The UK should keep building large-scale nuclear plants and “mini-nuke” reactors to help reach a net zero carbon target by 2050, according to Britain’s biggest business group. In a letter to the business secretary, Greg Clark, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said the UK’s struggling new nuclear programme has “an important role” in a low carbon economy “at the right price”. It said a funding model for large-scale nuclear and small modular reactors would help provide economic benefits by encouraging foreign investment into the UK. The government is struggling to agree a funding framework for a follow up to EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C new nuclear project which has been widely criticised for being too expensive at an expected £20bn. It also follows a flurry of government funding for nine new carbon capture pilot projects, which will trap and store emissions before they enter the atmosphere. The CBI has also called on the government to “unblock” the pipeline of new onshore wind farms if it hopes to reduce the cost of moving to a zero carbon economy. The business group warned that “hindering the continued deployment of the cheapest form of renewable electricity is hampering the goal of decarbonising at the lowest cost”. It also called for government to help create a route to market for low-cost solar power, including projects that combine battery storage.
Guardian 28th June 2019 read more »
Times 28th June 2019 read more »
Hinkley Point C is due to be completed in 2025 at a cost of £20bn and will be the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK for more than 20 years. It will provide low-carbon electricity for about six million homes and meet 7pc of the country’s electricity needs. On Friday it achieved a construction milestone after completing the base for the first reactor, known as J-zero. This means construction on the nuclear buildings above ground can now start. However, Hinkley is both behind schedule and over budget. Moreover, the financial deal the Government struck with EDF, guaranteeing it a “strike price” of £92.50 per megawatt hour, rising in line with inflation, has been heavily criticised for being far too expensive. Business Secretary Greg Clark has therefore floated the idea of using a regulated asset base (RAB) model to pay for future nuclear projects. Because of massive upfront costs, slow rates of payback and the engineering risks involved, nuclear struggles to attract private investment. The RAB model has been used to fund other infrastructure projects such as the £4.2bn Thames Tideway super sewer in London. It effectively shifts the risks from the developers to consumers, who help pay towards the project in advance through their utility bills. This reduces future debt repayments and is useful in securing private investment. EDF, which is developing Hinkley Point C in collaboration with China’s CGN, is in the early stages of securing approval to build a new nuclear plant near its existing facility in Sizewell, Suffolk. It reckons this could cost a fifth less than Hinkley Point C, partly by using the RAB model and copying the specifications of Hinkley. Alongside championing nuclear power, the CBI urged the Government to boost efforts to invest in and develop small modular nuclear reactors – which are smaller and theoretically less expensive to build than traditional nuclear plants; carbon capture and storage; and to make it easier for companies to win permission for onshore wind.
Telegraph 28th June 2019 read more »
New build nuclear power stations are a vital part of the UK’s journey to producing net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which has written a letter to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark setting out how best to “secure a long-term approach towards decarbonising our economy”. In it, the organisation calls on the government to use a forthcoming Energy White Paper to give more clarity on its vision and outlined a number of steps it says must be taken to secure investor confidence, support shifts in consumer behaviour and maintain competitiveness across British industry.
Energy Live News 28th June 2019 read more »
Britain needs more nuclear power plants, electric vehicle charging sites and carbon capture and storage projects to meet its new climate target, the Confederation of British Industry said on Friday.
Reuters 28th June 2019 read more »
Business Green 28th June 2019 read more »
CBI Press Release: The UK should build new nuclear power stations and scale up carbon capture technology and infrastructure to reach the Government’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to the CBI.
CBI 27th June 2019 read more »