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The Energy and Climate Change Committee say, in a report released today (May 16), that the Government would rather ‘distort’ its planned reforms of the electricity market to save face.

The deal to create the Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition Government involved a pledge not to offer financial support to the building of new nuclear infrastructure in the UK.

This won over the Lid Dem who had held a fiercely anti-nuclear in direct opposition to the Conservatives supportive one.

Now this concession to the Lib Dems appears to be coming back to haunt the Government, with its energy committee watchdog claiming current proposals will ‘effectively’ provide subsidies to nuclear generators through new long term contracts and a carbon price floor that could hand them windfall profits.

Committee chair, Tim Yeo, said: “Ministers believe new nuclear could play a key role in keep the lights on and meeting our climate change targets–but they don’t want to own up to supporting it.”

“This is understandable given the promise they made not to subsidise nuclear, but it would be deeply irresponsible to skew the whole process of electricity market reform simply to save face.”

“The Government must be up front about the support it is giving to nuclear and not hide subsidies in a one-size-fits-all design for long-term energy contracts.”

Luke Walsh

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