Attempts to compare subsidies for different energies in the UK are “apples to oranges” and muddle a skewed debate further, the CEO of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said today. With the European Commission preparing guidance on public intervention in energy markets, EWEA is calling for greater clarity and more transparency on public support.
“At a time when everyone is worrying about energy prices and looking for a scapegoat, we need to know exactly how much taxpayer money different energy sources get,” said Thomas Becker, EWEA’s CEO. “It is therefore alarming when the press claims that EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger is attempting to hide such figures.
“Comparing a price for offshore wind in the UK in 2018 (£135/MWh) which lasts 15 years to a different price for nuclear in 2023 (£92.50) which lasts 35 years is comparing apples to oranges,” he added.
Becker notes these prices are calculated assuming that a new nuclear reactor will last 60 years, which he calls “a world first”. He also points out that they don’t take into account the huge public decommissioning costs – £1.9 billion per year for nuclear in the UK. Nor, said Becker, do these numbers take into account the “incalculable risk to public health and safety” that no-one has yet put a figure to.
“The UK government is injecting an old-school technology, which other countries are relegating to the history books, with a double dose of money – a strike price twice the market price – to keep it alive,” concluded Becker.