New EDF nuclear plants finally approved by Energy Secretary Ed Davey

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Energy supplier EDF has officially been given planning permission for construction of a number of new nuclear power plants - the first to grace the UK in almost two decades.

The decision on whether to go ahead with the two power plants at Hinkley Point, Somerset, has been a particularly protracted affair with a number of delays, however Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, has finally given the plans the thumbs up.

Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, said: "The planning decision to give consent to Hinkley Point follows a rigorous examination from the Planning Inspectorate, and detailed analysis within my department.

"I am confident that the planning decision I have made is robust, evidence-based, compatible with the energy National Policy Statements and is in the best interests of the country."

EDF Energy chief executive, Vincent de Rivaz, said: "The success of this pioneering project will kick start the new nuclear programme in the UK and is expected to lead to lower costs for successive UK nuclear plants."

However, Mr De Rivaz also pointed out that no deal had yet been struck over the fees his firm would receive from the Government for producing the energy, a sticking point in discussions for a number of months.

He added: "To make this opportunity a reality, we need to reach agreement on the contract for difference for Hinkley Point C. Intensive discussions with the Government are taking place and agreement is still possible."

Aside from its quest to provide nuclear energy to UK households, EDF also participates in, among other things, the Government's Green Deal, a scheme which offers homeowners subsidies on things such as  replacement boilers and solar panels in order to improve the energy efficiency of their home, while also cutting down on their domestic carbon emissions.

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