Where do you start with Hinkley Point? I hear shouts of 'please don't start it at all!' I must confess I am no fan of Nuclear, and in particular Hinkley Point. The costs are insane if nothing else. But, what relevance to the Energy Storage sector? Quite a lot it seems. An unintended, and certainly unconsidered impact of not building Hinkley Point would be a detrimental impact on the Energy Storage sector.
I was at the Renewable Energy Association Energy Storage event yesterday looking at various models and predictions for the industry growth in the UK, courtesy of Ben Irons of Aurora. At present and it would seem into the future there is no investment case to build new gas power plants, it's not economical, this opens the door to storage to provide a range of services to the grid. This would continue regardless of Hinkley Point (HP). One thing nuclear can't to do is be flexible, at all, it just churns out base load. However, if HP doesn't get built, it is very likely new gas plants would be built, to fill the gap, and because governments like big things to be built. Gas plants are far more flexible than nuclear, so there is the potential that some of the revenue streams that we expect storage to take up, around flexibility, would be eaten up by the new gas plants. So no HP could mean much less opportunity for energy storage. Now there's a dilemma!
But Mr Macron told the BBC: "We back Hinkley Point project, it's very important for France, it's very important for the nuclear sector and EDF. "Now we have to finalise the work, and especially the technical and industrial work, very closely with EDF, with the British government, to be in a situation to sign in the coming week or more." Asked whether he thought the deal would go ahead, Mr Macron added: "That's my view, and that's our perspective, because I think it's very important for our commitment to nuclear energy."