"Nuclear power stations can't load follow that much" – Official

A note from Professor Elliot of the Open University:

Nuclear can’t load follow  that much
Quotes from EDF’s submission to the UK governments renewable energy staretry
consultation: Â
Â
‘As the intermittent renewable capacity approaches the Government’s 32%
proposed target, if wind is not to be constrained (in order to meet the
renewable target), it would be necessary to attempt to constrain nuclear beyond
what is practicable’.
Â
‘EPR nuclear plant design can provide levels of flexibility that are comparable
to other large thermal plant. However, there are constraints on this
flexibility (as there are for other thermal plant). For example, the EPR can
ramp up at 5% of its maximum output per minute, but this is from 25% to 100%
capacity and is limited to a maximum of 2 cycles per day and 100 cycles a year.
Higher levels of cycling are possible but this is limited to 60% to 100% of
capacity’.
Â
‘A lower volume of intermittent renewable electricity generation and higher
volume of renewable heat generation by 2020 would create a better investment
climate for all low carbon technologies, including nuclear and CCS’.
Â
E.ON were more circumspect:
Â
‘The high levels of variable and relatively unpredictable wind and other
renewable generation envisaged by Government will have very significant effects
on the wholesale power market. Prices will become more volatile. At periods of
low demand and high wind generation, available renewable and nuclear capacity
may exceed demand requiring nuclear or renewable generation to be curtailed.
This will lead to wholesale prices falling to zero or to negative prices. This
will affect the economics of either or both plant types’.
Â
all from ‘UK Renewable Energy Strategy: Analysis of Consultation Responses’
Prepared for: Dept of Energy and Climate Change
www.berr.gov.uk/files/file50119.pdf

Prof Dave Elliott

Open University

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt
charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

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