Hinkley Point C is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK since 1995. The Committee is concerned consumers are locked into an expensive deal lasting 35 years and that the Government did not revisit the terms between the original decision to go ahead and now, despite estimated costs to the consumer having risen five-fold during that time. Over the life of the contract, consumers are left footing the bill and the poorest consumers will be hit hardest. Yet in all the negotiations no part of Government was really championing the consumer interest. As the financial case for Hinkley has weakened, the Government has talked up the boost to jobs and skills that Hinkley will generate. But the Government has no clear plan of how these so-called wider benefits will be achieved, or crucially how it will measure success. We have seen other large infrastructure projects promise a lot of jobs and skills and not deliver. The Government must act now to firm up its vague promises of wider benefits so UK workers, supply chain businesses and apprentices can see tangible benefits. With Brexit looming delivering a plan for the wider benefits has even more urgency as we cannot be sure that we will attract the necessary skills from overseas.
Parliament 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
A group of MPs has said that the £18bn cost of the UK’s new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will hit the country’s poorest the hardest. The Public Accounts Committee said that households had been “locked into an expensive deal lasting 35 years”. In a report, it said there were no plans for Hinkley Point to provide wider benefits such as jobs and skills. But EDF, the French firm funding two thirds of the project, said it would bring “huge benefits” to Britain. The Public Accounts Committee said: “Over the life of the contract, consumers are left footing the bill and the poorest consumers will be hit hardest. Yet in all the negotiations no part of government was really championing the consumer interest.” The committee’s chair Meg Hillier said: “Bill-payers have been dealt a bad hand by the government in its approach to this project. “Its blinkered determination to agree the Hinkley deal, regardless of changing circumstances, means that for years to come energy consumers will face costs running to many times the original estimate. “It doesn’t know what UK workers and business will gain from this project, and appears to have no coherent idea of what to do about it.”
BBC 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
The Government has been accused of “blinkered determination” to secure the country’s first new nuclear power station in a generation at any price. The accusation was made in a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of MPs, which said it was clear households had been dealt a “bad hand” by the cost of the so-called strike price – the fixed cost for electricity generated.
Sky News 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
The government has saddled families with inflated household bills for decades because of the poor deal it negotiated over the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in Somerset, MPs have said. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised a contract awarded to EDF to build the first new nuclear station in Britain since 1995 as too expensive, with the burden falling most heavily on poorer households. Meg Hillier, the committee’s chairwoman, accused the government of “grave strategic errors” in crafting the deal, which will leave consumers paying £30 billion in subsidies over 35 years — five times more than expected.
Times 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
UK made ‘grave strategic errors’ in Hinkley Point nuclear project
FT 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
Guardian 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
Energy Voice 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
Politics Home 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
Morning Star 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
Greenpeace UK’s head of energy, Hannah Martin, backed the PAC’s conclusions. She urged ministers to rethink the “uneconomic and unnecessary” Hinkley nuclear deal, pointing to the lower costs of developing offshore wind in comparison. “Today’s school leavers will still be paying for this as they approach pension age and all polling evidence suggests they would much rather the Conservative government back renewables,” she said in a statement. “The government must protect bill-payers – and with a mixture of affordable wind and solar power along with battery storage and interconnectors with the continent, there should be nothing stopping them.”
Business Green 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
“The government last formally considered its strategic case for nuclear in 2008.” It’s from today’s public accounts committee demolition job on the £20 billion Hinkley Point C: the financially radioactive nuke set to cost consumers an extra £30 billion in higher bills. And all built on the back of ministerial complacency and antediluvian policymaking. As the report points out, in 2008 the government put the cost of electricity from new nuclear at £48 per megawatt hour: a competitive figure for secure, low-carbon baseload energy. If only. Along came Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011, ratcheting up safety costs. And by the time David Cameron agreed 2013’s Hinkley deal with France’s EDF and the Chinese, the going rate was a guaranteed, index-linked £92.50/MWh — at 2012 prices. Still, ministers justified it because the only way for energy prices was up. How wrong was that? Today, they are about £45/MWh. Meantime, the cost of rival technologies has plunged: the latest guaranteed price for offshore wind is £57.50/MWh. Yet, despite the evidence, Theresa May signed us up to 2013’s deal. The upshot? A particularly “bad hand” for consumers, in the words of Meg Hillier, the committee’s chairwoman.
Times 22nd Nov 2017 read more »
Government urged to re-evaluate the case for nuclear power. Parliamentary committee recommends ministers look again at the strategic case before giving the green light for new stations. The government should re-evaluate the strategic case for supporting nuclear power before giving the green light to the rest of its new fleet of atomic stations, a heavyweight parliamentary committee has urged. In its new report on the Hinkley Point C project, published this morning (22 November), the public accounts committee (PAC) recommends that the BEIS (business, energy and industrial strategy) department should publish this re-evaluated case before deals for any further nuclear stations are agreed. The committee says that the department pressed on with its plans for Hinkley, which involved locking electricity consumers into higher bills with subsidies for the project’s backers, despite a weakening in the financial case for nuclear power. And it claims the government did not attempt to renegotiate the deal after agreeing provisional terms for the station in 2013, because it was concerned that the project’s investors would not accept a lower return on the project and the deal would collapse. The PAC says the government should have tried harder to establish whether these backers, EDF and Chinese government-owned CGN, would have accepted a lower figure than the £92.50/ MwH strike price, which guarantees the minimum the plant will be paid to generate electricity.
Utility Week 21st Nov 2017 read more »
Electricity Bills will rise after grave errors in Hinkley C deal. Consumers have been dealt a ‘bad hand’ by the Government over the near £20 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, facing costs running to many times the original estimate, it has been warned. A committee of MPs voiced concerns that consumers are ‘locked into’ an expensive deal lasting 35 years, questioning why the Government did not revisit the terms between the original go ahead in 2013 and now.
Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News 22nd Nov 2017 read more »