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Grant Shapps backs nuclear power in net zero push

  By - Stephen   On 2023-03-16T08:34:34

Nuclear must form part of a decarbonised portfolio of energy production, argued Grant Shapps, energy and net zero secretary.

He said: “If you want to get to net zero and get rid of hydrocarbons, we have to accept that base loads are required somewhere. Nuclear power can and should be part of that.”

Shapps told the Environmental Audit Committee yesterday that by launching Great British Nuclear, the government will provide a “much more stable platform” for those wanting to invest in nuclear power as well as more clarity on the trajectory and pace of its development.

He also revealed he will soon publish a detailed plan on the development and use of hydrogen and expressed his support for onshore wind, which he said is opposed by only four per cent of people, according to a government public attitudes tracker

The UK is under pressure to deliver a set of policies that would drive investment in low-carbon technology and match the Inflation Reduction Act in the US and the Green Deal Industrial Plan in the EU.

Analysts are expecting what has been dubbed as the government’s “Green Day” before the end of March, when it must abide by a High Court order and publish a revised strategy on achieving net zero.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt reiterated in the Spring Budget the government’s desire to invest £700m in a new nuclear plant in Suffolk, £20 billion in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and he suggested that small modular reactors – a technology yet to be proved viable – could receive funding.

He also said nuclear power will be reclassified as “environmentally sustainable” while the government’s soon-to-be-launched Great British Nuclear scheme will boost investment in the industry.

Hunt was criticised for his focus on nuclear and CCS instead of insulation and renewables and MPs have questioned what has changed to make nuclear power environmentally sustainable.

Shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband said Labour wants to create “over a million” jobs in green industries.

He added: “The British people should benefit from our natural resources but still the Conservatives won’t back Labour’s plan for Great British Energy – a new, homegrown, publicly-owned, clean energy company to lower household energy bills.”

Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said: “Backing expensive technologies like CCS and a new nuclear programme, while still blocking cheap onshore wind in England and failing to properly insulate the UK’s energy-leaking homes, will leave the UK hooked on high energy costs and falling behind in the global race to benefit from the transition to greener economies.”

Sam Alvis, head of economy at Green Alliance, said: “With the US and Europe spending huge sums on clean energy and green technologies like electric vehicles, we needed a budget that would encourage businesses to invest a green pound here rather than a green dollar or euro elsewhere. Instead, it feels like we are developing short-term investment schemes instead of a long-term plan for building the green economy of the future.”

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Author: Stephen

Stephen is an internationally acclaimed business news journalist with 20 years of experience in the industry. Having worked for some of the most prestigious newspapers, magazines and news organizations, Stephen has become a respected leader in international business news. His writing has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, and Bloomberg. Stephen has also appeared as a commentator on several radio and television programs, including CNN, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV. He is a sought after public speaker, appearing regularly at conferences and industry events to discuss the latest business news. With his wealth of experience, Stephen is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up to date on the latest international business news.

Top Liked Comments:

Georgianna Menjivar

2022-07-08 08:58

Thanks for the great advice!

Jeanice Fetzer

2022-10-28 16:20

Thanks for the informative post!

Yuri Pepper

2022-12-17 12:27

Thanks for the informative post!

Lawanda Drews

2022-09-21 23:06

This was a really interesting read!

Camellia Ramage

2022-06-17 00:59

This was a really helpful read, thanks!

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