The UK wants consumers to pay up front for new nuclear power plants

FILE PHOTO: Workers at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, near Bridgewater, UK, September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nichols

Written by Susanna Tudel and Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government said on Tuesday that Britain plans to adopt a new model to finance its expansion of nuclear power that will make families pay for new plants while they are being built through energy bills.

The UK aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which will require a massive increase in low-carbon power generation, such as wind, solar and nuclear. [L8N23Y23F]

The country hopes to build several new nuclear plants to help replace aging coal and nuclear facilities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but developers have struggled to fund new projects.

The new law on financing nuclear energy will propose the use of a structured asset-based (RAB) model, in which companies building new plants will receive a boost during the construction phase, which will reduce and allow them to obtain the risks associated with development. Cheaper financing for projects.

Proponents claim that this model, which was previously used in the UK to finance monopoly infrastructure assets such as water, gas and electricity networks, will end up lowering the cost of new projects to consumers.

His critics claim that taxpayers will be liable for unusual expenses and construction delays.

The government stated that the system would likely add a few pounds to household bills during the early stages of construction and, on average, less than a pound per month throughout the construction phase.

He also estimated that the model could save more than 30 billion pounds ($41 billion) over the life cycle of a new nuclear project and attract funding from British financial institutions.

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“The current financing scheme has caused a large number of foreign nuclear developers to leave … We urgently need a new approach to attract UK money and other private investors,” Business and Energy Minister Kwasi Quarting said in a statement.

(dollar = 0.7272 pounds)

(Reporting by Susanna Tudel and Kate Holton; Editing by John Stonestreet; Translated by Flora Gomez; Editing in Spanish by Javier Lopez de Llereda)

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