07/14/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/14/2020 02:49
With the U.K.'s commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse emissions from 2050 and the disruption of COVID-19, the country is now at a pivotal stage in its journey to a greener economy. The pandemic has presented an opportunity to accelerate a green transformation that goes hand in hand with job creation, rebuilding the economy and creating better quality of life.
Whilst it is currently one of the top-ranking countries in the World Economic Forum's Energy Transition Index 2020, which analyzes the energy sectors of 115 countries, the U.K. (ranked no.7) requires an acceleration in the energy transition if it is to rebuild with climate change as the centerpiece.
Advancing low carbon projects - like nuclear energy, renewable energy and storage, building retrofits, and education and training in low carbon industries to create skills and jobs - are now more vital than ever.
Nuclear power provides approximately 20% of the U.K.'s electricity and 40% of all clean electricity. The U.K. Government is considering new funding models for new nuclear, and this will determine the future ownership structure for the construction and operation phases. As the current AGR stations reach end of life in the 2020s, nuclear power will decline substantially without a clear pathway for new nuclear build and funding addressed.
Today, a new British industrial consortium is calling on the U.K. Government to back Sizewell C, the proposed new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast.
Thirty two companies and organizations from all regions of the U.K., including some of the U.K.'s leading firms supporting clean energy programs, have come together to urge the Government to give the major infrastructure project the green light.
The Sizewell C Consortium includes Assystem, Atkins, Balfour Beatty Bailey, Bilfinger, Cavendish Nuclear, Doosan Babcock, EDF, Jacobs, Laing O'Rourke, Mott MacDonald, Mace, as well as a host of smaller businesses. It is also backed by some of the country's biggest trade unions including the GMB, the Unite Union and Prospect.
'Britain has built a world-leading nuclear industry supply chain which supports thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the U.K.,' said Sizewell C Consortium spokesperson Cameron Gilmour. 'The Sizewell C supply chain is ready and willing to help government with the green economic recovery. A firm commitment on the future of Sizewell C will help sustain the nuclear supply chain and can deliver significant benefits to the U.K.'s low carbon economic prosperity.'
The Consortium believes Sizewell C is a pre-packed stimulus project that will provide a major economic boost for the U.K., deliver 25,000 job opportunities and 1000 apprenticeships, and set the country on the road to a green recovery.
The Consortium intends to sign memorandums of understanding (MoU) with regions across the U.K. to guarantee British jobs and investment in the building of Sizewell C. Up to 70% of contracts for Sizewell C will go to British-based businesses, securing the future of the nuclear supply chain and creating tens of thousands of jobs across the U.K.
Sizewell C will provide 3.2GW of always-on clean energy, enough to power six million homes. The planning application for the project was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate last month. As a replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset, Sizewell C is expected to benefit from significant savings in construction costs. Early works, involving contracts worth up to £300 million (c. $370m), could begin this year.
Approval of the project would be a major boost for the U.K. nuclear sector, which directly provides more than 60,000 highly skilled jobs, with another 160,000 jobs sustained across the wider supply chain. However, without Government backing for Sizewell C soon, thousands of these jobs will be lost, which would seriously undermine the U.K.'s nuclear delivery capability.
Suffolk Chamber's head of Sizewell C supply chain engagement Gareth Davies added: 'Suffolk Chamber welcomes the setting up of the Sizewell C Consortium as a key step forward in the delivery of this significant project. The 1400 Suffolk and East Anglian-based companies on the Sizewell C supply chain website, which is managed by Suffolk Chamber, will see this concerted action by the companies as a clear signal to work with Suffolk Chamber and the local business community to prepare themselves for the many commercial opportunities that the project offers.'