The Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk has received a cash injection in the face of an energy crisis. It comes as the Government hopes to bolster its renewable sources and regain control of its own supplies. Nuclear power can generate electricity without the climate-heating pollution associated with burning fossil fuels like gas.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We need to ensure Britain’s future energy supply is bolstered by reliable, affordable, low carbon power that is generated in this country.”
New nuclear will not only “ensure greater energy independence,” but “create high-quality jobs and drive economic growth”.
Jess Ralston, from energy think tank ECIU, said that “more renewables will help to bring bills down more quickly and are quicker to build while employing people right across the UK”.
She added: “In light of current volatile gas prices affecting bills at least for the next few years, it will surely be a priority for the government to look at how they can reduce bills.
“Ways to significantly reduce the costs of new nuclear would need to be found.”
The decision comes as European nations look to reduce their energy reliance on foreign power, especially Russia.
Europe is Russia’s main market for its oil and natural gas exports.
The EU currently imports almost 40 percent of its gas from Moscow.
Thankfully, the UK’s reliance is much lower, but if all countries can diversify their supplies then the risk of volatile prices can be reduced.
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The eye-watering spike in the cost of gas is also painful for domestic consumers and businesses.
Over the past year, we have seen wholesale prices smash records time and time again – which is pushing bills up for the homeowners.
Simone Rossi, CEO of EDF, said the funding help protect the UK from energy shocks, lower energy costs and boost jobs.
Negotiations between the Government and EDF, the project developer, began last year.
Ministers hope the cash will help progress the plans and attract more cash from private investors.
When built, , Sizewell C could power the equivalent of about six million homes and support up to 10,000 jobs in Suffolk and across the UK.
It will be a “near replica” of Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
Nuclear power formed a key part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10-point plan to invigorate a “green industrial revolution” in Britain.
The Government has also vowed to reach net zero emissions by 2050.