Hendry confirms new nuclear for the UK

Energy Minister Charles Hendry has confirmed that the Energy National Policy Statements, including a final list of sites for new nuclear power stations, will be published before the summer recess. […]

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By Tom Gibson

Energy Minister Charles Hendry has confirmed that the Energy National Policy Statements, including a final list of sites for new nuclear power stations, will be published before the summer recess.

Mr Hendry, speaking to business leaders at the CBI Energy Conference said the Energy National Policy Statements would go to Parliament by mid-July: “As the Prime Minister and Chris Huhne have said, we want to see new nuclear as part of a low carbon energy mix going forward, provided there is no public subsidy. The Chief Nuclear Inspector’s interim report reassures us that it can.

The Energy Minister has also reaffirmed his commitment to the UK’s renewables target for 2020 and set out the need for reform in the electricity market, ahead of a White Paper in July.

Mr Hendry said: “The UK has a challenging target to produce 15% of renewable energy by 2020. We are committed to meeting this and in doing so bring a massive boost to the UK’s manufacturing industries. But we are not just about setting and following targets for the sake of it. We need a vision to get us there that provides certainty and clarity for potential investors. So we will shortly be publishing our Renewable Energy Roadmap – which focuses on how we overcome barriers to deploy the technologies that are key to the delivery of our 2020 targets.”

He said that the UK had to make a compelling case to new entrants through market reform if we were to attract the investment, which is more than double the amount Britain attracted in the last decade: “A quarter of our old power stations are closing, just as electricity demand is set to rocket as we move to using electricity for things like transport and heating. The UK needs to attract more than £110 billion investment in new power stations and grid connections by 2020.”