British households foot the bill for new nuclear power plants
Households would soon see their energy bills increase in order to pay for the construction of new nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom. Ministers are drafting legislation that will allow the construction of the new £ 20bn Sizewell C factory in Suffolk through the use of a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) plan, reported FT.
Basically, the RAB model, which is already in use in the UK for large infrastructure projects like Thames Tideway, would allow builders to bill potential users of the plant’s energy during the construction phase.
By using such a surcharge, which would be set at an agreed level, the project would have an easier time attracting more investors into the project, according to logic.
The government launched a consultation on the financing method in 2019. Today, the Ministry of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said it is still evaluating the RAB model.
The proposed new power station at Sizewell will have a power generation capacity of 3.2 gigawatts, enough to power more than 6 million homes for six decades.
The report comes amid growing concerns about the future of Britain’s nuclear fleet, with all but one existing reactor set to be decommissioned by 2030.
So far, only one new plant, Hinkley Point C in Somerset, is under construction, leading MPs to demand the government pledge to produce 10 gigawatts of new nuclear by 2030.
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This is in line with recommendations from the government’s climate advisers, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).
A BEIS spokesperson said: “New nuclear will play a crucial role in this government’s plans to achieve a secure, low-carbon and affordable energy future.
“As noted in our recent consultation, the government continues to explore a regulated asset base (RAB) funding model with nuclear project developers, and believes it remains a credible option with the potential to help to secure private investments and to cost consumers less in long-term energy bills.
“We will continue to evaluate RAB, alongside other delivery models, and have always been clear that any new nuclear project must deliver value for money to consumers and taxpayers.”
By city AM
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