There must be no public underwriting of construction cost overruns on nuclear projects, the Tories have said today.
In a new green paper on energy, the Conservatives highlighted new nuclear as a key part of their desired future energy mix but warned that taxpayers will not cover the costs of any unforeseen cost hikes on the reactors – which have not been built in the UK for 20 years.
The Tories said they would look to introduce carbon floor price to provide a “reliable signal for investment” in all forms of low carbon energy, including nuclear power.
But the paper said: “Consistent with our view that all energy supplies must be sustainable without permanent public subsidy, we agree with the nuclear industry that taxpayer and consumer subsidies should not and will not be provided – in particular there must be no public underwriting of construction cost overruns.”
The Tories said they would submit the “long overdue” national planning statements on energy infrastructure to a vote of parliament in a bid to protect against judicial review and the further delays that could cause.
The green paper outlines twelve objectives, including reform the Climate Change Levy to provide a floor price for carbon, promoting renewable energy, establish a security guarantee for gas supply and electrifying transport to reduce dependence on oil.