My point was not that dispatchable nukes are impossible (they have them in the French reactor fleet as well as in subs and carriers), it was that they are even more horrendously expensive than standard nukes. Not only are they more complex to make, the electricity they make ends up being much more expensive. The cost of electricity from a nuclear reactor is mainly the cost of paying back the capital to make the thing, as the marginal costs of production are low in comparison. That means you want your reactor running and making money 24/7 over its lifetime. If you run it at a 50% capacity factor, you effectively have to double the cost of the electricity you sell to pay back the capital. Hinkley C isn't dispatchable, nor are any other reactors under construction.Grumble wrote: ↑Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:39 pmPWRs are despatchable, or they wouldn’t be able to be used on aircraft carriers and subs. They aren’t typically used that way, and they’re a bit slower to react than a CCGT, but there’s nothing to stop them being used that way. Cheap solar with diurnal shifting isn’t available in the U.K. where I live, not to the extent needed anyway.
Apparently the original plan for the French reactor fleet was for it to be around 3 times the size it is, and use it for everything and anything, "tout-éléctrique, tout-nucléaire", including space heating, transport, oil and more. That would have significant chunks of the reactor fleet sitting idle during summer. They basically stalled the roll out when they hit around 75% of existing power generation without any significant replacement of space heating. Which was more or less the point where they would have had to do a decent amount of load following. Note that they are now planning winding down their reactor fleet to 50% generation, because Arriva and EDF are incapable of rolling out the new non load following EPRs anywhere near on cost or on time.
As for solar, no we don't have much, but we have some of the richest wind resources in the world. Overbuild cheap offshore wind turbines, sell that to Norway when the wind is blowing, buy their hydro when it isn't.
Oh, and insulate the f.ck out of every building in the UK.