The NIA is also calling for the government to endorse a financing model for new nuclear projects this year and to set out a plan to restore nuclear capacity to existing levels by the early 2030s.
The nuclear industry has been calling for the introduction of the regulated asset base (RAB) proposal for the financing of nuclear power plants. The government has already said the model has the potential to reduce the cost of raising private finance.
The three associations, which say they represent Britain’s three leading zero-carbon power generators, said that with just six months to go until the UK co-hosts the COP26 summit, Britain’s grid is dirtier now than it was a year ago, with heavy reliance on fossil fuels, the groups said.
According to data from the National Grid ESO, the carbon intensity of electricity – the measure of CO2 emissions per unit of electricity consumed – was approximately 5% higher in the first four months of 2021 compared with the first four months of 2020. Gas-fired generation was 22% higher, driven by the need to meet demand. That is despite the UK spending more weeks under Covid-19 restrictions from January-April 2021 than in the same period in 2020.
Despite individual record-breaking days, the grid was on average 20% dirtier in April 2021 than in April 2020, with a carbon intensity of 200 gCO2/kWh, the associations said.
They are calling are calling for a rise in the carbon price to be consistent with delivering grid decarbonisation by 2035.
RenewableUK wants the government to set specific 2030 deployment targets for key renewable technologies by 2030. Solar Energy UK is calling for a specific government target of 40GW solar deployment by 2030.
NIA chief executive Tom Greatrex said: “We need to invest in a new generation of nuclear stations to hit net zero and help level up the country. We know that nuclear and renewables work well together to cut emissions, and that strong low-carbon energy mix is our future.”