Government ups investment in Suffolk’s Sizewell C to £2.5bn

Government ups investment in Suffolk’s Sizewell C to £2.5bn

24.1.2024 | Energy

Government ups investment in Suffolk's Sizewell C to £2.5bn

The new nuclear plant received a big boost earlier this month when the construction was given the green light with the triggering of its Development Consent Order (DCO).

Sizewell C has been given an extra £1.3bn from government so work can ‘steam ahead’ as it seeks private investors to support its construction.

The new nuclear plant – capable of producing about 7% of the UK’s electricity needs – received a big boost earlier this month when construction work was officially given the green light with the triggering of its Development Consent Order (DCO).

The taxpayer funds will support ongoing preparatory works including road and rail improvements around the Suffolk site so the necessary local infrastructure is in place before full construction begins.

Financing the project is now the biggest hurdle to clear this year – with objectors sceptical of the government’s ability to raise the huge funds needed.

But with two previous government funding pledges of £700m and £511m, the Suffolk site is now in line for £2.5bn of taxpayer cash. The latest pledge will come from “existing budgets”, the government – the project’s major shareholder – said
the amount the construction will cost remains unclear but could be around £20bn-plus.

The government says it expects to make a “final investment decision” later this year. When he visited Suffolk on January 22, Mr Bowie said the Final Investment Decision would be made “by the end of this parliament”.

“Committing further government support at this stage will help the project stay on schedule and keep down overall costs,” the government said.

Earlier this month it announced the biggest expansion of nuclear power for 70 years, with a Civil Nuclear Roadmap with the aim of quadrupling nuclear power generation to up to 24GW by 2050.

Among the plans are another power plant of the magnitude of Sizewell C and a fleet of Small Modular Reactors.

Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie said: “We are making fantastic progress on the next GW-scale power plant in the UK’s nuclear pipeline.

“This investment injection means we can steam ahead with work on Sizewell C ahead of the final investment decision targeted later this year.

“It’s a win for our energy security and sends a strong message to investors that Britain is serious about its low-carbon, homegrown nuclear-powered future, providing reliable, cheaper power for British families.”

Sizewell C joint managing directors Julia Pyke and Nigel Cann said the “significant” investment was a “further sign of confidence” in their team to deliver the project.

“The funding means we can step up activity in Suffolk and deliver on our commitments to local communities.

“Sizewell C will build on the huge contribution of Hinkley Point C in restarting nuclear construction in Britain.”

But Alison Downes of campaign group Stop Sizewell C claimed there was “grave uncertainty” about the government’s ability to make a Final Investment Decision – or even how much the project will cost.

“There’s little indication external investors have serious interest in Sizewell C at this point, and every sign that Hinkley Point C’s costs and schedule in building the same type of reactors are heading south,” she said.

“It is inexplicable why the government is intent on shackling taxpayers and consumers to such a disastrous project, especially with an election approaching.”

Once operational, the plant is expected to generate 3.2GW of electricity – enough to power up to 6 million homes for more than 60 years.

Image: Workers can start construction on Sizewell C following the triggering of the consent order.

ChargeUK launches as the voice of the EV charging industry

ChargeUK launches as the voice of the EV charging industry

3.5.2023 | Energy

ChargeUK launches as the voice of the EV charging industry

A new trade association for the UK’s EV charging industry, with new figures on the scale of charge point deployment now underway.

It brings together 18 of the largest companies installing the charge points needed to enable the UK’s switch to electric vehicles (EVs) and the realisation of Net Zero.

Between them, the members of ChargeUK have announced they will invest over £6 billion in installing and operating new EV charging infrastructure by 2030. They will install tens of thousands of new chargers this year, with the aim of doubling the size of the network through 2023.

As the sector continues to increase the availability of charging and to accelerate investment and delivery, ChargeUK will work collaboratively with the government and other stakeholders to break down barriers and shape the policies and regulations needed to enable the transition.

As EV take-up accelerates, the charging industry operators that makeup ChargeUK will have a vital role in helping the UK transition to Net Zero. The UK is among the world’s leading nations for EV infrastructure, offering a key advantage as the world works to achieve its climate goals.

Ian Johnston, Chair of ChargeUK and CEO of Osprey Charging Network, said,

“The formation of ChargeUK is an exciting day and is a demonstration of the electric vehicle charging industry’s growing size and importance to the UK economy.

“Together, we are investing billions of pounds to get more charge points in the ground right across the country. These numbers reinforce our commitment to the UK’s Net Zero future.

“We will continue to be a proactive partner to the Government as we deliver a world-class charging infrastructure, giving the nation’s drivers the confidence to transition to electric vehicles.”

Transport decarbonisation and technology minister Jesse Norman said,

“The launch of ChargeUK shows how industry working together, alongside the Government, can release private investment, improve delivery, raise standards and promote the use of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for drivers across the country.

“Our commitment to decarbonising transport, backed by hundreds of millions in funding, has helped to unlock private sector investment, and the ambitious plans of ChargeUK’s members will support more people than ever to make the transition to EVs.”

Source: ChargeUK

Government backs Sizewell C with £700m funding announcement

Government backs Sizewell C with £700m funding announcement

30.11.2022 | Energy

Government backs Sizewell C with £700m funding announcement

The funding agreement means the Government is a joint shareholder in the project alongside EDF. 

Sizewell C has reached its biggest milestone to date with the announcement that the Government is investing £700m in the project.

The funding will support the project’s continued development so that it can bring in other investors.

The announcement follows the approval of the Development Consent Order in July and the introduction of new financing legislation for nuclear projects in March.

After a visit to the Sizewell C site, Business Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government’s stake in Sizewell C was the first step to long-term energy independence. Mr Shapps said,

“Global gas prices are at record highs, caused by Putin’s illegal march on Ukraine.  We need more clean, affordable power generated within our borders – British energy for British homes.

“Today’s historic deal giving government backing to Sizewell C’s development is crucial to this, moving us towards greater energy independence and away from the risks that a reliance on volatile global energy markets for our supply comes with.

The funding agreement means the Government is a joint shareholder in the project alongside EDF. Simone Rossi, CEO of EDF Energy, said:

“This is a big vote of confidence in Sizewell C, and we are very excited the government is partnering with us to prepare the project for further investment. Sizewell C will build on the achievements of Hinkley Point C, and replicating its design will provide more certainty over schedule and costs.

“It will deliver another big boost to jobs and skills in the nuclear industry and provide huge new opportunities for communities in Suffolk. New nuclear will protect Britain from volatile global gas markets and help keep bills under control for the country’s homes and businesses.”

Image: Grant Shapps and Simone Rossi on-site at Sizewell C.