We depend on energy every moment of the day – from preparing our first hot drink in the morning to cooking dinner and watching TV at night. But burning carbon-intensive fossil fuels will not keep the lights on forever.
By 2025, to meet our growing demand for energy, the UK will need to replace existing power stations now approaching the end of their working lives. But we must also cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
The UK Government recognises the significant role nuclear energy can play in meeting these objectives – and EDF Energy is committed to generating electricity from secure, affordable and low-carbon sources.
No single energy source will solve the energy gap the UK potentially faces, as each has advantages and disadvantages. That's why we opt for a diverse energy mix, where the advantages of one energy source can make up for the disadvantages of another.
We recognise the importance of a diverse mix of energy sources to meet UK energy needs and to address climate change, energy affordability and energy security. While we continue to invest in renewable sources of energy such as wind, we believe this diverse mix must include nuclear. Nuclear power can bridge a potential energy gap by supplying safe, secure and affordable low-carbon electricity. For the future, we need to balance affordability with a low-carbon transition at the lowest cost for consumers, using the right mix of low carbon technologies.
The decisions we make now must offer a future energy system that delivers on these objectives. What's clear is that a future mix with a significant component (30-40%) of nuclear, alongside gas and renewables, will help deliver a secure low carbon energy system affordably with the flexibility to incorporate future technologies.
Nuclear provides electricity when it is needed during winter, summer, day and night - and it doesn't depend on changing weather patterns. It is the best low carbon option for providing base-load power, and fits with the contributions from gas and renewables. Gas will continue to make an important contribution to the energy mix, particularly during times of peak demand, while solar and wind have the advantage of relatively quick deployment and are becoming increasingly cost competitive.