Expert pans EMR for favouring nuclear

The EMR is being fixed to prop up nuclear power, claims Jonathon Porritt, ex-Chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission and co-founder of Forum for the Future. The sustainability expert aired […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The EMR is being fixed to prop up nuclear power, claims Jonathon Porritt, ex-Chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission and co-founder of Forum for the Future.

The sustainability expert aired his scepticism at the Ecobuild conference in London, where an energy industry audience had gathered to hear a panel discuss UK plans to decarbonise by 2020.

Mr Porritt said: “There’s lots of interest in the Electricity Market Reform, about the idea of a floor price for carbon. All you really need know is that entire process is being fixed in order to secure some kind of a future for the nuclear industry here in the UK, or I should say, for French and German nuclear industries here in the UK.

“That’s what the process is about. It’s not just me who says that, it was interesting listening to Ian Marchant from Scottish and Southern earlier talking about the degree to which the market reform process is geared with that as its primary policy outcome: to make it possible for an industry that really has got no future in the sustainable world to continue to be bailed out by taxpayers because the private sector won’t invest in it.”

However, a DECC spokesperson disputed Mr Porritt’s claim, and told ELN that the market reform gave all energy sources a better chance: “This package of reforms ends the bias in the current market towards gas, and allows all forms of low carbon generation to compete on a level playing field.

“The Government is clear that renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage will need to play key roles in our future energy mix. This consultation will be looking at ensuring our market and policy frameworks support investment in all of these technologies.”