Press Releases

Nuclear and wind give North East cleanest power in England

03 February 2021

Nuclear power essential to emissions reduction

Nuclear power and wind farms have given the North East the cleanest electricity in England, according to analysis conducted by the Nuclear Industry Association of figures published by the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

North East England had a mean daily carbon intensity of 47g, lower than any other region in England, and second lowest in the UK after Southern Scotland. The North East also hit the UK’s 2030 electricity decarbonisation target of 50-100g CO2 per kWh of electricity on 95% of days, better than any other region in the whole UK.

Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station, the North East’s sole generating nuclear plant, produced 8.5 TWh of electricity in 2020, saving almost three million tonnes in emissions. The station remains one of the most productive in the country.

Commenting on the analysis, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said,

“Nuclear power, in partnership with renewables, is essential to reaching net zero. We should re-create what we have achieved in North East England across the country: getting nuclear and renewables working together to cut emissions. To do that, we need to build new nuclear power stations urgently alongside renewable capacity. Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station has given a great service to the region and the country, but it is due to retire in 2024. Nuclear investment, as part of a robust zero-carbon mix, will kickstart a green recovery and our transition to a green economy.”

The Climate Change Committee estimated in its Sixth Carbon Budget that without new projects, zero-carbon generation will fall from 130 TWh in 2020 to just 90 TWh in 2030 because of nuclear fleet retirements.


Notes to Editors

  • Full statistical annexes are provided alongside this release.
  • National Grid ESO Control Room publishes daily updates here: showing the carbon intensity of the grid in different parts of Great Britain. Northern Ireland is not part of the National Grid.
  • Nuclear power has saved over 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions in the UK over the lifetime of the industry, more than any other electricity source.
  • Hunterston B, Hinkley Point B, Heysham 1 and Hartlepool nuclear power stations are all scheduled to move into defuelling by the end of March 2024, representing more than 4 GW of nominal generating capacity.
  • All of the UK’s 7 Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (AGR) stations are due to retire by 2030. Of the existing fleet, only Sizewell B, with 1.2 GW of capacity, is scheduled to be operational after 2030.

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About the Nuclear Industry Association

As the trade association for the civil nuclear industry in the UK, the Nuclear Industry Association represents more than 250 companies across the UK’s nuclear supply chain.

For further information, please contact:
Lincoln Hill
Director of Policy and Communications, the Nuclear Industry Association
44 (0)7554 701533