Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/10/2012 -- BMI View: In Britain, the power clock is ticking. Key decisions must be made and new policies implemented. Nuclear is to be a key plank of electricity supply strategy, but does not have public support. Investment in renewables has been rising fast, with wind power the chosen option. Proposed changes to planning rules may help accelerate the onshore wind turbine trend, while offshore schemes are making good progress. Changes to subsidies for solar installations may slow the rate of expansion.
Key trends and developments in the British electricity market include:
- The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has claimed that the new Energy Market Reform (EMR), which is currently under discussion in Parliament, will drive investment into the sector, with the long-term aim of attracting GBP110bn of investment for the construction of new capacity. However, without raising energy tariffs significantly, and in the absence of additional funding coming from the government, we question the availability of funding and thus the feasibility of the EMR.
- The DECC has detailed the data security obligations that will be of fundamental importance when adopting smart meter technology. BMI identifies the secure management of data and privacy as central to the long-term success of smart metering and we regard the DECC regulations as a means of safeguarding consumer confidence in the technology before the framework laid out under the central data and communications company (DCC) is adopted in full.
- E.ON and RWE will not proceed with plans to develop new nuclear power plants in the UK under their Horizon Nuclear Power joint venture (JV). The decision confirms our view that the economics of nuclear power in the UK have come under serious scrutiny as the government has so far failed to offer financial support for projects. Meanwhile, debt-laden European utilities are struggling to find the huge amounts of capital required for implementation.
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