New Government Nuclear Report

Monday March 4th, 2013

Government Opportunities (GO)The Energy and Climate Change Committee has recently published a report titled – Building New Nuclear: the challenges ahead.

 It warns that failure to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations in the UK could make it much more expensive to meet our climate change targets, and suggests Ministers must stop ‘crossing their fingers’ and urgently develop a back-up energy strategy.

The Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Tim Yeo MP, said if new nuclear power stations are not built on time, the UK’s legally-binding climate change targets will be extremely challenging and much more expensive to meet.

Industry has outlined plans that would deliver 16GW new nuclear power stations by 2025, but new build projects in France and Finland have experienced serious delays and cost overruns. 

Although the Government and industry have learnt some important lessons from this process, there are still a number of obstacles which could delay new build projects in the UK.

The MPs support the Government’s use of “Contracts for Difference” (CfDs) to help make new nuclear power stations easier to finance, but are concerned at the lack of transparency around the price negotiations between the Government and industry.

However they said the new contracts must provide value for money for consumers and should not be offered at a price that is higher than other low-carbon sources of energy, such as offshore wind, which is hoped to be around £100/MWh by 2020.

The MPs also suggest there should be benefits for communities that host new nuclear power stations.  The Government has plans to allow local authorities hosting renewable energy projects to retain business rates.  The report argues that this scheme should be extended to new nuclear projects too. 

Tim Yeo, MP, said: “Communities hosting nuclear power stations are contributing towards a national need for secure, clean energy and should be able to benefit from hosting these projects.”

To view the report click, here.

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