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Competitive energy markets and nuclear power: Can we have both, do we want either?

Competitive energy markets and nuclear power: Can we have both, do we want either?

Thomas, Steve (2010) Competitive energy markets and nuclear power: Can we have both, do we want either? Energy Policy, 38 (9). pp. 4903-4908. ISSN 0301-4215 (doi:

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In 1987, the UK Conservative Party was re-elected promising to transform the electricity industry into a privatised competitive industry and to promote an expansion of nuclear power. Fulfilling both objectives was not possible. The nuclear plants were withdrawn from the sale and plans to build new plants were abandoned, but privatisation proceeded. In 2007, the Labour government began a new attempt to build nuclear plants to operate in the competitive electricity market, promising that no subsidies would be offered to them. By 2010, the utilities that were planning to build nuclear plants were beginning to suggest that ‘support’ in some form would be needed if they were to build new plants. More surprisingly, the energy regulator, Ofgem, cast doubt on whether a competitive wholesale electricity market would provide security of supply. In 1990, the UK government opted for a competitive electricity market over expanding nuclear power. Now, the option of opting for a competitive electricity market may not exist. However, this might not leave the way open for new nuclear plants. The expected cost of power from new nuclear plants is now so high that no more than one or two heavily subsidised plants will be built.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published online: 15 May 2010. [2] Published in print: September 2010. [3] Published as: Energy Policy, (2010), Vol. 38, (9), pp. 4903–4908. [4] Published in Energy Policy, Volume 38, Issue 9, September 2010 - Special Section on Carbon Emissions and Carbon Management in Cities with Regular Papers. Edited by Shobhakar Dhakal and Ram M. Shrestha.
Uncontrolled Keywords: nuclear power, competitive electricity markets, Ofgem
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:12

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