UK taxpayer will contribute towards nuclear power strategy
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Part of Boris Johnson’s net zero plan is to invest heavily in renewable energy sources like clean nuclear power. The Government has approved plans to build Britain’s biggest ever nuclear station, the Hinkley Point C, which will open in June 2026 in Somerset, costing as much as £23billion.
EDF Energy owns Hinkley Point C alongside seven other nuclear power stations in the UK, as well as three wind farms, one coal power station, one combined cycle gas turbine plant and more.
The French state-owned company handles 5.7 million customer accounts in the UK, providing a fifth of the UK’s power.
French ministers have recently threatened to cut off power supply to British homes over post-Brexit disagreements about French fishing rights in the English Channel.
Secretary of State for France Clement Beaune said France were willing to cut off British energy supply as a punitive measure after the UK Government refused fishing licenses to a minority of French boats that did not provide sufficient evidence of a history of fishing in British waters.
He said: “We defend our interests, we do it nicely and diplomatically, but when that doesn’t work, we take measures.
“The Channel Islands and the UK are dependent on us for their energy supply.
“They think they can live on their own and badmouth Europe, and because it doesn’t work, they indulge in one-upmanship, in an aggressive way.”
In an attempt to defend his comments, Mr Beaune said his country had to use “the language of force” because “that’s the only language this British Government understands”.
In May, the Royal Navy’s HMS Tamar and HMS Severn stood guard off of Jersey after France threatened to cut off its electricity – 95 percent of which was reportedly imported from EDF.
Hinkley Point C will provide seven percent of the UK’s total electricity and catering for up to six million homes.
With a substantial foothold in the UK energy market, the French government has the leverage to make threats of turning off the power.
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Dr Paul Dorfman from the UCL Energy Institute said Brexit Britain will “continue to be dependent, politically, culturally, technologically and in terms of energy” on other nations, as currently four of the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers in the UK are foreign-owned.
As a result, there have been calls for Boris to make Britain “self-sufficient” in energy production as it sets its sights on being Net-Zero by 2050.
Do you think Britain should produce all the energy the population needs by 2050? Let us know in the comments section below.
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