If a new fleet of nuclear power plants is to be part of the UK's future energy solution then the biggest problem to overcome will be the cost of construction. However, energy minister Malcolm Wicks has suggested that carbon pricing could be the answer.

In the past the high set-up costs for nuclear power was largely shouldered by the state through public funding. However, while appearing to support the nuclear option, current UK leader Tony Blair also seems to be keen for public money to not be involved.

To satisfy both goals Malcolm Wicks has proposed carbon pricing, the Guardian has reported. The energy minister believes the system will attract private investment in nuclear power because it pushes the price up for ‘dirtier’ carbon-sourced energy, therefore making it less attractive to consumers.

Mr Wicks is also confident that such a system would equally promote renewable energy options.