Comment on the Energy White Paper

Published:14 December 2020

Commenting on the plans set out by the Government’s Energy White Paper [1, 2], including exploring financing options for new nuclear, Dr Jonathan Marshall Head of Analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

"While it is likely that some new nuclear will be needed to reach net zero, putting billpayers on the hook for delays and cost overruns is a very risky move. There is little evidence to suggest Sizewell will not be blighted by the same issues that have struck other European nuclear projects, which under the expected funding models would see Brits footing the bill for Sizewell many years before it starts generating power.

The Government has been advised to hold fire on new nuclear power stations beyond Sizewell, as the cost of renewables and of the technologies needed to ‘firm’ their output continues to plummet. It is now clear that offshore wind will form the backbone of our power system, with nuclear playing a supporting role. The key is to get the balance right, and to do so in a way that keeps energy bills as low as possible."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. The Government published a media release detailing its plans for the Energy White Paper earlier today: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-plans-for-clean-energy-system-and-green-jobs-boom-to-build-back-greener
  2. The full publication of the Energy White Paper is expected later today.

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