Image: Gilles Paire
The UK and France have signed a deal to increase energy security by shifting towards renewable and nuclear power.
Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps and France’s Energy Minister, Agnes Pannier Runacher have signed the agreement, following the two nations’ longstanding partnership on nuclear power.
French company EDF is leading the development of Hinkley Point C in Somerset and the UK government is now a co-shareholder in the proposed Sizewell C project in Suffolk with EDF, following a £700 million investment in November 2022.
This comes after it was reported that the government is also considering changing the classification of nuclear power to a form of “green energy.”
Cutting reliance on nuclear and related goods from Russia is also a focus of the agreement, which will see both nations diversify their supplies of uranium and nuclear fuel production capability.
Currently, the UK has three interconnectors with a capacity for 4GW with French partners. The new deal could see this rise by up to two thirds, the government has said.
The UK has set a target to have at least 18GW of interconnection capacity by 2030.
Discussions also took place about the possibility of working together on carbon capture and storage in the future.
Mr Shapps said: “Successful economies need plentiful and reliable energy. Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated that energy security can only be achieved by working with our international friends.
“We are already partnering with France through these energy interconnectors but we share the ambition to go much further. Today’s agreement could lead to two thirds boost in our interconnected power bringing more energy security and independence to the UK and France.”
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