- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 16 Feb 2021
Financing our future energy infrastructure
|How can the UK best encourage investment into a low-carbon, low-cost energy system while securing energy supplies for the long term?|
The inquiry was launched in the wake of investor decisions to halt work on new nuclear projects. These cancellations and suspensions illustrate the growing concerns among investors regarding the competitiveness of delivering new nuclear in the UK.
This is not the inquiry’s whole remit, however. It also looks at challenges in raising finance for renewables and energy storage, the attractiveness of the UK as a destination for energy investment, as well as the role of government in providing support and sharing risk.
 Filling the ‘nuclear gap’
Nuclear provides reliable and long-term baseload power and is currently the single largest source of low-carbon electricity in the UK. The Nuclear Sector Deal, announced in June 2017, sets out an ambition to reduce the cost of new nuclear by 30% before 2030, while also committing government support for research on small modular reactors (SMRs).
But the role of renewables in terms of meeting generation needs, carbon reduction targets and delivering value for money is becoming ever more prominent.
The cost of renewables has fallen faster than many predictions and are expected to continue to fall as efficiencies are found and technology develops further.
ICE believes that the government must continue to support low-carbon technologies, including nuclear power, as part of a low-carbon energy mix, via long-term policy frameworks, support through mechanisms like Contracts for Difference (CfDs), as well as R&D funding where appropriate.
However, without affordable storage providing back-up capacity, the contribution of renewables in helping to replace carbon intensive fuels will be hindered.
ICE’s own State of the Nation 2018 report on infrastructure investment recommended that CfDs be extended to cover energy storage technology and be considered as part of the future repurposing of the UK’s heating network. This is particularly important when considering the growth in demand that electric vehicles will bring to the power network in the future.
ICE’s submission to the BEIS Committee’s inquiry can be accessed here.
 About this article
This article was written by uk David Hawkes, ICE Policy Manager. It previously appeared on the website of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and can be accessed here.Other articles on this website by the ICE can be found here.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Carbon capture and storage.
- Community energy network.
- Domestic micro-generation.
- Earth-to-air heat exchangers.
- Energy harvesting.
- Energy storage.
- Energy storage - the missing piece?
- Feed in tariff.
- Fuel cell.
- Geothermal energy.
- Geothermal piles
- Ground energy options.
- Ground source heat pumps.
- Large scale solar thermal energy.
- Making the most of renewable energy systems DG 531.
- Renewable heat incentive.
- Solar photovoltaics
- Solar thermal systems.
- Sustainable development: energy challenge.
- The Carbon Plan: Delivering our low carbon future.
- The Future of Electricity in Domestic Buildings.
- The future of UK power generation.
- Tidal lagoon power.
- Why the UK needs to support emerging tech like energy storage.
- Will we burn fossil fuels to power wind turbines in the future?
- Wind Energy in the United Kingdom.
- Wind turbine.
- Zero carbon homes.
- Zero carbon non-domestic buildings.
Featured articles and news
Retirement community harmonises old buildings with new structures.
Defended Scapa Flow from WWII attacks, but now battered by rising sea levels.
The real economic impact of historic preservation.
None have anything to do with maths, physics or science!
Report includes sales vs production of compressors by type.
Government announces latest plans for growth.
Will the new requirements - once passed - go far enough?
These post-WWII modular buildings were unpopular, yet ubiquitous.
What's the verdict from the court of public opinion?
Shift to home-based work influences closed plan preferences.
An overview of the current state of the market.
Organisation offers best practices for construction and modification.
Heritage on the edge?
Prioritising tax considerations.