Britain's Energy Plan Will Add to Nuclear Capacity

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"Britain's proposals would guarantee prices for low-carbon electricity and pay producers for backup supplies when renewable sources like wind power fail to meet demand.

New York Times, Stephen Castle

Britain announced plans Tuesday to finance a new generation of nuclear power plants and renewable energy facilities, in a move that illustrates the differences in energy policies among European Union countries as the bloc grapples with the challenge of reconciling economic and environmental objectives.

While Germany intends to phase out nuclear power, and France's new president, François Hollande, says he hopes to reduce his country's reliance on it, the British government appears to be moving in the opposite direction with its proposals, which are intended to attract $175 billion in investment to build new reactors and renewable energy plants.

The 27-member European Union sets climate change targets and coordinates efforts to reduce energy dependency, but decisions on energy sources remain with national governments.

Britain's proposals, announced in draft legislation by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, appear to be calculated to sidestep European Union restrictions on government aid that might prevent direct subsidies for the construction of nuclear power plants. Instead, they would guarantee prices for low-carbon electricity and pay producers for backup supplies when renewable sources like wind power fail to meet demand. . .View Full Article

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