The UK's National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has urged the government to take up the “golden opportunity” to go green and ditch its nuclear vision in favour of cheaper renewables.
The recommendation comes within the UK’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment, in effect a study of how the country’s infrastructure must adapt and evolve over the coming years.
The country’s energy system is a key consideration within the assessment and the NIC – established by former chancellor George Osborne – is clear in its recommendation that the country derive at least half of its power from renewable sources by 2030.
This, the NIC states, citing its own modelling, could be achieved at no additional cost to the consumer. It claims that average consumer bills for all energy consumption could remain at the same level – in today’s terms – with a low carbon system by 2050, but only if the correct decisions are taken now.
It points towards a “quiet revolution” in renewable power and claims there to be “ample scope” for the UK to build on recent successes in years to come.
Greater quantities of renewable power could be built at costs comparable to the controversial new nuclear facility at Hinkley Point C and cheaper than carbon capture and storage plant, leading the NIC to conclude that the government should change course and place it on the path to more renewables.