Debates between Lord Ravensdale and Lord Duncan of Springbank

There have been 2 exchanges between Lord Ravensdale and Lord Duncan of Springbank

1 Tue 14th January 2020 Nuclear Power: Emissions
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
4 interactions (339 words)
2 Tue 29th October 2019 Net Zero Carbon Emissions
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3 interactions (198 words)

Nuclear Power: Emissions

Debate between Lord Ravensdale and Lord Duncan of Springbank
Lord Ravensdale Portrait Lord Ravensdale (CB)
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I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper. In so doing, I declare my interest as an engineer in the energy industry, as set out in the register.

Lord Duncan of Springbank Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Northern Ireland Office (Lord Duncan of Springbank) (Con)
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My Lords, a substantial increase in low-carbon generation will be needed to reduce our emissions to net zero by 2050. Nuclear power currently provides a fifth of our generation and will have an important role in securing a low-cost, stable, reliable low-carbon system by 2050. The Government will publish an energy White Paper in 2020, which will provide further detail of the necessary transformation of our energy system.

Lord Ravensdale Portrait Lord Ravensdale
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My Lords, I thank the Minister for his response. Our current nuclear fleet is approaching the end of its working life and only a single new station is being built. We need much more than that to provide additional zero-carbon firm power and reduce the risk of not meeting net zero by 2050. Does the Minister agree that a key means of doing this at least cost is to focus on replication: building a number of the same design to learn lessons and gain efficiencies, rather than using a wide range of designs, as per the previous strategy? Can he confirm that the Government are prioritising a decision on the financing of new nuclear to enable the industry to move forward?

Lord Duncan of Springbank Portrait Lord Duncan of Springbank
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The simple answer to that question is yes, but more details are required. The first thing to remember is that by 2030 all but one nuclear power station will be closed.

The noble Lord’s second point is correct: we do need replication on a common theme to help us, but there are other factors too, not least of which is experienced management in the construction industry and sometimes constructing nuclear reactors in greater numbers on the same site. Each of these can make a significant difference, and in order for us to increase capacity we need, in the energy White Paper, to give serious consideration to them, at which point the decision-making will be made clear.

Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Debate between Lord Ravensdale and Lord Duncan of Springbank
Tuesday 29th October 2019

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Lord Duncan of Springbank Portrait Lord Duncan of Springbank
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We are anchored to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and we have our own climate change committee putting the science at the heart of our work. However, the challenge we face is that we alone cannot bring about the necessary steps, so this must be a global endeavour. We are living through a new geological age which has been termed the Anthropocene—we are bringing about change in our very own environment.

Lord Ravensdale Portrait Lord Ravensdale (CB)
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My Lords, I declare an interest as an engineer in the nuclear industry. New nuclear and a reset of the strategy for achieving it is critical to zero carbon by 2050, being the only mature option for the zero-carbon baseload or non-variable power. Can the Minister provide some assurance that the Government will maintain their focus on new nuclear initiatives such as investment in small modular reactors and the regulated asset based funding model to enable new nuclear beyond Hinkley to move forward?

Lord Duncan of Springbank Portrait Lord Duncan of Springbank
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I am happy to assure the noble Lord that nuclear will remain part of our strategy. It is indeed a low-carbon approach. We are strongly committed to small modular reactors and right now we need a baseload to complement our renewable electricity supply.