The UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, delivered the Spring budget yesterday (15 March). Hunt placed a clear emphasis on nuclear energy, classing it as environmentally sustainable, and stating that the UK will "need another critical source of cheap and reliable energy - and that is nuclear".
"Increasing nuclear capacity is vital to meet our net-zero obligations," Hunt continued. "So to encourage private sector investment into our nuclear programme, today I confirm that subject to consultation nuclear power will be classed as environmentally sustainable."
He further confirmed the creation of a new body to oversee new nuclear power stations across the UK.
Chris Huhne, chairman of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, criticised the Chancellor's nuclear emphasis: “For renewables and net zero, this is a never-never budget of far-off promises that fails to deliver on immediate and available home-grown solutions like green gas and onshore wind.
“Instead, the Government focusses predominantly on nuclear even though no new plants could be built now to have any impact on 2030 targets, even if the sector could deliver on time and on budget. By contrast, new biogas plants can be built in two years cutting emissions and improving energy security.”The biogas currently generated by over 700 plants in the UK equals 42% of the volume of gas produced by the nuclear industry, added ADBA. The association estimated that if fully deployed, AD-produced biogas could reduce the UK's annual greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2030.