Britain’s »golden opportunity« to switch to greener ways of providing energy

Britain has a »golden opportunity« to switch »to greener ways of providing energy to homes and businesses without increasing bills – but only if Ministers act now to make the most of it,« says the National Infrastructure Assessment, published by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). The Assessment »cautions against a rush to agree government support for multiple new nuclear power stations,« and proposes that «after Hinkley Point C in Somerset the Government should agree support for only one more nuclear plant before 2025.« This would give flexibility to move towards newer low-carbon energy sources in future.
John Armitt, Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, said it has long been assumed »that a switch to greener sources for the country’s energy needs would mean a hit on people’s pockets – but analysis for the Commission shows this would not necessarily be the case.« Making this switch towards low-carbon and renewable sources for both the country’s power and heating, combined with a move towards electric vehicles, would mean the customer of 2050 would pay the same in real terms for their energy as today. But he warned this will only be possible if the right decisions are taken now by government. This include continuing to invest in low cost renewable technologies, such as wind and solar, so that these provide at least half the country’s generating capacity by 2030. Currently, around 30 per cent of the UK’s electricity comes from renewable sources like wind and solar power – up from 12 per cent only five years ago.
Established in 2015, the National Infrastructure Commission is an independent body tasked with providing clear advice to the Government on how best to meet the country’s long-term infrastructure needs. A key part of its work is the UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment, spanning a range of sectors, including energy. It provides recommendations for delivering improvements to the country’s infrastructure network up to 2050. The Charter for the National Infrastructure Commission requires the Government to respond to its recommendations no more than a year after publication, and wherever possible within six months.
The different chapters of the Assessment and accompanying infographics can be accessed free of charge as PDF (163 pages) at »« (publications).

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