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NNWE Press Release: Ban on Diesel & Petrol Cars by 2040 Requires New Nuclear to Meet Electricity Demand


For Immediate Release                          26 July 2017


Today’s announcement by the government that new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 brings to light the need for urgent progress on new nuclear build in order to satisfy future electricity demand.

Tim Yeo, Chairman of New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE) commented: “This is a step in the right direction towards the UK’s 2050 climate change targets, but must be matched by an equally progressive timeline for new nuclear build. Just this month, the National Grid’s 2017 Future Energy Scenarios Report stated that unless the UK builds 14.5GWe of new nuclear capacity by 2035, we will fail to meet the ‘2 degrees scenario’ decarbonisation target.”

“There are currently in the region of 36.7 million cars on Britain’s roads, this could equate to over 9 million electric vehicles (EV) in use by 2040, with it being reasonable to assume that there will be total EV roll-out by 2050. Even with developments in battery and storage technology, this will lead to a huge surge in electricity demand. A demand which can only be met by new nuclear, as a domestic, secure, baseload energy source.”

“With the recent difficulties facing Westinghouse, urgent action is needed by government to encourage foreign investment in nuclear energy within the UK. Only foreign vendors with a reliable track-record of nuclear build can compete on cost grounds.”

As build times for new plants are lengthy, NNWE believes that a forward programme must be in place by 2020 so that companies have the time to complete the comprehensive Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process, and then build the plant – which in the case of Hinkley Point C is due to take nine years. Tim Yeo argues that: “Only with this roadmap in place will the UK be ready to meet the surge in demand which will come online around 2040. The government should look again at NNWEs Five-Point Plan for the UK nuclear energy industry.”


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For more information, please contact:

E: press@newnuclerwatch.eu


Notes to Editors

  1. NNWE was founded at the end of 2014 to help ensure nuclear power is recognised as an important and desirable way for European governments to provide affordable, secure, low carbon energy and help to meet the long-term energy needs of their citizens.
  2. Membership of NNWE is open to all companies, individuals and organisations active in the nuclear industry including those involved in the supply chain. More information is available at newnuclearwatch.eu
  3. Tim Yeo is Chair of New Nuclear Watch Europe and the University of Sheffield Industrial Advisory Board for the Energy 2050 initiative. He is a former Minister of State for the Environment, Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, and was Chair of the Environmental Audit Select Committee from 2005-2010 and then Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee from 2010-2015.