Evening Lecture – The UK’s Need for New Nuclear and the Challenge of Financing Projects
Every Government has to deal with the Energy Trilemma of Security of Supply, Affordability and Sustainability. For the UK, facing narrowing generation margins, consumer resistance to energy price increases and ambitious daunting emission reduction targets, new nuclear generation has been seen as part of the solution.
But new nuclear projects in many countries have a chequered history.
Investors are scrutinizing the scale, timescales, regulatory hurdles and project risks. Nuclear project risk is often as political in nature as it is technical and financial. As a result, to successfully build and finance nuclear power programmes, governments have to be involved in hedging nuclear project risk.
In the UK three consortia are taking forward nuclear new build – EDF Energy at Hinkley Point C; Horizon at Wylfa; and NuGen at Moorside. Will the British model work? And will the UK’s model of 16 GW of new nuclear materialize before its ageing stations retire?
Robert ArmourSenior Counsel at Gowling WLG
Robert Armour is Senior Counsel at Gowling WLG, an international legal firm, based in their London office. He has extensive experience in the power sector, particularly nuclear, renewables and smart grids.
From 1990 to 2009, Robert was General Counsel of British Energy Group or its predecessor companies. He played a central role in British Energy’s restructuring and flotation in 1996, its groundbreaking AmerGen joint venture to acquire and operate US nuclear power stations, and its acquisition of the Bruce Power nuclear station in Ontario. He led the Company team in the Government backed solvent restructuring of British Energy between 2002-05 culminating in the reflotation of the Group in 2005 after tortuous negotiations and divestments. He led the Company’s communications and Government relations functions in the decade up to the sale of British Energy to EDF in 2009 for £12.5bn and was part of the team leading the turnaround of the Group’s operational performance post 2004.
In 2010, Robert joined Gowlings nuclear energy practice, based in London. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the UK’s Nuclear Liabilities Fund as well as of several renewable energy companies. In 2013-14, he Chaired the Scottish Government’s Energy Regulation Expert Commission.