Stephen Thomas (professor)

For other people with the same name, see Stephen Thomas (disambiguation).

Stephen Thomas is a professor at the University of Greenwich Business School, working in the area of energy policy. Before moving to the University of Greenwich in 2001, Thomas worked for 22 years at the University of Sussex.

Research work

Stephen Thomas is professor at the University of Greenwich Business School, and has been a researcher in the area of energy policy for over 25 years. He specialises in the economics and policy of nuclear power, liberalisation and privatisation of the electricity and gas industries, and trade policy on network energy industries. Professor Thomas serves on the editorial boards several periodicals including Energy Policy, Utilities Policy, Energy and Environment, and International Journal of Regulation and Governance.[1]

Before moving to the University of Greenwich in 2001, Thomas worked for 22 years at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex.

Views on nuclear power

Thomas has been critical of the idea that the nuclear power industry is undergoing a "nuclear renaissance". In May 2009 he said:

We've been waiting in vain on a 'Nuclear Renaissance' in Europe since the early 1990s. Even before the recent collapse in energy prices and the financial downturn, it was clear that all of the talk of a new resurgence in the prospects for nuclear reactors was just that: talk.[2]

In terms of the nuclear power industry in the USA, Thomas said, in May 2009:

U.S. efforts to revive nuclear ordering, begun in 2002, were originally expected to get a new plant on-line by 2010. Even if there are no further delays, the earliest a new plant could be on-line is now looking closer to 2020. In the meantime, the nuclear industry has upped its demands for taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to build demonstration plants from about $5 billion to more than $100 billion. The prospect that these demonstration plants would lead to unsubsidized ordering now looks fanciful.[2]

Regarding the UK nuclear power industry, on 20 November 2014, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

"If someone wants to make losses on [building nuclear] plants in Britain, well, good Luck to them." The UK "lost its nuclear industry probably 35 years ago, and I'm not sure we should be too worried about that – it's not an industry that's done well for us... The last reactors we exported were more than 50 years ago. ... We should be focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy, which is becoming cheaper while nuclear is becoming more expensive."

Selected publications

See also


  1. Professor Steve Thomas
  2. 1 2 The Myth of the European "Nuclear Renaissance"
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