Nuclear ‘key’ to Britain’s energy future, say Centrica’s Roger Carr

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Mr Carr, who was also chairman of Cadbury until its £12bn sale to Kraft in February, said that he believes the need to reduce carbon consumption is a “message that needs to be emphasised, because although the time horizon is apparently a long way away, addressing the issues has got to be [done] now” in order to meet the target.

 

The company chairman, who made his name helping Sir Nigel Rudd and Brian McGowan build and run Williams Holdings, said that Centrica, which owns the British Gas retail brand, wants to be at the forefront of the UK’s transition from fossil fuels to newer forms of energy.

 

He said nuclear power “is undoubtedly the key to going forward in meeting the ‘lights on’ requirement and meeting the decarbonisation commitment”.
“Without nuclear, I think one would never say impossible, but I would say [it would be] an incredible challenge [to meet those two requirements],” he added.

 

Mr Carr pointed to the fact that the existing nuclear power station fleet is “ageing” and said “we need to be building replacement capacity virtually immediately”.
There are currently plans for 10 nuclear reactors in the UK, with Centrica involved with France’s EDF in financing and building four reactors, including the first of the new wave to be up and running at Hinckley Point, Somerset, by 2018.

 

The current plans mean there will be 10 new British reactors by the mid-2020s, with additional reactors likely to come on stream after that.

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