2:32pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Letters
CHRISTOPHER Jessop (Letters, August 14) advocates a combination of renewable technologies to generate our electricity. It may therefore be of interest to readers to know the relative costs of what he suggests, and I give below the relative unit electricity costs of the various generating methods: Nuclear 1; Coal fired 1.2; Gas (CCGT) 1.5; Onshore wind 1.8; Hydro 2.3; Offshore wind 2.5; Solar 5.3. (Source: OECD/IEA-NEA, 2010, Projected costs of generating electricity, tables 3.7) That is, for every penny we spend on electricity generated by nuclear power, we spend between 1.2p on coal and 5.3p on solar panel power. Thus nuclear power produces by far the cheapest electricity, with solar power the most expensive, reflecting its low efficiency (21%).
These higher costs have to be paid through higher charges to the consumer and by general taxation.
It is no accident that the French have long since adopted nuclear power, which generates over 85% of the cheap French electricity.
Many of these are breeder reactors, or generators of true renewable energy.
RICHARD F SHEPHERD