Tuesday, 16 January 2018


3,200 MW Hinkley Point C [HPC] NPP [nuclear power plant] will operate at a capacity factor of 90% for its 60 year design life. It will generate 1513.7 million MWh of 24/7 electricity.
950 MW Moray East Offshore Windfarm [MEOW] will power up to 950,000 homes at 3,300 kWh p.a.. This gives a 1st year capacity factor of 37.67%. But the latest research paper shows an annual decline in turbine performance of 1.6% p.a., which reduces the 25 year average capacity factor to 31.25%

Over its 25 year lifespan of its 100 x 9.5 MW turbines, 1 MEOW will deliver 65.0 million MWh of intermittent electricity.

 It would take windfarms using a total of 970 x 9.5 MW turbines to deliver the same amount of electricity every year as HPC. That would occupy an area of 2,862 sq km, compared to the 0.08 sq km HPC site.

 But that's not the end of the story. To generate for 60 years, those 970 wind turbines would have to be decommissioned and replaced a 2nd time and be 10 years into their 3rd build before reaching the HPC total. That's a factor of X2.4.

 2.4 x 970 turbines = 2,328 x 9.5 MW wind turbines = 22,116 MW
@ £1,800 million/950 MW, the capital cost is £41,904 million.
HPC has been awarded a CfD rate of £92.50/MWh for 35 years and the commercial £42.00/MWh rate for 25 years. However, a fairer comparison requires the use of a £57.50/MWh CfD rate for 35 years. Note: the 35:60 ratio for NPPs is lower [more disadvantageous] than the 15:25 ratio for windfarms.
MEOW has been awarded a CfD rate of £57.50/MWh for 15 years and the commercial £42.00/MWh rate for 10 years.

Spending £41,904 million in Overnight Costs on Offshore Windfarms, for a ‘Profit’ of £3,247.47 million equates to:
A Compound Interest Rate just over 0.3% p.a. - [Three Tenths of 1%]

Spending £18,000 million in Overnight Costs on a NPP, for a ‘Profit’ of £43,223.85 seems a far better investment bet.

Applying the £92.50/MWh for 35 years takes the ‘Profit’ up to £74,129.13 million - an even better investment bet for the children and grandchildren of investors too.


  1. Thank you for this wonderful article really…helpful…

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  2. And of course you still require Hinkley Point as a back up for when the wind doesn't blow. Renewable is always going to be an expense on top of existing conventional energy infrastructure. Until we can store a month's worth of electricity this will always be the case.
    Right now the back up is likely to be gas turbines, nuclear has become fabulously over engineered and expensive.So gas it is. Of course gas itself isn't easy to store. I wonder if anyone has done the math on this. Will we have to curtail North Sea gas production when the wind blows? And oil production as most gas is a by-product of oil production? Will North Sea oil therefore require subsidies to do this?Expect headlines in the Guardian about fossil fuel subsidies, I'm not joking.