The chief executive of E.ON UK, Paul Golby, has told Reuters news agency that he does not believe any new nuclear station will come online before 2020 saying, "It's clearly not possible to accelerate the build time.”
The chief executive of E.ON UK, Paul Golby, has told Reuters news agency that he does not believe any new nuclear station will come online before 2020 saying, “It’s clearly not possible to accelerate the build time.”
Last month Climate and Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband, told the BBC he expected that building would begin on the next generation of nuclear plants by the end of 2017. It contradicts claims made elsewhere by his department that the UK would be “generating electricity from around 2018.” Statements from John Cridland, the deputy director-general of the CBI, also predicted “it will probably be 2017 before any nuclear stations come online.”
Golby’s remark undermines a central argument that has been made by proponents of new nuclear stations – that they can assist in closing the so-called ‘energy gap’ expected between 2015 and 2020. The Times reported earlier this year that other energy experts argue that nuclear power will not be ready in this time frame.
This is an accusation that has long been made by Greenpeace. Its executive director, John Sauven, said in January 2008:
“There is a lie at the heart of the Government’s coming announcement on nuclear power. Ministers’ own research found that even 10 new reactors would only cut the UK’s carbon emissions by about 4% some time after 2025, and the so-called energy gap will open before new nuclear power stations can be built.”
Research from energy consultancy, Poyry, shows that if the UK was to meet its existing EU 2020 renewables and efficiency targets, this would be sufficient to close the ‘energy gap’ without needing to build any new coal or nuclear plant.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.