COP26 Huge Opportunity to Drive Forward Decarbonisation
Bradwell B CEO speaks at the Westminster Energy Forum
In a speech to an influential industry body this week, Bradwell B’s Chief Executive Alan Raymant welcomed recent statements from the UK Government, culminating in the publication of its white paper, Powering our net zero future. He also reaffirmed parent organisation CGN’s commitment to the UK, and to its projects here, including the development of the proposed Bradwell B in Essex.
He said: “These [policy] documents set out the pathway to achieving Net Zero by 2050 which is a hugely important precursor to the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 later this year. And is a huge opportunity for the UK and nuclear industry to drive forward decarbonisation.
With the clock ticking, he was clear that the time is now to move forward: “Now we have a clear policy, we need to focus on delivery and accelerating deployment of all low carbon technologies if we want to achieve net zero by 2050.”
Nuclear energy remains critical for the Government’s Net Zero 2050 targets, and Mr Raymant reminded the forum that the companies partnered in all three active nuclear new build projects in the UK, CGN and EDF, are the only companies currently presenting viable options to develop nuclear in the UK.
“Today there are two developers who are active in the UK market, investing billions of pounds in building new low carbon infrastructure,” said Mr Raymant. “This is not speculative – it’s happening now. They are us, CGN UK, and our 30-year partners EDF.”
The opportunity presented is not just one for the UK and the climate, but also for the communities where new build will be delivered. “Our projects are already creating jobs, forging opportunities for the supply chain and for local communities.”
Addressing the effects of Covid-19 on the UK’s nuclear new build projects, Mr Raymant reported that they have progressed well, perhaps not in the way that the projects had planned, but in adapting to the situation as it emerged. “This is what major infrastructure development requires and we can be proud of our response, not least the progress made at Hinkley Point C.”
Focusing on the Bradwell B project, Mr Raymant noted, “We made good progress in 2020. We completed the first stage of public consultation on the way to securing a DCO; we progressed the scoping for the project through the Planning Inspectorate; we were granted an electricity generating licence from Ofgem; and the GDA for the reactor design is undergoing public consultation via the Environment Agency and proceeding to plan.
“Looking forward, we remain focused, taking on board the lessons of both successful and unsuccessful projects, ensuring that we maintain a strong focus on project risks and opportunities and spend every penny wisely.”
The year ahead will see Bradwell B undertake activity critical to understanding and quantifying technical risks, he explained. “These include site suitability assessment; and further feasibility studies, to make sure we have a firm understanding of the basis of design at the site.
“We will also continue our stakeholder engagement to build understanding and support for the project both locally and nationally, and we will be opening our local office in Maldon later this year once Covid restrictions allow.”
Getting on with developing low carbon energy for the UK
Summarising, Mr Raymant said: “The Bradwell team is simply getting on with the job of developing low carbon energy for the UK. Our power station will deliver significant volumes of clean, reliable energy. Our project will create many thousands of new skilled jobs. Our impact on the educational and cultural landscape around our site will be highly significant.
“These positive outcomes are what we are actively working on today. Not as a matter of rumour or speculation about the future, but in practice, right now.”