23 May 2012
The draft UK Energy Bill was published this week. The Bill is designed to secure £110 billion investment to replace a large proportion of generating capacity which is due to shut down within the next 10 years, coupled with a need to decarbonise electricity generation. The proposed reform will benefit all forms of low carbon technology.
Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:
"The Energy Bill is a critically important step towards securing the £110 billion of investment needed to replace our ageing energy infrastructure, and to ensure a low carbon future for Britain.
"Without nuclear we will have an energy gap. Modern nuclear power is an essential part of the mix, alongside renewables and carbon capture and storage, to provide clean, secure and affordable electricity to power our homes, schools, hospitals and industries.
“Public support for new nuclear is the highest it has ever been.”
UK Nuclear Key Facts
1. In the UK, 70% of our low-carbon electricity comes from nuclear. (DECC)
2. In 2011 16.4% of UK electricity was generated by nuclear energy. (DECC)
3. Nuclear generation currently reduces UK national carbon emissions by between 7% and 14%. (If it replaces gas it reduces carbon emissions by 7%, if it replaces coal this cuts carbon emissions by 14%.) (DECC)
4. The power generated by existing power stations avoids the emissions of 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – the equivalent of taking nearly half of Britain’s cars off the roads.
5. The UK needs substantial investment in generating capacity over the next 20 years. Nine of our ten nuclear power stations are due to close over the next 15 years. Investment is therefore needed to replace today’s generating capacity. The UK has implemented legally binding environmental targets to reduce carbon emissions, which will necessitate using less fossil fuel. Renewable sources of electricity, currently supplying 7% of the UK’s electricity, can not grow fast enough to replace the electricity shortfall on their own, nor can they independently ensure stable electricity supplies.
6. A balanced energy mix will help to ensure security of energy supply in the UK by reducing dependence on imported fuels, potentially from politically unstable regions. Renewable sources are indigenous, and nuclear can provide a large scale, reliable sources of baseload electricity (the electricity needed to run our basic services which cannot be avoided).
7. New nuclear build will give UK manufacturing a major boost, creating an estimated 30,000 jobs by 2025. The industry already provides almost 60,000 jobs around the UK.
8. Each new nuclear power project is equivalent in scale to the 2012 Olympics.
9. Nuclear new build topped a recent YouGov poll as the large scale infrastructure project that would be ‘best for Britain’.
10. A recent Ipsos Mori poll showed public support for new nuclear at 50% - the highest it has ever been. Opposition has fallen to 20 per cent.
To read more about the details of the Bill from World Nuclear News, click here.