The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has not changed the country’s commitment to investing in low-carbon energy, including new nuclear, nor its efforts to tackle climate change, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom told members of parliament (MPs) today. Meanwhile, a report issued by the National Audit Office (NAO) says the UK “lacks a proven, skilled supply chain to support the construction of a new power station”. Leadsom, the junior minister leading the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), was speaking the day after new British Prime Minister Theresa May moved Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd into the role of Home Secretary. Later today it was announced that Leadsom has been made Environment Secretary. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is to become the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department – headed by Greg Clark, formerly Communities and Local Government Secretary. The government has axed DECC in a major departmental shake-up.
World Nuclear News 14th July 2016 read more »
In the short term the new Energy Secretary has a lot of work to do to keep the policy machinery moving. Whilst new low carbon infrastructure is being built, including our recently confirmed Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm due for completion in 2019, after 2020 the pipeline (and economics) of clean energy projects are less clear and this uncertainty deters investment. At the same time the economics of ageing coal plant make this technology challenging and the UK will require a range of other flexible technologies – such as gas – to replace these plants and keep the lights on. This means that immediate action has to be taken to ensure that the UK stays on track to meet its climate change commitments whilst maintaining secure and affordable supplies. Customer affordability must remain paramount. It is absolutely critical that the Government drives ahead with a strong agenda for customers. Britain has some of the draughtiest homes in Europe and progressing the next national home insulation scheme is critical. It is also crucial that the infrastructure enabling the mass deployment for smart meters to people’s homes must be fit for purpose and in place as soon as possible. Good inroads are being made but this is one of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects, touching every home in the country and we have to get this right first time.
Telegraph 14th July 2016 read more »