There is a push by some Tory MPs to end the ban on onshore wind farms. An amendment to Michael Gove’s planning Bill is gathering support, which would allow new onshore developments.
Should hundreds of acres of precious countryside be covered with wind turbines which need replacing every twenty years, when looming on the horizon are small Rolls-Royce nuclear power plants, one of which would supply power to one million homes and occupy the footprint of just two football pitches?
In the wake of COP 27 there is an urgent demand for clean energy as global markets seek solutions to support their journey to net zero. The requirement is for energy that is reliable 24/7 and generates virtually no emissions.
Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd has designed a factory built nuclear power plant that will supply clean energy for multiple applications – from grid and industrial electricity production to hydrogen and synthetic fuel manufacturing.
The company has already shortlisted six sites for development. Boris, when Prime Minister, talked to Rolls-Royce about 16 Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to be built in the next 25 years, to secure the UKs energy supply and hit its net-zero target by 2050.
Rolls-Royce hopes to have small modular reactors (SMRs) operating in the UK within 7 years and intend to open between ten and fifteen sites, each covering just 2.5acres, in either Cumbria or Wales with electricity selling for below £60 per megawatt hour (MWh).
They can be 90% prefabricated in factories before being transported to the site for assembly.
A SMR power station will have the capacity to generate 470MW of low carbon energy, equivalent to more than 150 onshore wind turbines covering at least six square miles. These would provide consistent baseload generation for at least 60 years, helping to support the roll-out of renewable generation for on-grid electricity and a range of off-grid clean energy and fuel solutions, including green hydrogen.
The Rolls-Royce SMR programme is forecast to create 40,000 regional UK jobs by 2050 and generate £52bn in economic benefit. It will also support international efforts to decarbonise energy systems, with a forecast to target £250bn of exports. Memorandums of Understanding are already in place with Estonia, Turkey, and the Czech Republic.
As countries look to provide reliable ways to achieve net zero, these factory-built SMRs have been designed in direct response to the enormous global challenge.
Rolls-Royce SMRs provide a unique opportunity to not only deliver enough clean energy to power entire towns and cities but also create a vital economic boost.
Wind farms and solar farms can play a part in regenerative energy provision, but they are notoriously unreliable and a short-term solution.
Would MPs not be more productive, green, and enlightened by supporting the roll out of nuclear energy production? On shore wind farms could surely be seen as retrospective.