New hopes for civil nuclear power plants

Angela Knight and Robert Almond, Sustainable Development Service Manager at Sheffield City Council
Angela Knight and Robert Almond, Sustainable Development Service Manager at Sheffield City Council
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Hopes are rising that Britain’s stalled civil nuclear power programme could be kick started later this year, opening up long promised opportunities for the Sheffield City Region’s advanced manufacturing sector.

According to Energy UK chief executive Angela Knight, legislation due to go through parliament this summer could end the uncertainty that has bedevilled the programme and resulted in some potential developers getting cold feet.

Mrs Knight was speaking in Sheffield during a visit to encourage local authorities and construction contractors to play their part in new initiatives to reduce consumption and cut their energy bills.

The former Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Sheffield City Councillor, who now heads the trade association for the energy industry, believes passing the legislation and the announcement of the base price for nuclear electricity which will follow will remove uncertainty and encourage potential investors.

“The number of jobs that will be created on the back of that will be huge and, with the nuclear expertise in Sheffield, the programme to build new nuclear power stations has the potential to generate a lot of money,” she said.

Mrs Knight was taking part in a roadshow, backed by Energy UK and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which is touring the country to promote the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.

The initiatives could result in energy companies and the government providing more than £1.3 billion to help people to use approved contractors to insulate their homes and reap savings of around £300 a year on their energy bills.

Angela Knight said: “This is about insulating our leaky homes so people are warmer for less.

“The industry wants schemes like this to be a success and that is why we are taking the show on the road and helping local businesses to get involved in energy efficiency.

“Too many homes in this country leak heat and those in Yorkshire are no different. If industry, Government, local councils and businesses work together successfully, then we can get more homes insulated which is good for all involved, including local people across the region.”

Speakers at the event included representatives from Sheffield City Council and the Green Deal Finance Company.