Nuclear power will play an important part in the Government’s new Energy Market Reform plans, says EDF Energy chief Vincent de Rivaz.
Addressing a business audience at his company’s Talkpower event at London’s South Bank he said: “While all Energy Market Reforms are needed, nuclear generation has a key role as the only proven supplier of secure low cost energy.
“We plan to lead our industry in spearheading the nuclear renaissance here in the UK, building on the existing nuclear expertise we have here, and also right across EDF Group. Those are ambitions that will translate into direct benefits for you as major energy users, through keeping prices stable and competitive.”
Mr de Rivaz emphasised the cost-cutting benefit of increasing nuclear energy production:
“As the 2050 Pathways Report last year showed, if we fail to deliver new nuclear generation in the UK, we will not only experience higher energy costs, we will also have to spend significantly more that the £100billion currently needed in new generation.
“That is why, over the coming years, we aim with our partner Centrica to roll out 4 new nuclear power plants, with the first coming online by 2018.”
The Government hopes that EDF’s efforts will set an example to other businesses to invest in renewable energy sources as part of its EMR plans.
However environmental campaigners oppose EDF’s plans, and argue that government support to the nuclear industry would be better spent elsewhere.
Simon Bullock at Friends of the Earth told ELN: “The UK can meet its climate change targets without new nuclear power stations. Government should not be pumping more subsidy to an industry that’s five decades old. It should stand on its own two feet.
“There are great difficulties for new technologies in the competitive market and the Government should be helping these to grow instead.”