PA Consulting’s global head of nuclear, Julianne Antrobus, discusses the government's investment talks in the Sizewell C nuclear power plant project and why this is a positive step forward.
The UK government has announced it will begin talks with EDF to enable investment in the planned Sizewell C nuclear power plant project. Today's announcement was part of the Energy White Paper that outlines "historic plans" to clean up the country's energy system and "keep bills affordable" as it transitions to net zero, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said.
BEIS said the government is considering options to enable investment in "at least one" nuclear power plant by the end of this Parliament.
"This is the next step in considering the Sizewell C project, and negotiations will be subject to reaching a value for money deal and all other relevant approvals, before any final decision is taken on whether to proceed. The successful conclusion of these negotiations will be subject to thorough scrutiny and needs to satisfy the government’s robust legal, regulatory and national security requirements," BEIS said.
BEIS listed 13 "core parts" of the Energy White Paper, which included "continuing to explore a range of financing options" for new nuclear with developers including the regulated asset base (RAB) funding model, which "could help secure private investment and cost consumers less in the long run". It added: "Given the scale of the financing challenge, we will also consider the potential role of government finance during construction, provided there is clear value for money for consumers and taxpayers."
Julianne added: "[It's] good to see plans to open up the new nuclear financing challenge to different options, a focus on regional prosperity and kick-starting the hydrogen economy. Success will require industry, government and society to collaborate on an unprecedented scale, and collectively get behind the energy transition challenge."