I congratulate Chris Huhne on his new role as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and very much look forward to working with him and all the team in the new administration.
We welcome the new Government’s clear commitment to a low carbon and eco-friendly economy, including action on energy efficiency, smart grid, various renewables technologies, the roll-out of smart meters, electrical transport including high speed rail and the development of a recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, etc. These are areas in which EDF Energy is playing a major role.
We have consistently committed to play a key role in delivering a low carbon, eco-friendly economy not only as the country’s largest generator of low carbon electricity but also through our own broad based Sustainability Commitments. We have contributed to the open debate and recognise the broad spectrum of views that exist on this issue.
In line with this, we welcome that the new Government has made clear its policy on nuclear energy through its commitment to practical steps so that new nuclear construction becomes possible.
Crucially, there are welcome commitments on two specific elements we have consistently called for.
Under the coalition agreement, the new Government said it had agreed a process to bring forward the national policy statement ‘for ratification by Parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible.’
We welcome this commitment on the National Policy Statements and we look forward to a positive parliamentary vote at an early date.
The coalition Government also committed to ‘the provision of a floor price for carbon’.
This commitment is an important part of the future investment framework to encourage low carbon generation.
We look forward to working immediately with the new Government on these two steps.
We believe nuclear power is the most affordable low carbon option and can be built in the UK without subsidy. It is a vital element in keeping energy prices affordable while tackling climate change.
The UK’s urgent need for investment in clean, secure and affordable energy supplies for customers is also a major opportunity to help drive economic recovery. In the current economic climate, our plans for £20 billion-plus investment in low carbon energy can help boost the UK’s economic activity and create tens of thousands of jobs precisely when they are needed. We have significant plans to develop the skills of current and future employees and people throughout supply chain as part of the human legacy of our investment.
We have also completed consultation on our initial proposals at Hinkley Point in Somerset and continue to make progress on our plans to build two EPR reactors there. We plan to build two further EPRs at Sizewell in Suffolk.
As an investor in long-term assets, we are pleased that there is broad public and political support for new nuclear power as part of the mix.
We look forward to working with the new administration and other interested parties to make new nuclear a reality.”