IoD calls for step up in nuclear and shale gas programmes

The UK needs an expanded nuclear programme to replace existing nuclear generation and expand capacity, the Institute of Directors (IoD) said in a policy document, Future Proofing Energy. It also called for a drive to extract more shale gas.

The IoD said, “Decarbonising the power supply with intermittent renewables, energy efficiency, demand side response and energy storage will only take you so far and at very high cost.” Instead the government should encourage competing companies to build new nuclear power plants, and set up “large scale reverse auctions” so they compete to bring in new plants at lowest cost. It said government should “consider using taxpayers’ money to part- or even fully-fund new design applications to the Office for Nuclear Regulation, especially considering the financial weaknesses of some major international firms.”

It also called on government to expand fracking and develop shale resources, saying, “hydrocarbons will still have to do the heavy lifting for the British economy in the short- and medium-terms.”

The IoD also said government should give customers more protection by mandating a single default tariff tat would apply to all suppliers and create a separate billing entity that would sit between suppliers and customers and whose margin would not depend on the amount of power sold. It also called for the smart meter rollout to be delayed.