now, closer to £100/MWh.

In short, anybody who still thinks nuclear is a good option needs their head examined. But I have no doubt that there'll still be some that do, especially those who have previously set out their stalls in favour of it. Of course those who work in the nuclear industry will claim that nuclear is still necessary. I agree with them completely when they say that we need to generate electricity from a range of sources because of the intermittency of wind, but why that range needs to include nuclear when there are so many better alternatives to include in any mix is beyond me.

The other group that will find it hard to change their minds are politicians. For those in Wales who wanted or expected Wylfa B to go ahead, my advice would be to let those expectations quietly fade. Politicians are stubborn creatures, and I think that it might be possible that Hinkley C progresses, simply to save face because contracts have been signed. However I think it will be subject to inevitable delays and increased costs, so I have doubts about whether it would ever be completed.

After that, we need to remind ourselves that the finance agreement with the Chinese put Sizewell and Bradwell next in the queue. So, at best, Wylfa B was only ever in fourth place, as I noted in this post a year ago. It would only ever have been built if the others had gone smoothly and, if our previous experience of nuclear projects has taught us anything, we know they won't.

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