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Solar FITs and Starts

The British Government’s solar power policy is not really going very well.

Ah well, at least the “nuclear power renaissance” is progressing…err, maybe not :-

“New nuclear electricity costs hit utility ratings – Moody’s : 27 Mar 2012

“Building a nuclear power plant is perceived as risky by credit rating agencies – and in some cases could lead to a ratings downgrade of the utility concerned, a senior analyst at US-based Moody’s told ICIS on Tuesday.”

“The analyst, who wished to remain anonymous, said an unfavourable attitude towards nuclear power stemmed largely from the scale of investment required, together with future uncertainties surrounding power prices.”

“”The risks are writ larger when you think of a nuclear project [than for other forms of generation], because construction and planning is that much more tortuous, construction risk is higher and from an operational point of they have a high fixed cost base,” the source said.”

Obviously, there is some, limited movement in the Coalition Government’s policy actions on stimulating renewable energy deployment.

However, the economics behind the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) do not look flexible enough to encourage the transition to a truly Low Carbon energy economy.

Those looking to the EMR to provide easy subsidy money to prop up their investment in Carbon Capture and Storage (via the measure now known as the “Feed-in Tariff Contracts for Difference”) cannot be encouraged by the appalling treatment of the solar Feed-in Tariffs – all boom and bust, but mostly bust.

And the nuclear power sector is so hesitant about proceeding, even with genuinely generous deals offered by the proposals in the EMR, that they might concede defeat to the demands of EdF’s Vincent de Rivaz yet and charge billpayers to finance new nuclear reactors.

At this rate, the UK Government will get around to understanding the need for targetting subsidy support at small-scale fast-to-grid power generation at around the time new solar power devices make installations cheaper than chips.

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