New nuclear build will not be ready by 2018, when ageing nuclear power stations will be coming off-line, so the 'gap' in production will be met by gas-fired stations, according to the nuclear lobby this week.
According to Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, 'There is a generating gap looming in 2015 / 2016. New nuclear won't be on the bars to meet that immediate need and the investment decisions that are likely to be made in the very near future will be for gas-fired stations,' he said in a podcast made by legal firm Dundas & Wilson.
Hamish Lal, construction partner at Dundas & Wilson who specialises in nuclear said, 'The Government has made clear, albeit on a preliminary basis, its commitment to nuclear energy, but to achieve full buy-in from the private sector in the intervening period it must help the private sector to structure its investments.'
According to Adam Dawson, from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Government would be forced to look at other alternatives if a barrier to nuclear new builds emerged from the latest consultation.
'It's a question of getting the balance right so that you don't over-invest in gas and reduce the need for new nuclear when it's available in 2017 or 2018,' said Parker.