Sunday, December 19, 2010

UK market reforms will promote nuclear energy

Chris Huhe commits to keep the lights on

Chris HuhneWhen the current government took office in May 2010, Liberal Member and energy secretary Chrios Huhne, (right) a British arch druid in the anti-nuclear movement, was widely quoted as calling nuclear energy as a "tried, tested, and failed technology." A

fter less than a year of grappling with the crushing realities of having to replace the nation's aged fleet of nuclear and coal-fired power stations, Huhne has published a new market strategy that is a 180 degree reverse of this position.

The new strategy abandons Huhne's previous delusional obsession with renewable energy technologies. It adopts a cross-cutting energy strategy that focuses on the price of carbon emissions. The reason for the shift is that it became crystal clear to the government, with input from the major business association of heavy industry in the U.K., that wind and solar power would not, by themselves, meet the nation's future demand for electricity.

The result of limiting investment to "renewable" would have been brown outs or total loss of service. The new strategy reinstates a sense of urgency for build new, carbon emission free base load power generation capacity.

Huhne called it "a once in a generation chance to rebuild our electricity market."

The support for a rising price on carbon emissions is an action forcing mechanism that will shift investment from coal and natural gas to nuclear energy.

Victor de Rivaz, CEO of EDF in the U.K., which will build four of the nation's new reactors, said the new carbon price mechanism and electricity market reform are "two distinct steps" which will "encourage investment by putting values on decarbonization and security of supply

Read the full details exclusively at the Energy Collective now online.

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