Lawmakers are weighing new energy laws designed to spur 110 billion pounds ($165 billion) of investment in generators and grids by 2020. The draft includes support for low-carbon projects such as nuclear and renewables, and plants that capture emissions. The experience of France and Finland, where new reactors have overshot budgets and schedules, has fueled the debate.
Britain is determined to build new nuclear to support new jobs and boost low-carbon electricity, U.K. Energy Minister John Hayes said today. “We’re focused on bringing forward this investment, but also getting the best deal for the consumer,” he said.
The government’s alternative to expanding atomic energy would be “a huge step-change” in the priority given to energy efficiency and renewables, Yeo said by phone. “Given that the government is struggling even to meet its existing commitments in those two areas, that plan B is scarcely plausible.”
Power failures are possible before the end of this decade without a better strategy to build the reactors, David King, the former government’s chief scientific adviser, said last year. Iberdrola SA (IBE) Chairman Ignacio Galan also said last month that Britain risks blackouts this decade unless it details proposed capacity auctions soon. The auctions are aimed at driving development of gas-fed plants.
Read more at U.K. Lawmakers See Need for Plan B if Nuclear Boom Fails