Why is RAB being pursued for new nuclear

Nuclear generation has experienced a stop-start approach to investment in GB since the then Labour government put it back on the policy agenda in the early 2000s. Even with the addressing of environmental and operational concerns to the satisfaction of policymakers and regulators, its high capital costs made it require policy intervention to confirm development. After pressing go on Hinkley Point C using a Contract for Difference (CfD) mechanism that repaid the investors after production started, concerns about affordability from both consumer and investor perspectives stalled further progress.

A new mechanism for the sector, the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model was confirmed last year as a mechanism that might offset these concerns and enable the UK government to deliver on its commitment to decide on another new nuclear power station during the current Parliament. That new station is expected to be Sizewell C and the RAB model is expected to deliver lower costs by increasing investor certainty on anticipated revenues.

In this blog, we explore the impacts of the shift to the RAB model on potential nuclear build and modelled a range of scenarios using our Benchmark Power Curve (BPC).

If you are interested in learning more about potential impacts of RAB or have an opinion about any of the above, we would love to hear from you at m.qvist@cornwall-insight.com and t.edwards@a-ferguson

To keep reading, please log in to your account or sign up for free

Related thinking

Commercial and market outlook

Australian Power Price Trends to 2041

This report provides captured power price trends for the Queensland energy market (neutral case in line with AEMO's ISP Progressive Change scenario) from 2022 up to 2041 using outputs from Cornwall Insight Australia’s latest NEM Benchmark Power Curve (BPC), published on 26 October 2022. We hope this information is of...

Energy Market Design

Financing Net Zero: A (revenue) cap on UK merchant financing opportunities?

On 13 October 2022, we hosted the latest instalment of our ‘Financing Net Zero’ webinar series. The session, sponsored by Shoosmiths, focused on opportunities and challenges for merchant financed renewable projects amid the current wholesale price volatility.   In recent years, due to the increasing success-rate and profitability of renewable projects,...

Regulation and policy

Government to consult on the introduction of Cost-Plus-Revenue Limit

The government issued its Energy Prices Bill on 12 October. The bill will put in law a number of the already-announced mechanisms that will be used to support households and businesses this winter including the Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. Also announced alongside this is the...

Energy storage and flexibility

From zero to hero: Can CfDs split markets and reduce costs this winter?

Given media comment on the imposition of a revenue cap for low carbon generators instead of migration of existing projects onto a CfD, please find below a blog published by Cornwall Insight three weeks ago. Not only did this note the possibility of the revenue cap being a fall back...

Energy Market Design

How does REMA impact energy generation, flexibility and consumers?

The Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) is the largest review programme of GB electricity market arrangements for a generation. It comes at a time when European energy markets are suffering extreme turmoil. Depending on the outcome there could be significant implications for generators, flexibility providers, and, indirectly, consumers. REMA...

Energy Market Design

REMA: electricity market design choices

Electricity markets will serve as the foundation for the future GB energy system.  This article examines some of the market design decisions that will be considered by the Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA). Market design goals At its most simple, a well-functioning market will attract enough potential “buyers” and...

Low carbon generation

Head to Head: CfD vs RESS

2022 has been busy for renewable developers in Great Britain and Ireland, with both the fourth allocation round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme and the second round of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) concluding this summer. We compared the latest results of the CfD and RESS schemes...

Low carbon generation

Energy System Reform: Ofgem shares plans for Britain’s energy system

Against the backdrop of record high and volatile energy prices, Ofgem set out on 8 July its view on key aspects of the GB energy system where it considers significant reform is required to deliver a resilient, low cost, low carbon energy sector. Recent developments in the energy market, such...