First the good news: The UK has lots of shale gas, if we can get it out of the ground, and the Government favours gas powered energy generation. And, there are companies (almost) falling over themselves to exploit it.
Now the bad news: The Government also favours nuclear power (which we will probably need), but politically can’t be seen to subsidise it (ignore the double standards, they don’t count in politics). But, unlike shale gas, even large energy companies like GDF Suez, and RWE and E.ON aren’t falling over themselves to invest.
So, what’s Edward Davey, the UK Energy Secretary going to do? Your guess is as good as mine. Looking at the DECC website there were ‘plans to develop up to 16GW of new nuclear power in the UK by 2025.’ However, 6 GW of this was from Horizon Nuclear Power (E.ON and RWE) and another 3.6 GW from NuGeneration (which includes GDF in the Consortium). That leaves just EDF’s plans ‘to build four new EPR reactors (amounting to 6.4GW) at Hinkley Point and Sizewell.’
Is it me, or is Ed Davey’s lack of comment on this slightly disconcerting?