23 Mar 11

"Carbon Price Floor will encourage investment in nuclear, renewables and carbon capture and storage", says EDF Energy CEO, Vincent de Rivaz

Mr de Rivaz said:

“The Government has shown leadership and commitment to its vision for a low carbon Britain in today's Budget with announcements on the carbon price floor, Green Investment Bank and Green Deal.

“It is important that the UK maintains momentum for investment in secure, low-carbon and affordable energy including nuclear, renewables and carbon capture and storage.

"Investment in low carbon energy will provide a massive boost to the UK economy, creating billions of pounds of business opportunities and thousands of jobs. This can play a big part in Government plans for recovery.

"The Carbon Price Floor is important for all low carbon technologies as it restores the carbon price to what was originally intended. It will support the economics of renewables and carbon capture and storage and can reduce the need for specific measures to support those technologies.

"For nuclear, helping to restore the carbon price to what was originally intended is important to encourage investment in existing plants and in new build.

"We welcome the Chancellor's confirmation the floor price will be introduced in 2013 at £16 per tonne and reach £30 per tonne in 2020 as we believe this trajectory strikes the right balance, meeting the needs of policy makers, consumers and investors.

"We currently invest about £300 million per year in the existing nuclear fleet to ensure it continues safely to provide the electricity Britain needs.

"With Centrica, we are proposing to invest about £20 billion in four new nuclear plants. Our first new plant at Hinkley Point will create work for about 20,000 people on site over the construction phase, and support around 900 permanent jobs during operation.

“Not only this, our investment will help ensure that British businesses and households have stable and affordable energy supplies.

“As we develop our plans for nuclear in the UK, we will take on board the lessons from the nuclear events caused by the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“The Government and Opposition are to be commended for their measured approach. There has been no knee jerk reaction. The Secretary of State, Chris Huhne, has rightly asked the safety authority to prepare a report into the implications for this country. The Chief Nuclear Safety Inspector, Mike Weightman, has said that applying any lessons from Japan could ‘add to our very robust safety standards and arrangements’. We will not prejudge the outcome of that report. We will play an active role in that process and we will take on board the lessons for existing and new nuclear plants.

“On new build, it is important that the facilitative actions by Government also reflect this report while not subjecting our plans to any undue delay."