Macron wins big in new UK energy strategy – fury as France’s EDF set for huge role

Macron wins big in new UK energy strategy – fury as France’s EDF set for huge role

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The UK’s blueprint to shore up greater energy security amid a crisis will involve increasing nuclear power to 24Gigawatts by 2050, which would account for 25 percent of the projected electricity demand. To do so, the Government has several major projects in the pipeline, with up to eight reactors that could be delivered by 2030.

This would speed up the rollout to building one reactor a year instead of one a decade.

It is a huge win for energy giant EDF, which the French Government has an 84 percent stake in – and could soon be nationalised under Emmanuel Macron.

The company already owns and operates eight nuclear power stations in the UK, with two more planned nuclear projects making headway too.

These include Hinkley Point C in Somerset and Sizewell C in Suffolk, which combined could generate about 6.5GW of power.

With EDF already producing one-fifth of the UK’s electricity, this is only set to increase.

Macron

Macron is set for a huge win due to France’s control over Britain’s nuclear fleet (Image: Getty )

Energy bills

The Government is poised to release a new energy strategy as it scrambles to slash bills (Image: Express)

EDF’s UK CEO Simone Rossi said: “Britain is right to take control of its energy future, with a step-change in ambition for electricity from wind, nuclear and solar, and greater energy efficiency.

“Building more new nuclear will reduce Britain’s dependence on overseas gas and keep energy prices stable, creating thousands of jobs while we’re doing it.

“At Hinkley Point C we’re already building British nuclear, with 3,600 British businesses and 22,000 people making it happen, including over 800 apprentices.

“The fastest way to get more nuclear in Britain is get on with the next two units at Sizewell C.

“It’s a copy of Hinkley Point C, the design is approved and ready to go, and British manufacturers are experts in how to build it.

READ MORE: UK makes another ‘stunning’ nuclear fusion breakthrough: World-first’

Nuclear power

The Government could deliver 8 reactors by 2030 (Image: Getty )

“Building more of the same design is the best way to bring down costs and develop a strong UK supply chain.”

The plans have not been warmly welcomed by all, with campaigners unleashing fury at the huge costs and risks that are said to be associated with nuclear energy.

Stop Sizewell C is a group campaigning against the planned nuclear project.

Activist Alison Downes said: “Why, with money in short supply and the need for solutions urgent, has the government placed large-scale nuclear front and centre of its Energy Strategy?

“Ministers are locking the country into the riskiest, slow and expensive energy infrastructure, forcing consumers to pay for it twice – a nuclear tax for construction and higher-priced electricity.”

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Boris Johnson

Mr Johnson’s plot to ramp up nuclear capacity has come under fire from Stop Sizewell C (Image: Getty )

Instead of boosting UK energy security, campaigners have argued that the UK will have to wait much too long, with the project unlikely to come online until 2035.

This is not helped by unreliable timeframes associated with nuclear, the group claims.

Stop Sizewell C also argues that the reliance on the French-owned company is risky, particularly after the EDF’s EPR reactor in China went offline due to a fuel failure.

This also comes after Emmanuel Macron threaten to turn the lights out in Jersey over a Brexit fishing licenses dispute back in October 2021.

Beaune

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune warned that the UK is dependent on European energy (Image: Getty )

France took to remind the UK that is dependent on European energy supply during the bust-up.

French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune warned: “Since we’re talking about energy…the United Kingdom depends on our energy supplies. It thinks that it can live all alone, and bash Europe.

“For example, you could imagine the Channel Islands, where the United Kingdom depends on us for its energy supply.”

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