UK Considers New, Subsidized Nuclear Power Plants

With public opinion at a possible turning point concerning the role of nuclear in energy mixes, the UK’s Green Investment Bank is tight-lipped about its potential future with nuclear. Former Chief Scientist of the UK, Sir David King, believes that nuclear is too controversial for GIB investment. The Green Investment Bank (GIB) is set to launch in 2012 starting with £2 Billion, and enhanced by £1 Billion from the government and expected to receive 15 billion in private sector investments. Its purpose will be to invest in low-carbon projects that have been deemed too uncertain for the private sector. The government has not yet made a decision regarding GIB’s relationship with nuclear power plants.


Assessing the recent nuclear disaster in Japan’s impact on public opinion and long-term planning will now play a more prominent role in determining whether nuclear is an appropriate investment by the GIB. GIB financing is required to match the government’s policy regarding energy investments. So if nuclear energy is given a marketplace advantage through subsidies or other tactics, similar support must be made available to other forms of energy generation.

Renewable energy investment has been flagged as an “early high priority” by the GIB. Nuclear power’s role within GIB investments remains uncertain. Yet after top-level officials spoke out against nuclear following the disaster in Japan, many suspect it will not be included in GIB funded activities nor qualify for future subsidies.


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Tiffany Finley started her sustainability journey while camping in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. Since then she has been dedicated to reconciling the industrial and the natural world views to create a hybridized mode of development toward sustainability. Majoring in Environmental Management in the US and then obtaining a Master's of Science in Strategic Leadership toward Sustainability in Sweden, she takes an analytical view based on science. She works with non-profits, small to medium businesses, and government organizations to strategize for sustainability in their respective sectors. Honored to join the writing cast at Triple Pundit, she looks forward to covering a wide range of sustainability news.

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