The UK government’s top priority is to agree arrangements with the European Union related to energy – particularly nuclear energy – that are as close as possible to current arrangements, the country’s energy minister last week told a parliamentary inquiry into Brexit and the UK’s energy security. Richard Harrington – undersecretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, Energy and Environment Sub-Committee on 25 October. When asked about Brexit’s effect on the UK’s energy security, Harrington said: “As far as security of supply is concerned, I do not believe it will affect it because we have a very well-functioning, competitive and resilient energy system now.” He added, “The capacity market, new nuclear, offshore wind and so on have helped a lot to [achieve diversity of supply]. I believe that government intervention generally – with contracts-for-difference and the capacity market options, for example – has made sure that we are not too dependent on any particular source of supply.” However, he told the committee that the UK benefits from electricity interconnections with other European countries. “Electricity connection is something that we think can deliver benefits in terms of both cost but also security in being part of the larger market.” The UK has 4 GW of electrical interconnection, with a further 9.5 GW having either received or seeking regulatory approval. Construction of two 4.4 GW interconnectors – with Belgium and Norway – is well advanced, he said. Since the June 2016 referendum vote in favour of leaving the EU, construction of two further interconnections – both with France – has also started.
World Nuclear News 3rd Nov 2017 read more »