Statement responding to the Government’s energy security plan

Responding to the Government’s energy security plan, Sam Richards, founder and campaign director of pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade, said:

“The Government’s plan to deliver energy independence and bring down bills for millions of households makes some small steps in the right direction but doesn’t go far enough.

“Now that Great British Nuclear has an interim chair and chief executive it should hit the ground running and urgently draw up a list of sites where fleets of new Small Modular Reactors can be built. As well as all existing licensed nuclear sites, all former coal powered power stations should be included. This should be their number one priority and run alongside any competition to select technologies for development or negotiations with the Treasury over funding. If we want the economies of scale and power that a full fleet of SMR's can provide, we need to have a plan for where to actually build them.

“One of the main reasons for over-consulting when it comes to clean energy planning applications is out of date National Policy Statements. This adds costs to developers, but more importantly significantly slows down getting spades in the ground. Updating these critical documents is years overdue. Rather than just consulting, Government needs to get moving and publish them right away.

“Onshore wind is overwhelmingly popular across the country. By ending the ban on new onshore wind developments in England we can unlock at least 20GW of onshore wind generation by 2030. But this plan is silent on the cheapest form of energy available to us.

“On Monday we published our industry backed Powerbook report which set out a clear roadmap for how Britain can cut its dependence on volatile international gas markets and be energy secure by 2030. Unfortunately, with no real commitment to deliver the real planning reforms needed, the steps outlined today by Government fall short of what is needed.”