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Energy research spending to be doubled

Investment in energy research is to be doubled in a move seen as a bonus for nuclear power.

Fiona Reilly, head of nuclear energy at PwC, said: “The Chancellor’s commitment to ‘doubling our spending on energy research with a major commitment to small modular nuclear reactors’ is welcome news to the nuclear industry and an important development for the country’s energy mix.

“The commitment to invest in small modular reactors is also of great significance to the UK’s engineering and manufacturing industries which, it is envisaged, will be significantly involved in the development of these technologies.

” Small modular reactors will provide greater flexibility for the nuclear industry to play its role in both the climate change debate and a safe clean supply of energy.”

Fergus EwingCommenting on the UK government’s decision to axe the £1bn grant for developing a new carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The UK Government’s decision to scrap its £1 billion Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) programme is a disgrace. It shows complete disregard for tackling climate change, utter indifference to developing the crucial new technologies that will cut emissions and is another UK Government hammer blow to energy generation in Scotland.

“Just last week the Secretary of State announced an energy strategy heavily reliant on gas, yet the Chancellor has slashed support for the only credible technology which can reduce emissions from large scale gas generation.

“The UK has 30% of Europe’s CO2 storage capacity alongside an oil and gas infrastructure which can be utilised for CCS. The CCS Commercialisation Programme has already been running for 10 years. – had the competition been allowed to run its course, the world’s first commercial scale gas powered CCS plant could have been built in Peterhead creating new jobs, blazing a trail for innovation and potentially attracting significant investment to the UK.

“This should have been a huge industrial opportunity. Instead the decision to pull the plug on the CCS programme, to meet a deeply flawed austerity agenda, is breathtakingly short-sighted, even for this UK Government.”

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