Factfile: nuclear and carbon trading - updated

29 June 2009

The UK boss of EDF, EDF Energy CEO Vincent de Rivaz has called for a 'level playing field' for nuclear power, and suggested that the UK government establish a floor on the price of carbon in the publicly-traded European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). In a supply chain event on 30 June, he denied he was looking for government support. He said: "this is categorically not a subsidy for nuclear; the cost would be paid by carbon emitters."

Whoever will pay, carbon trading has a big influence on nuclear power, even though nuclear stations generate hardly any carbon dioxide. This relationship was considered in detail last year by NEI contributor Ian Jackson.


CEO of EDF in the UK, speaking at the Nuclear Industry Forum in June 2009
CEO of EDF in the UK, speaking at the Nuclear Industry Forum in June 2009

On 29 June 2009, the price stood at EUR13.40, down about two Euros since late May, according to trading web site www.pointcarbon.com. The nuclear power industry needs a higher carbon price than at present in order to compete effectively with its fossil fuel rivals, explains Ian Jackson in his 2008 book Nukenomics, published by NEI.

In his book about the UK's transition to a privatised nuclear sector, Jackson explains the basics of carbon trading, and its role in helping nuclear compete in energy markets. Click the first two links below to read these excerpts of Nukenomics.

The book is now available for GBP20 on the Progressive Media digital store. Click the third link to go to the web store to buy a copy.


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