Lord John Hutton, Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association discussed how Government and industry plan to deliver a stable market for nuclear energy infrastructure projects at the University of Birmingham on 9 November 2015.
He informed students and guests at the prestigious energy lecture series that "without power, businesses cannot succeed and grow, and the public cannot go about their everyday lives. Energy isn’t just about keeping the lights on; it impacts our economy, society and ultimately security."
"We would benefit as a country if we took a step back and thought about the long term impact. We are polluting the world’s atmosphere with burning fossil fuels; however, we want to solve these issues, without burdening consumers with additional costs. Over the forthcoming decade, it is vital to have the right supply of cheap, low carbon energy."
When discussing future nuclear energy projects, Lord Hutton said:
“Replacing the UK’s ageing energy infrastructure is a necessity, in order to reduce the use of fossil fuel to address climate change and UK energy supplies.
“Scheduled in the 2020s, EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project will deliver secure and affordable low carbon electricity for the next 60 years. Nuclear is the only proven low-carbon option for providing electricity the UK needs and will save customers money. The project will also bring vast economic boost throughout the country, bringing skilled jobs to those searching for ones in highly skilled and technically advanced industries.
"Without the use of new nuclear, we will lose a vital source of reliable, secure low-carbon electricity. By 2030, 40% of current electricity generating capacity will have disappeared, due to coal-fired power stations closing to meet air pollution and carbon reduction targets.”
Lord Hutton also highlighted the importance of connecting with the next generation of scientists and engineers, who will inevitably be at the forefront of developing new innovations to address energy challenges:
“The University of Birmingham has a history of excellence, especially with regards to nuclear physics and chemistry. One of the benefits of speaking at the University is its positive thought leadership – we can debate and raise concerns and students come away and actually think about the future. Speaking at the University was a great opportunity to discuss energy policy and connect with students and researchers. They are our future generation and in order to ensure a low carbon future, we must inspire them to make important changes."
The Birmingham Energy Institute is a focal point for the University and its national and international partners, to create change in the way we deliver, consume and think about energy. The focus being ‘Energy systems’, ‘The Business of Energy’, ‘Energy and Transport’ and ‘Breakthroughs in Energy Technologies’. Co-ordinated research, education and the development of global partnerships is at the heart of the Birmingham Energy Institute’s vision drawing on recognised centres of excellence in Energy Storage, Nuclear Energy, Fuel Cells and their Fuels, Railway and Automotive Systems and Energy Policy and Economics.