UK: Hold off on nuclear and invest more in Renewables, say advisors

Published: 12 Jul 2018 By Grace Kimberley

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Government advisors for the UK have urged ministers to give the go-ahead to only one more nuclear power station in the next three years, as renewable energy could be a safer bet for the UK’s energy mix.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has encouraged the government to “cool down” on its current nuclear investment plans, which include six new nuclear plants being built in the UK over the next few years.

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne launched the nuclear new build programme back in 2015, but the NIC has argued that over ten years ago, it would have been illogical to assume renewables could be an affordable and efficient means of generating power.

Sir John Armitt, the NIC’s chairman, said: “They [the government] say full speed. We’re suggesting it’s not necessary to rush ahead with nuclear. Because during the next 10 years we should get a lot more certainty about just how far we can rely on renewables.”

“One thing we’ve all learned is these big nuclear programmes can be pretty challenging, quite risky – they will be to some degree on the government’s balance sheet,”

“I don’t think anybody’s pretending you can take forward a new nuclear power station without some form of government underwriting or support. Whereas the amount required to subsidise renewables is continually coming down.”

 

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