The GB nuclear power policy merry-go-round?

Over the past 30 years successive governments have sought to create a policy framework to accommodate investment in nuclear power in competitive wholesale markets:

  • Following a long-running public enquiry Sizewell B is the last nuclear power station to be commissioned pre-privatization
  • The Conservative Party 1987 manifesto committed to privatise the electricity supply industry
  • The 1989 Electricity Act saw the privatisation of the industry barring nuclear assets
  • Sizewell B is commissioned in February 1995
  • British Energy, along with AGRs and Sizewell B are successfully privatised in 1996
  • The 2003 Energy White Paper notes the lack of planned new nuclear power plants and its use as a source of low-carbon electricity generation
  • The 2007 Energy White Paper confirms support for nuclear power, provided the private sector funds, develops and builds new stations
  • The 2008 Nuclear White Paper supports new nuclear stations financed by the private sector. In the same year EDF Energy completes the purchase of British Energy
  • Hinkley Point C becomes the first nuclear power station to be supported by the Contracts for Difference (CfDs) scheme
Image showing nuclear power policy

On 4 June 2018, the government announces it will consider direct investment into the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station project, alongside Hitachi and the Japanese government. The government is also now considering a regulated asset base model as an approach for future nuclear projects beyond Wylfa. The former in particular represents a return to pre-privatisation, state backed investment in nuclear power after decades of effort to keep the state out of the market where nuclear power is concerned.

Related thinking

Energy storage and flexibility

How nuclear energy can help the UK reach its net zero goals

This article was originally written in Energy Spectrum on 21 March 2021. To find out more about a subscription to Energy Spectrum, please contact Nick on n.palmer@cornwall-insight.com. There are several challenges to reaching net zero, where its proponents believe nuclear could add value. Some of tomorrow’s main issues concern: How to provide low...

Commercial and market outlook

A look back at 2020

As we take our first steps into 2021, we look back at the biggest developments in the UK energy markets in 2020, setting us up for the significant year ahead. As 2019 turned into 2020, we were still waiting for the Energy White Paper (EWP), a document which had been...

Announcement

Cornwall Insight comments on the Energy White Paper

Commenting on the government's release of the Energy White Paper, which sets out plans to decarbonise the UK's energy system, Gareth Miller, CEO of Cornwall Insight, said: “The Energy White Paper maps out the biggest change to the energy markets since the Electricity Act of 1989. Many of the headlines...

Regulation and policy

Getting it done? What the Budget means for energy and clean growth

New Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his first Budget after less than a month in the job. On areas such as the living wage, growth and investment, Sunak said again and again that the government is “getting it done!” However, there was relatively little news in the speech on what...

Announcement

Celebration: Cornwall Insight wins second FT award

Tom Palmer, our managing consultant, discusses our recent success of achieving a bronze award for consulting from the Financial Times for the second year running. Last week we discovered that for the second year running we have been rated in the top 20 Management Consultants for Energy, Utilities and Environment...

Commercial and market outlook

Energy policy: a growing schism between Scotland and the UK

Scottish Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes announced the Scottish Budget 2020-21 in a statement on 6 February. This revealed a significant package of funding to accelerate Scotland’s transition to a net zero economy. With the UK Budget due to be announced on 11 March, the Scottish government has presented tax...

Commercial and market outlook

Energy policy in 2019 – net zero and no White Paper

2019 was the year in which we were promised that the Energy White Paper would be published, with “early summer” the proposed release time. Then, on 12 June, Theresa May, as one of her final acts as Prime Minister, announced legislation to commit the UK to achieving net zero greenhouse...

Commercial and market outlook

10 Manifesto Energy Policies

With all the General Election manifestos now published, we have updated our infographic so you can easily see where the parties stand on certain energy sector issues. For further, more in-depth analysis and insight into what each of the parties are promising and how this could shape the future energy...

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.