Government to own 20% interest in £20bn next-generation project

LONDON (ParliamentPolitics Magazine) – Against a cost-of-living crisis and global instability’s backdrop, the government proposes to take a 20% interest in a new nuclear reactor in Suffolk, bolstering the energy security of the country.

EDF, the French energy company, will also take a 20% stake in the £20 billion Sizewell C project, which has been delayed.

Ministers are hoping that the confirmation of two significant supporters will persuade other investors to join the plan.

Boris Johnson is expected to release a British energy security policy soon.

As the government strives to move away from Russian gas and oil supplies following Ukraine’s invasion, the PM has claimed that investment in local nuclear and renewable power will be critical to ending reliance on fossil fuels and establishing a freestanding energy policy.

The Parliament is presently debating legislation to put the financing of next-generation nuclear facilities on a more solid foundation.

Through a so-called regulated asset base funding mechanism, the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill would make it possible for pension funds and other institutional investors to supply cash for power plants.

Energy bill payers would also contribute to the cost of new power stations during construction through their bills, with the goal of providing greater certainty to private investors after projects such as Sizewell C and Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey have stalled due to concerns about construction financial risks.

Ministers have said the fee will add roughly £1 per month to household bills, but in light of the current stress on family finances, exacerbated by rising energy prices, an exception will be explored to safeguard the poorest.

Meanwhile, a cabinet member has stated that residents living near new onshore wind farms may see their energy prices reduced.

However, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi stated that any new developments must be backed up by the local communities.

He said on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: He believes that if they were to ensure that local people’s wishes were carried out, whether it was through onshore wind or nuclear power, they must learn from what has worked well in other nations.

You achieve this by ensuring that the local community has a genuine say.

However, it is seen as fantastic examples of other people who, if they establish a nuclear power plant, get free electricity within a specific radius.

So it’s appropriate to consider innovation in order to ensure that we wean ourselves off hydrocarbons; we must do so, and part of that is ensuring that we look after what the local people want.


Image via EDF

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.