Green energyTalks have begun between the Government and EDF about constructing a new £20bn nuclear power plant in Suffolk.
The Sizewell C site, directly next to Sizewell B could generate enough electricity to provide 7% of the UK’s needs, but it is proving controversial with many, as taxpayers would be footing the expense for extra costs. However, the Government has said any deal would be subject to approval on value for money and affordability.
EDF, the French energy giant, is also building Hinkley Point C in Somerset in partnership with China General Nuclear Power, however, the project is set to be up to 15 months late and be £2.9bn over budget.
China General Nuclear Power has a 20% stake in Sizewell C but is thought to be planning to pull out after security concerns were raised about a Chinese state-owned company designing and running its own design nuclear reactor on UK soil.
If it does pull out, it would increase the need for new investors. One option could be for the government to take a stake in the plant.
Monday’s announcement is part of the long-awaited Energy White Paper, which ministers say will support up to 220,000 jobs over the next decade.
Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “The government’s decision to enter into negotiations over Sizewell C and to further develop financing plans for new nuclear is welcome. Nuclear will play an important role, alongside renewables, in powering our low-carbon economy. Building new nuclear capacity will give us a vital tool to help meet our global climate obligations.
“The additional clarity provided on plans for post-Brexit carbon pricing will give businesses across the economy further welcome certainty ahead of January 1st.”