Now that UK nuclear power plans are in tatters, it’s vital to double down on wind and solar

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Now that Japanese giants Toshiba and Hitachi have walked away from UK nuclear power projects that had previously been abandoned by others, it has forced the government to reassess the pro-nuclear bias of its energy policy. Greg Clark, the UK business secretary, has recognised that nuclear power is no longer cost competitive with renewable energy, but don’t expect any extra push into the cheaper technology.

There is easily enough solar and wind energy available to make up for the cancellation of the nuclear projects and to produce the low-carbon electricity required to make the UK’s 2030 carbon emissions targets achievable. Instead, however, the country’s incentives and regulations favour developing more power plants driven by natural gas. Having hacked back emissions from power by over two-thirds since 1990, progress with decarbonising the grid risks coming to an end.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

David Toke has in the past been funded by the ESRC, EU, Leverhulme Trust and British Academy for academic research projects. He has done energy related consultancies in the past for Friends of the Earth, World Future Council, NUPE, Combined Heat and Power Association. He is a member of RenewableUK and is currently lobbying in a voluntary capacity in support of funding being given for testing and demonstration of the Resen Wave power technology. He is a member of the Scottish Green Party and the Green Party of England and Wales.


  • Renewable energy
  • China
  • Treasury
  • Offshore wind
  • EDF
  • Solar PV
  • Hinkley C
  • Greg Clark
  • Nuclear power plants


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