One of Europe’s largest renewable energy investors is considering creating a nuclear investment fund to take a stake in three of EDF’s nuclear plants, it has been reported.
Greencoat Capital, which currently has more than £6bn under management and plans to grow over the coming years, is considering taking a stake in the proposed Sizewell C plant in Suffolk, according to The Times.
The fund could also be invested in the ongoing Hinkley Point C build in Somerset and the existing Sizewell B plant.
The newspaper quoted its founder, Richard Nourse, speaking at an energy research conference, stating: “My feeling is that there’s a huge amount of money required. When you need a huge amount of money, you normally have to price it to go, and therefore it will potentially be an interesting investment.
“Given nuclear will be a fearsomely complex and technically demanding area for UK pension funds to evaluate risk, we see an opportunity for Greencoat to be a trusted adviser and manager of funds.”
A national planning decision on Sizewell C – a £20bn construction job – is now expected on Friday, after being delayed several times, including earlier this month.
There have been widespread reports that EDF’s partner in the scheme, Chinese-government company CGN, will not be allowed to remain a partner due to security concerns, making the need for alternate investors even more urgent.
Funding decisions have delayed and halted nuclear builds previously, including Hitachi subsidiary Horizon’s delivery of Wylfa in North Wales. The government has long proposed a Regulated Asset Base model approach, where consumers fund initial construction costs through their energy bills, to take forward future nuclear builds.