He has not even become Prime Minister, but already Gordon Brown is following in the familiar footsteps of his predecessor.

Later this week, Britain’s Prime Minister-elect will give the green light to plans for a dramatic renewal of the nuclear power programme that will see the building of up to eight new stations, possibly within 15 years.

The Observer newspaper reported yesterday that Brown will offer unequivocal backing to Alistair Darling, the Trade and Industry Secretary, who will push for the nuclear plants in the Government’s White Paper to be published on Wednesday. Darling will make clear that Britain will have to embark on a major renewal of nuclear power if it is to guarantee power supplies while delivering a 60 per cent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. ‘This is a really urgent problem,’ Darling told The Observer.

A major push to harness wave power and build hundreds of new wind farms – many of which will be based offshore – are also likely to be approved. ‘A mix of energy supply is right,’ Darling said of his plans to boost low-carbon energy, particularly offshore projects where there are fewer planning hurdles.