The UK’s energy market has been a tale of two sectors since the turn of the year.
While the nuclear sector has continued to be hit with bad news, those working in renewables have been given plenty of reason to cheer.
In the latest blow to the country’s nuclear ambition, Hinkley Point C contractor Rolls-Royce announced that it is looking to offload its civil nuclear arm in a deal which could net the company £200M. The story follows months of disappointing news for the UK nuclear sector.
Japanese developer Toshiba withdrew from the NuGen nuclear plant in Cumbria before fellow Japanese developer Hitachi suspended its nuclear programme, including the massive £20bn Wyfla project on Anglesey, citing financial concerns. While the government attempts to thrash out a new deal to save the Wylfa project, National Grid has moved to officially scrap the £100M power tunnel to connect the site with the mainland.
In the renewables sector, a £250M wind sector deal between the government and suppliers is to drive innovation within offshore developments. Tidal energy innovations were also buoyed this month after Crown Estate Scotland extended the current lease of the European Marine Energy Centre testing site in Orkney, Scotland. This will be used to test tidal innovations for another 20 years. The government has allocated £10M to tidal innovations, as well as an additional £9M for carbon capture schemes. Even the canned £1bn Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay – has been given a glimmer of hope this month with developer Tidal Lagoon Power announcing that private investors are lined up to rescue the scheme.