(BN) U.K.’s Huhne Says Nuclear Build ‘Essential Objective’ (Update1)


U.K.'s Huhne Says Nuclear Build 'Essential Objective' (Update1)
2010-12-16 09:13:57.88 GMT

(Updates with comment from minister in second paragraph.)

By Kari Lundgren
Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- The construction of nuclear plants
is the "essential objective" of energy market measures to be
announced today by the British government, Secretary of State
for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne said in an interview.
"Electricite de France SA is keen to proceed if we get the
right structure in place," Huhne said in "On the Move With
Francine Lacqua" on Bloomberg Television. "The framework will
save money for consumers versus the patchwork quilt we have at
the moment."
The U.K. is poised for the biggest changes to energy policy
in two decades as the government seeks to ensure aging power
plants are replaced and climate targets met. Prime Minister
David Cameron's coalition government is likely to reassert state
control over the market-based system introduced by Margaret
Thatcher when proposals are made to parliament later today.
The cost of replacing existing plants and building
renewable projects will be around 200 billion pounds ($316
billion), according to an Ernst & Young LLP report. The
government says existing arrangements don't provide the
certainty needed for utilities to finance new plants. Building a
new nuclear reactor in the U.K. may cost companies as much as 6
billion pounds, according to Energy Minister Charles Hendry.
Changing market arrangements will provide "greater
certainty of delivering on time," Huhne said, resulting in
electricity bills that are 4 percent lower than they would have
been otherwise.
The U.K. has pledged to get 15 percent of its energy from
renewable sources by the end of the decade and reduce carbon-
dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.
Achieving this will require as much as 40,000 megawatts of low-
carbon energy projects, according to a Dec. 7 report from the
Committee on Climate Change.

For Related News and Information:
U.K. power market stories: TNI UK PWRMARKET <GO>
Top energy news: ETOP <GO>
U.K. electricity prices: ELEU <GO>

--Editors: Stephen Cunningham, Alex Devine.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Kari Lundgren in London at +44-20-7073-3442 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Will Kennedy at +44-20-7073-3603 or