Fixing carbon prices is ‘nuclear subsidy’ claims MP

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SNP Energy and Climate Change spokesperson Mike Weir MP has warned UK government plans to fix carbon prices amount to a hidden subsidy for new nuclear power stations.

The plans were revealed despite an explicit assurance by the coalition government that no public subsidy would be used for the construction of such power stations.


SNP Energy and Climate Change spokesperson Mike Weir MP has warned UK government plans to fix carbon prices amount to a hidden subsidy for new nuclear power stations.

The plans were revealed despite an explicit assurance by the coalition government that no public subsidy would be used for the construction of such power stations.

Responding to questions from the SNP MP Minister for Energy Gregory Barker admitted that the Westminster government were actively seeking to fix the carbon price and argued that the current price was not providing incentive to low carbon UK investment.

Mr Barker said;

“My Hon friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Budget that we will be publishing plans for a UK carbon floor price in the autumn and it is a key part of our plans for a transition to a low carbon economy. We see that transition as an advantage and a competitive economic opportunity for the UK and that critical to that is to provide a long term strategic framework for industry to invest with confidence and certainty.”

After the exchanges at energy questions in the Commons Mr Weir said:

“Fixing the carbon price would amount to a hidden subsidy for new nuclear stations and blows wide open the bogus coalition claim that there will be no public subsidy for nuclear power.

“There are already problems within the EU emission trading scheme over free permits and it is ludicrous to pretend the EU will agree to a carbon floor price. This leaves the UK Government in the ridiculous position of attempting to impose a carbon floor price in the UK alone. This is simply unsustainable and legally dubious.

“The fact is that no country has developed and maintained nuclear stations without state support, nor ever will. The costs associated with developing new nuclear stations are mammoth, and the expense and risks associated with disposal are incalculable.

“The reality is that the UK Government is bogged down in nuclear planning issues and making no progress and creating no jobs while, in contrast, the Scottish Government is getting on with the job of investing in the technologies of the future, and supporting thousands of green energy jobs.”

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