A recent British Energy news release:
"We believe nuclear actually offers the lowest-cost approach to meeting these key targets - and, given the economic and political risk of becoming too heavily dependent on gas supplies from overseas, a strategy which includes nuclear, coal and renewables could be very effective."
TIC Report - 'Encouraging for BE'.
British Energy's executive chairman Robin Jeffrey has welcomed the findings of the House of Commons Trade & Industry Committee (TIC), which has just produced its report on security of energy supplies for the UK. He said it was "Encouraging for British Energy, very balanced in its approach, and mirrors much of BE's own thinking."
The report, published today, calls on government to make a "clear statement on the future of nuclear energy as quickly as possible" - and Robin Jeffrey added: "This report addresses the key issue behind the government's energy policy review. I hope that we can now move to an
open and balanced debate on the real opportunities offered by nuclear electricity generation for the future."
Diversity and security of supply
The TIC report accepts the need for possible government intervention in the market to ensure environmental and long-term security of supply targets are met - including continued coal-fired generation - and TIC suggest that prices may have to rise to accommodate this.
Dr. Jeffrey said: "We believe nuclear actually offers the lowest-cost approach to meeting these key targets - and, given the economic and political risk of becoming too heavily dependent on gas supplies from overseas, a strategy which includes nuclear, coal and renewables could be very effective."
Climate Change Levy
BE has particularly welcomed TIC's conclusion that government should consider changing the provisions of the levy to ensure that some sectors do not have this potential benefit closed off by default.
Dr. Jeffrey said: "It's illogical that output from carbon-free nuclear power is treated in the same way as that from the fossil generators - so we strongly agree with the committee that the Climate Change Levy should be reviewed soon."
The committee concludes that the government's Renewables Obligation may well not produce enough of a spur to achieve their stated environmental objectives - and may cost more to implement than the government has assumed.
Dr. Jeffrey said: "We strongly agree with that conclusion. In our submission to the energy policy review, we recommended that a Carbon-Free Obligation - which could include nuclear in a range of options - would be much better. It would also be much cheaper to implement, reducing the cost to consumers."
Summing up, Dr. Jeffrey said:"This is a valuable contribution to the wider debate which we expect to follow the publication of the Cabinet Office energy policy review. The committee have reached very fair and balanced conclusions - and those conclusions, if they are reflected in policy, could open up some real opportunities for nuclear generation, and for British Energy."