Many of you have contacted me about nuclear power and Hinkley Point C.
Whilst I understand this is an issue that carries great strength of feeling, I am pleased that following a comprehensive review of the Hinkley Point C project, and a revised agreement with EDF, the Government has decided to proceed.
The UK needs a reliable and secure energy supply and the Government still believes that nuclear energy is an important part of the mix. The Nuclear Industrial Strategy published in 2013 in partnership with industry establishes a long term approach for the sector to stimulate economic growth and create jobs in this country.
However, Ministers will impose a new legal framework for future foreign investment in Britain's critical infrastructure, which will include nuclear energy and apply after Hinkley. This includes introducing measures to enhance our national security at Hinkley, and ensuring that the Government is able to intervene in the sale of EDF's stake once Hinkley is operational.
A power station at Hinkley Point has the potential to reduce the UK's carbon emissions, bring billions of private investment into the UK economy and create around 25,000 jobs at the peak of construction, many of these coming from Somerset residents. It will provide a clean source of home-grown energy, providing 7 per cent of the country's energy needs. Importantly, it will also make a huge contribution to the local job market and the local economy in general.
Please be assured the Government remains committed to reducing carbon emissions and reducing the cost of renewable energy, with more than £52 billion invested in renewables since 2010. The UK is the world leader for offshore wind power generation in terms of installed capacity, and we also have enough solar to power almost 2 million homes. Hinkley Point C is an important part of the UK’s wider energy mix, in addition to these solar and offshore wind strategies.
I am pleased that the Government has decided to proceed with this project, and I will continue to monitor its development.
Thank you again to all those who took the time to contact me about this issue.