EEF, the UK manufacturers’ organisation, has urged the government to back replacement nuclear build as part of a balanced sustainable long-term energy strategy for the UK.
The call comes with the release of a new report: Sustainable Energy – a Long Term Strategy for the UK, which contains substantial modelling and analysis of the costs of various energy sources. The report sets out a wide-ranging future energy strategy for the UK to deliver secure, reliable and competitive low carbon energy. In particular, future policy should include a range of options which feature fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear power.
Large rises in prices, supply fears over the next two winters and rising carbon emissions urgently require a sustainable long-term energy strategy, said the EEF, without which UK competitiveness will be threatened.
EEF’s modelling of the cost of various energy sources shows that:
- In a high gas and carbon cost scenario, nuclear power could be the most competitive form of energy supply.
- The competitiveness of nuclear power is very sensitive to the rate of return required by those potentially financing the construction of new plants and that the government can have a significant influence on this.
- The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is currently too immature to send a strong signal to investors about future carbon prices.
- Address planning, licensing and liabilities issues that will make a substantial difference to the rate of return required by investors in nuclear power.
- Make a decision on the disposal of radioactive waste.
- Exempt nuclear power from the climate change levy.
- Replace the current Renewables Obligation with a zero carbon obligation in 2015.
- Consider the use of long-term power contracts with consortia of major energy consumers, or other forms of intervention which might assist the financing of large scale, low carbon power generation.