The intermittency of wind and solar generation makes nuclear power an essential part of the electricity mix in the years ahead, the GMB union has said.

Analysis published by the organisation on 1 August suggested that, in the year to 1 August, wind turbines in the UK had, on 57 days overall, produced 10% or less of the installed capacity of 8,972MW.

In this context, the union branded the decision to delay the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station as “bewildering”, saying that until there is a breakthrough on energy storage or carbon capture, nuclear and gas are the only sources to guarantee energy security.

GMB national secretary Justin Bowden said: “It should not be difficult to get agreement that the only reliable low-carbon alternative to renewables on the days they are not supplying power to the grid is new nuclear power stations. Sadly, there are people who refuse to face up to this fact.”

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