The cost of what Insulate Britain want is £360 and £600 billion according to their numbers. That is between 12 & 20 Hinkley C reactors or to put in another watt 39,120MWe & 65,200 MWe, that even when you allow for £30 billion per plant when the current costs is estimated as between 21 & 22.
According to the National grid peak demand up to October 2021 was over a day was 36.01 GW. The installed capacity is 75.8 GW and up to 75% of that has been used in the past that is 56GW.
Most of the time that can be filled by less than 50% of the installed environmental energy or by using some of the UK's 32 GW of gas-powered generation fuelled by hydrogen or synthetic methane produced during periods of excess.
If you ordered 12 plants you'd save a lot of cash by allowing some small production runs, the government could have even more if it used its own methods for raising the money.
Of course, currently under development are Small Modular Reactors(SMR) technologies which should be cheaper.
The UK also has environmental energy at about 11,749 MW, so for the lower estimated cost by Insulate
Britain, we can eliminate all fossil fuels from Electricity and have 11,749 MW leftover for Synthetic gas production and CCU at the top end we can have 37,829 MW left over. That is without allowing for economies of scale, SMR being cheaper or added environmental energy.
Any impression that Insulate Britain are a collection of has been Dark Greens with outmoded thinking is only reinforced by their willingness to shoot themselves in the foot. Of the UK's energy production 30% goes on domestic heating, so were as the nuclear solution could eliminate all fossil electricity production and provide all the electrical power we need and more, insulation still leaves us looking for ways to produce at least 20,000MW.
We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources, writes James Lovelock – civilisation is in imminent danger. Published in The Independent, 24 May 2004.