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Sizewell C gains final approval as Boris Johnson’s final act

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Boris Johnson has used one of his last acts as the UK’s Prime Minister to give final approval to the Sizewell C nuclear power plant. 

There was no doubt that Sizewell C would receive final approval, with Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng having already given his seal of approval in late July. However, the financial support package still needed to be signed off by the UK’s Prime Minister, which has now been done, with Sizewell C receiving £700 million in Government support.

That paves the way for Sizewell C to move onto the next step, which is the submission of a more detailed planning application and dealing with any appeals, before construction commences at some point ‘before 2024’, according to EDF. 

Boris Johnson choosing to approve Sizewell C before leaving office is not exactly surprising in itself, with the Prime Minister hoping to be remembered for his green policies. In fact, while his premiership has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and scandals, Johnson’s commitment to the green revolution has helped the UK climb two places on the Environmental Performance Index, with it now considered the second greenest country in the world. 

However, the Government has also been criticised for its handling of the ongoing energy crisis. While the British Energy Security Bill promised new renewables and nuclear power, critics have argued that while long-term solutions were necessary, they should be paired with solutions that can be implemented in the near-term, such as incentives for domestic solar panels, insulation, or the wider roll-out of onshore wind — the cheapest form of electricity generation currently available. 

The job of solving the energy crisis will now go to the UK’s next Prime Minister, widely tipped to be Liz Truss. Rumours suggest that she will appoint Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor, meaning we’re unlikely to see any change in support for nuclear power in the UK, although Truss has also been criticised for her stance against solar farms. This has worried some that Truss won’t be as eager for a green revolution as her predecessor. 

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