How Might the National Infrastructure Assessment Shape Future Energy Policy?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Last week the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) published its first National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA). The report advocates investment in renewable rather than nuclear energy. Among the core proposals are the recommendations that half the UK’s electricity is provided by renewables by 2030 and that no more than one nuclear contract is awarded before 2025.

The assessment sets out the plan for the country’s infrastructure over the next 10–30 years. Importantly, government has committed to respond to the Commission’s recommendations.

The UK can reduce emissions at no extra cost.

The NIC’s analysis is that renewable energy sources are the most economical means of meeting future electricity demands whilst reducing emissions. In apparent contrast to government policy[1], the NIC also recommends a cautious ‘one by one’ approach to new nuclear plants, rather than a large fleet[2]. Its report states that the estimated average cost of the electricity system would be slightly lower in a renewables based system compared to one that involves multiple new nuclear power plants. NIC modelling shows that the higher costs of balancing a system with variable energy sources are offset by lower capital costs, which translate into lower costs in the wholesale market.

Government will listen to the recommendations.

The National Infrastructure Commission was established in 2015 to provide expert advice to the government and hold it to account on implementation. The Government has committed to respond to the recommendations and to adopt agreed recommendations as government policy.

Renewables are increasingly popular[3] but they have traditionally been seen as expensive. This assessment challenges that understanding and could remove an important barrier in policy-makers minds. It offers an option that satisfies electricity demands, climate change requirements and, crucially, provides value for money for consumers. Politicians are likely to be persuaded. Businesses will want to engage to persuade government about their own preferences for investment.

Brevia Consulting provides straightforward political advice and support to businesses and organisations.

Discover how Brevia can help you and your organisation by contacting the Brevia Energy Team on 020 7091 1650 or contact@brevia.co.uk


[1] Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future, link

[2] National Infrastructure Commission, National Infrastructure Assessment, link

[3] Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Energy and Climate Change Public Attitude Tracker – Wave 24, lin

LATEST NEWS

Transport

Political Signals From The Flybe Rescue Deal

This week, the Government stepped in to save the regional airline, Flybe, from collapse. Having won a majority by gaining votes in nearly every region of the UK, the intervention symbolises Boris Johnson’s stated desire to ‘level up’ the country.

Read More »
Nuclear

Five Notable Developments In Nuclear This Week 17.01.2020

On 14 January 2020, the European Union (UN) unveiled plans for €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the coming decade. The investment is designed to make the EU climate-neutral by 2050, however, the transition fund money under the plan will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants.

Read More »
General

Labour Party Leadership Election Explained

Following defeat last week, Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not stand as Labour Party leader at the next general election. The Labour Party will have to elect another leader and the next contest will be the first to take place under new rules established in 2018.

Read More »