New draft National Policy Statements on Energy reveals the government’s intentions to build eight nuclear power stations in England and Wales by 2025.
The government gave green light to eight new nuclear power stations, in a move that will see the UK with the most ambitious fleet of new nuclear power stations in Europe.
At the same time, the coalition confirmed that it is dropping support for controversial plans to build a huge tidal barrage across the Severn estuary.
Plans for tidal barrage across the Severn Estuary have been put on ice after a two-year feasibility study revealed the cost of the project at £34bn, more than double the original £15bn estimate. The climate and energy secretary, Chris Huhne, said the scheme would not be looked at again until at least 2015.
Half the new energy capacity built in the UK by 2025 is expected to come from renewable energy.
The backing for a new generation of nuclear power stations marks a significant political compromise by the climate and energy secretary, Chris Huhne.
The Liberal Democrat politician had campaigned against new nuclear power stations in the general election as opposed to the Conservatives party that backed nuclear power.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change DECC announced today that within the next decade nuclear power stations will be operating at eight sites: Bradwell, Essex; Hartlepool; Heysham, Lancashire; Hinkley Point, Somerset; Oldbury, South Gloucestershire; Sellafield, Cumbria; Sizewell, Suffolk and Wylfa, Anglesey.
All are in the area of existing nuclear power plants. Former energy secretary, Ed Miliband, named 10 sites suitable for new nuclear reactors last month of Novermber. Two greenfield sites in Cumbria - Kirksanton and Braystones –were dropped from the list last week.
Huhne said: 'I'm fed up with the stand-off between advocates of renewables and of nuclear which means we have neither. We urgently need investment in new and diverse energy sources to power the UK.'
The Coalition’s revised draft National Policy Statements on Energy published yesterday shows that half the new energy capacity built in the UK by 2025 is expected to come from renewable sources of energy, and the majority of which is likely to be wind.
The Coalition government intends to finalise and formally approve the energy National Policy Statements on Energy in Spring 2011, and will be used by the Infrastructure Planning Commission when it makes decision for nationally significant energy infrastructure.