British nuclear industry calls on Osborne to deliver ‘investment stability’ in Budget

Tom Greatrex
Tom Greatrex

The British Nuclear Industry Association has called on UK chancellor George Osborne to deliver ‘investment stability’ and ‘clarity of energy policies’ in his budget next week.

Tom Greater, Chief Executive, NIA, said the Budget provides the opportunity to build on British Energy Minister Amber Rudd’s recent energy ‘reset’ speech through delivering investor confidence, providing supply chain support and ensuring a competitive market for the UK’s existing nuclear fleet.

 With new nuclear in the UK being delivered by private sector investment, the NIA has called for assurances the Levy Control Framework funding cap for the period from 2020-21 will be set to accommodate the Contracts for Difference agreed with government on new projects.

And it also wants continued availability of the Infrastructure UK Guarantee for nationally significant projects to provide investment stability to new nuclear developers

Greatrex said“New, secure, low carbon nuclear power requires a substantial financial investment from the private sector, and stability in the UK’s energy policy will be vital for investor confidence.

“Assurances that the Levy Control Framework funding cap will be set to accommodate the contracts for difference agreed on new projects will provide predictability and clarity, enabling low carbon infrastructure to be built at least cost. This, along with ensuring the Infrastructure UK Guarantee will continue to be available will be important factors in determining investor confidence as the UK replaces ageing fossil fuel power stations with low carbon generation, including new nuclear power.”

 The existing nuclear fleet provides a fifth of the UK’s electricity generation capacity, but these plant are reaching the end of their lives. While plans to extend some of the lifetimes have been announced they face challenging conditions. The NIA would like the Budget to signal an increase to the current £18/tonne cap to the Carbon Price Floor to support this continued investment in vital low carbon energy infrastructure.

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