This week’s announcements of Hitachi’s £700-million takeover of the Horizon nuclear project from E.ON and RWE, and the apparent near selection of a demonstration carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, seem to firm up government plans to keep the lights on in the UK over the coming decade.
However, the promise of up to three new 1,300MW nuclear plants at Horizon’s Wylfa, Anglesey, and Oldbury sites – and the thousands of engineering jobs these projects would generate – is subject to Hitachi gaining a high enough price for its energy.
Similarly, the promised award of the £1-billion CCS fund will involve “intensive negotiations” with the four shortlisted candidates before a decision is made “in the New Year”, the government said.
But it’s one thing securing new low-carbon power generation, another to keep it affordable.
With so many strings still attached, the government still seems uncertain about its energy plans and the scale of impact on consumers – just days before the launch of its all important Energy Bill.