Ten new nuclear sites win approval from the Government
Energy minister's policy aims to speed planning process
Tuesday 10 November 2009
The Government signed off 10 sites for new nuclear power stations yesterday and is pushing ahead with plans to cut the cumbersome planning process for energy infrastructure down to a year.
All but one of the locations put forward by utility companies keen to play a role in the UK's burgeoning nuclear renaissance have been approved as "potentially suitable" for new reactors by 2025.
Only Dungeness in Kent has been turned down, because it could not cope with another nuclear facility without irremediable damage to the local environment. Three other sites – at Druridge Bay in Northumberland, Kingsnorth in Kent and Owston Ferry in Yorkshire – were deemed worthy of further consideration but not in the first phase.
The progress on nuclear new build formed a central part of a National Policy Statement for the sector put forward by the Government yesterday alongside similar strategies for fossil fuel electricity generation, renewable energy, gas and oil pipelines, and network infrastructure.
The UK needs a massive increase in energy generation over the coming 10 years. Doom-mongers warn of power cuts and supply shocks as North Sea reserves dwindle, energy demand rises, and obsolescence and climate change regulations take a large number of power stations out of the existing fleet.
Yesterday's policy statements, which will be open for public consultation until February, will inform decision-making by the newly created Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC). The new organisation will start work next March, cutting down the planning process for proposals bigger than 50 megawatts onshore and 100 megawatts offshore to just 12 months. In the past, decisions have taken up to six years.
Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy, said: "We need to make a transition from a system that relies heavily on high carbon fossil fuels, to a radically different system that includes nuclear, renewable and clean coal power. The current planning system is a barrier to this shift.
"It serves neither the interests of energy security, the interests of the low carbon transition, nor the interests of people living in areas where infrastructure may be built, for the planning process to take years to come to a decision."
All new coal-fired power stations will have to be fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology on at least 300 megawatts-worth of their output from the outset in order to gain planning consent, Mr Miliband also said.
The Government is to fund up to four commercial-scale CCS demonstrations. But only two competitors remained in the race yesterday after a consortium led by RWE npower dropped out, blaming incompatibility in the companies' plans. E.ON and Scottish Power both submitted formal entries for the competition this week, for the Kingsnorth and Longannet sites respectively. RWE npower separately announced that it will shortly apply for planning permission for the largest CCS project attached to a working power station at its Aberthaw facility in South Wales.
The Government's policy statements were welcomed by the energy industry. But critics claim a speedier planning process could override local input. There were also warnings that even the attempts to speed things up have been held up. Tony Ward, at Ernst & Young, said: "The publication of these statements has been subject to delay and they are larger and more complex than originally envisaged. The key now is the ratification process; it is imperative to get these statements finalised and passed through Parliament as soon as possible."
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global Rolling Spot FX, Comm...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Chartered accountant (ACA or CPA), must be...
£6000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI De...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...