Delusions or lies? The UK government’s five spurious reasons to back Hinkley Point C

David Cameron addresses workers at Hinkley B as part of his visit to the site of Hinkley Point C, Oct 2013 (photo DECC)

The UK's Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) on 12 March published a short list of reasons why the proposed 3.2 GWs of nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point should be built. The publication, 5 Reasons why we are backing Hinkley Point C, is a mix of truth, unprovable assertions and omissions which could also be construed as lies, writes independent energy consultant Mike Parr. … [Read more...]

How realistic is the UK government’s promise to phase out coal?

Drax power station (photo Keith Laverack)

The conservative UK government boosted its climate credentials last year with its promise that all coal plants will be shut down by 2025. However, notes Mike Parr of consultancy PWR, this ignores certain inconvenient facts that will make delivery of this promise unlikely. … [Read more...]

Power-to-gas: how carmakers can go green (without cheating)

Audi g-tron

European carmakers are required to reduce their CO2-emissions, but the Volkswagen affair has shown they find it increasingly difficult to do so. There is a way out, however, writes energy consultant Mike Parr: they could follow the example of Audi and invest in power-to-gas systems. This would kill two birds with one stone, argues Parr: it would help decarbonise the transport sector and could enormously help the integration of variable renewables … [Read more...]

Danish offshore wind: it’s getting better all the time

Building of Horns Rev 2 by Don Energy 2008 (photo Danish Wind Industry Association)

Denmark continues to set the pace in driving down the cost of offshore wind. In its latest tender for 350 MW of near-shore wind farms the maximum price has again been reduced. Danish offshore wind now costs roughly half of what the new nuclear plant at Hinkley in the UK will cost. … [Read more...]

ExxonMobil gets a cold reception in Brussels

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

William Colton, Vice President Corporate Strategic Planning at ExxonMobil, came to Brussels this week, to the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), to present ExxonMobil’s view of our energy future to representatives from EU institutions. It was a clash of two worlds. Brussels failed to be impressed. Mike Parr of the independent consultancy PWR was there. … [Read more...]

The myth of expensive offshore wind: it’s already cheaper than gas-fired and nuclear

Horns Rev 2 - mounting the platform (Photo: Danish Wind Energy Industry Association)

Analysing public data on offshore wind in Denmark, energy consultant Mike Parr concludes that existing offshore wind is already cheaper than gas-fired power plants. Future offshore wind farms will be cheaper still – and up to 60% less expensive than the proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C in the UK. This means, writes Parr, that government support for offshore wind can be quickly and substantially reduced.  … [Read more...]

Offshore wind in the Kattegat: a unique opportunity for Europe

Anholt offshore wind farm (photo: Dong Energy)

New figures show that the Anholt offshore wind farm in the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden had an impressively high capacity factor of 50% last year. This is all the more impressive since, as Mike Parr, Director of energy consultancy PWR points out, 2014 was a year with unusually low wind speeds. In an average year the capacity factor would have been more like 75%. This means, writes Parr, that if just 10% of the Kattegat region were … [Read more...]