Government uncertainty about the future of nuclear power is hampering investment in new generation facilities experts warned this week.
Energy giants will hold off investing in new power stations until all the investment options are clear. The expected launch of a new nuclear generation within last week's Energy White Paper was delayed after government was ordered to conduct a new consultation before giving the green light to nuclear power. This was launched alongside the White Paper.'The nuclear agenda will stall investment across the board. The industry is still waiting for clarity on the options available for investment and so will be put off sinking money into clean coal or gas plants,' said former ICE energy board chairman David Anderson. 'Utility companies want to make a healthy return for their shareholders and so want to make the right judgements. But at the moment this is distracted by the fact that eight nuclear power stations might be on the cards.'Worse than that is if nuclear fails as an investment option and if the utility companies haven't moved forward then we could be left with the energy gap unplugged,' he added. This warning came as BP announced it was abandoning its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Peterhead because the government had postponed the CCS competition until November. It said the government had postponed a competition to develop technology to capture carbon from fossil fuels until NovemberThe £500M scheme would have created hydrogen from natural gas and used that to generate electricity. The carbon captured during this process would have been sent back into the Miller field in the North Sea. BP said mothballing the scheme to fit in with the new time table would have proved too costly.