Urgent need for new energy

A surge of investment in new energy sources will be needed to ensure our energy security and reduce reliance on fossil fuels in the decades ahead, Chris Huhne said today.

The Government has launched the consultation on the coalition’s revised draft national policy statements on energy. They show that we expect over half the new energy generating capacity built in the UK by 2025 to come from renewable sources. A significant proportion of the remainder will come from low carbon sources such as nuclear and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage.

The statements confirmed eight sites as potentially suitable for new nuclear power stations and ruled out three sites for the development of new nuclear power by 2025.

The new nuclear power stations will be built near existing sites in in Bradwell, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point, Oldbury, Sellafield , Sizewell and Wylfa.

Three sites in Dungeness in Kent and Braystones and Kirksanton in Cumbria were ruled out due to concerns over the impact on wildlife and the Lake District National Park.

As part of a package of announcements to provide certainty across the nuclear industry, the Secretary of State also:

  • announced the Regulatory Justification of two new nuclear reactor designs – Westinghouse’s AP1000 and Areva’s EPR;
  • set out more detail on what will be required from new nuclear developers in terms of clean-up; and
  • provided further detail on the Government’s policy of no subsidy for new nuclear power.

Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy said:

“I’m fed up with the stand-off between advocates of renewables and of nuclear which means we have neither. We urgently need investment in new and diverse energy sources to power the UK. We’ll need renewables, new nuclear, fossil fuels with CCS, and the cables to hook them all up to the Grid as a large slice of our current generating capacity shuts down. The market needs certainty to make this investment happen, and we are determined to clear every obstacle in the way of this programme.

“So today we are setting out our energy need which will help guide the planning process, so that if sound proposals come forward in sensible places, they will not face unnecessary hold-ups. And I am making clear that new nuclear will be free to contribute as much as possible with the onus on developers to pay for the clean-up”.

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