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  • Research reveals attitudes towards power generation

    New research has revealed the public’s attitude towards newer forms of power generation and energy security. According to the latest statistics, support for the renewable energy sector continues to grow, while attitudes towards fracking and energy security were mixed.

    Renewable Energy

    The government figures, which were published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, showed that support for the renewable energy industry has risen to 81%.

    The Public Attitudes Tracking survey also highlighted how the vast majority of people felt that renewable energy projects should deliver benefits to their local communities and how renewable energy was aiding the economy.

    RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, said:

    “It’s great that the British public sees how renewable energy is helping to grow the UK economy. Renewables are delivering investment and jobs throughout our country”.

    The same survey demonstrated continued public support for offshore wind power, and with numerous wind farm schemes underway, including the ambitious Hornsea Project One, this form of energy is set to play a much greater part in the UK’s future energy production.

    Nuclear Energy

    The government survey showed that support for nuclear energy remained consistent with 38% in favour of it, and almost 50% of people viewed nuclear energy as a reliable form of power.

    If EDF’s plans for the Hinkley Point plant, goes ahead, and with proposals for mini nuclear power stations advancing, nuclear power is likely provide a key role in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions in the future.

    Fracking

    The extraction of shale gas from the ground – or fracking – has always been a controversial issue, and the government figures highlighted mixed views on shale gas extraction. However, the majority of people who stated they were against it said so because they didn’t know enough about the practice.

    Despite public concern, the government has stated it is committed to fracking. There are numerous projects in place around the UK already, and further support is being offered to increase investment in shale gas.

    The future of energy security

    With a need to find affordable, cleaner sources of power generation, the future of energy security has never been far from the news, and these concerns were also reflected in the government survey. The research showed the majority of people felt there isn’t enough money being invested in finding alternative means of energy and many were concerned over our reliance on gas and oil exports.

    Low reserves in the North Sea means more than half of the UK’s gas and electricity is now imported and this has led to calls from industry bosses to do more to encourage exploration in the UK.

  • Government signs historic agreement with EDF

    The UK Government has signed an historic agreement with the French-owned energy firm EDF, which paves the way for a new generation of nuclear power. After an unexpected delay to further review the Hinkley Point C proposals the government finally gave the go ahead for the two new nuclear reactors in mid-September 2016.

    The Current secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, Jean Bernard Levy, CEO of EDF and He Yu, chairman of the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) came together to sign the Contract for Difference and Secretary of State Investor agreement in late September.

    Commenting on the development, Greg Clark stated:

    “Signing the Contract for Difference for Hinkley Point C is a crucial moment in the UK’s first new nuclear power station for a generation and follows new measures put in place by Government to strengthen security and ownership.

    Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear power stations like Hinkley play an important part in ensuring our future low-carbon energy security.”

    Building and Funding of Hinkley Point C

    The £18 billion plant is being partly funded by the CGN group, who have invested £6 billion; the government has also pledged funding towards the new plant.

    Hinkley Point C will be the UK’s first nuclear power plant for twenty years and Vincent de Rivaz, CEO of EDF Energy in the UK, said it will “kick start Britain’s nuclear revival”.

    Once built, the Somerset-based plant will produce 7 per cent of the UK’s fuel needs, and the signing of the agreement will also allow the development of Sizewell C and Bradwell B.

    Hinkley Point C Plans

    Hinkley Point C is due to start producing electricity in 2025 and it will provide power for 6 million homes. 

    Decommissioning of the plant will begin in 2083 and will cost more than £7 billion; the operators of the Hinkley Point C have been made responsible for the decommissioning and site clearance costs under new measures brought in by the government.

    Importance of nuclear energy to UK

    Nuclear power is part of the government’s plans to provide energy security for the UK and to help fill the need for low carbon energy sources. There are eight potential sites that could be commissioned by 2025, and Horizon Ltd and NuGeneration are just two companies who plan to build nuclear reactors in the UK.

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