Government to start talks over Sizewell C nuclear power station

The Government is to begin talks over the construction of a new £20 billion nuclear power plant as it set out plans for a clean energy system it said will create thousands of jobs.

It confirmed negotiations are taking place with EDF Energy over the Sizewell C site in Suffolk, which could generate 3.2 gigawatts of electricity, enough to provide 7% of the UK’s energy demands.

Any deal would be subject to a range of approvals on areas such as value for money and affordability, the Government said.

In a statement, it said the discussions are part of its “options to enable investment in at least one nuclear power station by the end of this Parliament”.

Coronavirus – Thu Nov 12, 2020
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the plan marks a shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels towards cleaner energy (Leon Neal/PA)

It came as the Government put forward its Energy White Paper, which outlines plans it said will support 220,000 jobs in the next 10 years.

Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s plan establishes a decisive and permanent shift away from our dependence on fossil fuels, towards cleaner energy sources that will put our country at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution.

“Through a major programme of investment and reform, we are determined to both decarbonise our economy in the most cost-effective way, while creating new sunrise industries and revitalising our industrial heartlands that will support new green jobs for generations to come.

“At every step of the way, we will place affordability and fairness at the heart of our reforms – unleashing a wave of competition so consumers get the best deals possible on their bills, while protecting the vulnerable and fuel-poor with additional financial support.”

Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive at Energy UK, said: “Today’s White Paper reveals the scale and opportunity of the energy transition, with aims in it to at least double the amount of clean electricity produced today, start making our homes warmer and greener, and help the switch to electric vehicles.

“The energy industry will do our bit to innovate, supporting our customers so that they benefit from the net zero transition and investing in the green infrastructure we need – but clear policies from government help us do that.

“This is what the White Paper – and other publications over the next year – should provide.”

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