UK includes nuclear in its new energy mix strategy

By Redazione

The UK Government has invited companies to submit plans for building and operating nuclear power stations, the invitation is outlined in a Nuclear White Paper, which together with a new Energy
Bill, presents how the UK plans to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and securing energy supply.

The White Paper follows a public consultation in 2007 that received over 4,000 responses. Although controversial for some, the Government believes that the benefits of nuclear mean that it is
worth pursuing. The advantages of nuclear are outlined as:

– low carbon – helping to minimise damaging climate change;
– affordable – nuclear is currently one of the cheapest low-carbon electricity generation technologies;
– dependable – a proven technology currently supplying one fifth of the UK’s electricity;
– safe – backed up by a highly effective regulatory framework;
– capable of increasing the diversity of energy supplies and reducing dependence on any one technology or country for fuel supplies.

The ambition to embrace a diverse energy mix is emphasised by the accompanying Energy Bill. The paper announces a competition for the first commercial-scale demonstration of carbon capture and
storage (CCS) projects, claiming that CCS has the potential to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel power stations by up to 90%.

The UK’s Renewables Obligation will also be amended so as to drive greater and a more rapid deployment of renewable energy technologies. More support will be given to new and emerging
technologies, such as offshore wind, wave and tidal technologies.

Additional support will also be given to the UK’s offshore gas supply infrastructure.

‘With a third of our generating capacity coming offline within the next 20 years and increasing reliance on imported energy, it is clear we need investment in a range of new energy
infrastructure,’ said UK Energy Secretary John Hutton. The measures outlined in the two papers will ‘help build our energy security, reduce emissions and place the UK at the forefront in the
development of low carbon energy technology,’ said Mr Hutton.