Climate change, affordability and energy security mean the whole industry needs a shake up.
We believe that nuclear power has a key role to play in providing affordable energy for the UK and as part of the response against climate change.
Most of EDF Energy’s UK reactors will be shut down within 10 years, so there’s huge need for a new generation of nuclear power stations.
That’s why we’re proposing to build four reactors – two at Hinkley and two at Sizewell.
Coal-fired power stations play a very important role in bridging the energy gap until we can generate enough low-carbon energy.
Coal is currently part of the bigger picture, because the more energy sources we have, the more flexible and secure our energy supply will be. It will be easier to cope with fluctuations in demand, which happen from time to time. And although renewable energy is on the increase, it’s got a long way to go.
So EDF Energy plan to operate coal-fired stations for a while yet. Naturally, with as little environmental impact as we can.
By 2050, we hope to have played our part in reducing carbon emissions by 80%.
We recently opened a new gas-fired power station at West Burton in Nottinghamshire, which is capable of fulfilling the electricity needs of 1.5 million homes.
It uses Combined Cycle Gas Turbine technology (CCGT), which is a modern, clean and efficient way of getting electricity from natural gas. It combines two different generators – a gas turbine and a steam-driven turbine. The exhaust gases produced by the gas turbine are used to heat the steam that drives the second turbine.
Gas-fired power stations have the flexibility to rapidly alter their output, depending on demand. And they are integral to EDF’s current and future energy mix.
EDF Energy Renewables designs, builds and operates wind farms in the UK. At the moment, capacity is about 528 megawatts (MW), which is enough electricity to power 294,000 homes across the UK.
This includes power generated by Teeside Offshore Wind Farm which has 27 turbines and produces around 62 MW which is enough to supply approximately 40,000 homes in the UK.
Another project underway is the development of the Navitus Bay wind farm, near the Isle of Wight. This project could have a capacity of 970MW and supply as many as 710,000 homes.
Both projects, together with our existing wind projects will help meet our commitment to the Government’s renewable energy strategy for 2020.