HORIZON NEWS - 10.07.2018

Horizon responds to the National Infrastructure Commission’s Assessment Report

Nuclear power has a crucial role to play, alongside renewables, in tackling the large scale energy challenges the UK faces and can and will do so in a cost effective manner.

Experience from multiple countries has shown nuclear power is a proven pathway to delivering decarbonisation at a national level. This is borne out in the UK, where nuclear currently provides 45% of the UK’s low carbon power and, together with renewables, ensures that around 50% of the country’s electricity is clean and sustainable.

However, this leaves the other half of our supply to address in order to meet our climate change commitments. This, combined with the continued retirement of existing power plants, expected increases in peak demand, and the electrification of heat and transport, shows the huge scale of the challenges in ensuring a low carbon future. To suggest that now is the time to take low carbon options off the table or limit their deployment runs the risk of hurting our chances of meeting these challenges.

The independent study commissioned by the National Infrastructure Commission to underpin its assessment shows both the task ahead of us in the power sector – zero carbon by 2050 in order for carbon targets to be hit – and that both nuclear and renewables “…can achieve the same level of decarbonisation for comparable costs”.  Renewables have shown the positive effects a sustained programme of new build can have on price and, with repeated deployment, economies of scale, supply chain learnings, established design, and more innovative financing, nuclear can do the same. This commitment to cost reduction is made in the Government’s recently published Nuclear Sector Deal, which places the nuclear industry at the heart of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

Nuclear power is vital for the future of the UK’s low carbon energy mix. With continued strong backing from the UK Government – as well as the Welsh Government and the communities where we will build - we look forward to playing our part in delivering clean, stable power for generations to come.

The National Infrastructure Commission’s Assessment Report can be read here: https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/national-infrastructure-assessment-2018/