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Study Reveals Cost to Bill Payer of New Build Power Stations



Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station by Leo McArdle via Flickr

Tidal Lagoon Power has published a New Power Cost League Table which challenges the current narrative surrounding the new generation of UK power stations and examines the cost to the end consumer.

Tidal Lagoon Power today launches an improved methodology to better understand the real costs that energy bill payers incur through the construction of vital new power stations in the UK. The New Power Cost League Table has been developed to provide the first ever apples-to-apples comparison of the various enabling contracts awarded to power stations and ultimately paid for by consumers via their energy bills, in addition to the market price of power.

The study captures the differences in support mechanisms used to stimulate investment in new UK power plant, as well as the differing power profile and lifespan of these plants, to arrive at one key number: the additional cost that consumers are asked to pay for each megawatt hour of electricity that is delivered to the National Grid.

“It’s widely acknowledged that the UK has a looming power deficit”, explains Keith Clarke, Non-Executive Chairman of Tidal Lagoon Power. “We must invest in new power stations and the simple fact is that whichever generating technology is employed, an additional cost will be passed on to consumers. That’s because the power stations are new, not because they are low carbon.

“Given the breadth of technologies, risks and contracts involved, it’s not surprising that the true nature of these costs is all-too-often misunderstood.

We wanted to cut through the confusion and uncover the real consumer cost of new build power stations.

“You need to get under the skin of each technology and each contract to understand exactly what bill payers should expect to pay and what they will receive in return”.

The League Table, which Tidal Lagoon Power intends to update annually, finds that the ‘premium’ for new build generation is reducing as old enabling contracts are replaced by new, more competitive contracts. This trend is particularly notable in the case of solar PV and wind. Where new generating technologies are introduced to the mix, as with new nuclear and the pathfinder tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay, their consumer costs are shown to come in on-trend.

The study also demonstrates that aside from where facilities are brought forward to provide a back-up service to the system, investment in new gas-fired power stations is unlikely to offer the consumer a good value deal. Conversely, tidal lagoons at scale can reduce significantly the cost of power for UK consumers.

Mike Edge, the company’s Analyst and study author, comments: “A mix of solutions is necessary to achieve the sustainable and secure supply we need. New nuclear and offshore wind can achieve this at scale and a competitively low cost. Without very high usage, gas cannot. While the longer lifespan, proven technology and comparatively low construction risk of tidal lagoons can be leveraged to generate, also at scale, the cheapest electricity on the system.

“The many options for new build power stations in the UK are, and will remain, qualitatively different. We hope this league table offers one quantitatively comparable approach and in doing so contributes to the debate.”

The new power cost league table can be downloaded here.


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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