EDF Energy has insisted it will take a decision to go ahead with new reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset but was unwilling to say exactly when despite being pressed by exasperated MPs. The French government, which owns 85% of EDF, has previously said it was aiming for the start of May but Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of the UK arm of EDF, was unwilling to set a timescale. “I can’t give you this morning a precise date. I just have to give the one provided by the [French] economics ministry,” said de Rivaz after repeated requests to name a date by MPs on the energy and climate change select committee. A succession of expert witnesses at the select committee hearing lined up to pan the Hinkley project saying it should be scrapped for costing too much.Peter Atherton, a utility analyst with Jefferies investment bank, said the French had got a “great, great deal” from the UK bill paper via the government’s subsidy regime, adding “once it’s operational that power station is going to be gold”. Simon Taylor, a specialist in nuclear financing and a lecturer at Cambridge University, said Hinkley “looks poor value for money” and it would be best if the French government pulled the plug on it. Doug Parr, policy director from Greenpeace, said there were cheaper and cleaner ways of meeting energy security and carbon targets via renewable energy and storage. “If it is built, it will be an act of political will of the UK and French governments … [it was now] beyond any commercial logic.”
Guardian 23rd March 2016 read more »
Construction News Briefing 23rd March 2016 read more »
Reuters 23rd March 2016 read more »
Western Daily Press 23rd March 2016 read more »
FT 23rd March 2016 read more »
In at times farcical scenes, Mr de Rivaz instead said MPs were making a “very reasonable assumption” that it should be by mid-May. Asked by Conservative MP James Heappey why it was “reasonable for us to assume it but not reasonable for you to just say it”, Mr de Rivaz responded: “I am very pleased to give you the privilege to make the assumption and to draw the right conclusion as you have done.”
Telegraph 23rd March 2016 read more »
MPs today grilled EDF Energy supremo Vincent de Rivaz over the troubled Hinkley C nuclear plant in Somerset. He insisted that the project was definitely going ahead – but refused to say when the ‘final investment decision’ was due. Confused? Bewildered? Frustrated? So were the MPs. But one thing is clear as day. The Hinkley C project is grossly, monstrously uneconomic and the only way it can be financed is with massive public subsidies and preferential ‘investments’ from the French, British and Chinese governments. No genuinely private investor is willing to put up a penny.
Ecologist 23rd March 2016 read more »
The Hinkley Point C nuclear project in the UK will “clearly and categorically” go ahead with a final investment decision at the beginning of May, EDF Energy chief executive officer Vincent de Rivaz told a parliamentary committee in London today. EDF Energy chief executive officer Vincent de Rivaz
NucNet 23rd March 2016 read more »
Should an indebted French utility company invest in the construction of the world’s priciest nuclear reactors at Britain’s Hinkley Point? France has said its energy giant EDF will make a final decision in early May.
Deutsche Welle 23rd March 2016 read more »
“I will start by saying clearly and categorically that Hinkley Point C will go ahead,” declared Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of EDF Energy, the UK end of the French state-owned company that is supposed to be building the £18bn nuclear plant in Somerset. So that’s a definite yes? Not exactly. It’s a definite maybe because, as de Rivaz was obliged to concede in the next breath to MPs on the energy select committee, he cannot say when an investment decision will be made. That is because events are out of his and EDF’s hands. Everything depends on the willingness of the French government to bail out an overindebted company that already faces the costly challenge of upgrading France’s nuclear generating capacity. The French economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, this week floated the notion of supplying the funds and making a final investment decision on Hinkley in early May, but it was unclear whether this “deadline” has any greater force than the others that have come and gone. The best thing the UK government could do, as argued here for ages, is to call the whole thing off and write a better energy policy for the 2020s. EDF’s European pressurised reactor model is unproven and the versions under construction in Finland and France are nine and six years behind schedule respectively. Not only this, but the cost of Hinkley is hideous for future UK consumers. The chancellor, George Osborne, unwisely attached too much of his personal political capital to Hinkley. But even he should realise that this farce cannot be prolonged beyond May. Set a deadline and stick to it.
Guardian 23rd March 2016 read more »
Angus MacNeil MP, chair of the Commons Energy and Climate Change committee, tells Sky’s Ian King his view on evidence given by EDF’s UK boss Vincent de Rivaz over its much-delayed announcement to give the go-ahead for the nuclear plant.
Sky News 23rd March 2016 read more »
Molly has endorsed the views of leading energy experts who have called for the Hinkley C nuclear project to be scrapped. The group told MPs on the Energy and Climate Change committee today that Hinkley is ‘very bad value for money’, and it was time to ‘pull the plug’ on the deal.
Mollt Scott Cato MEP 23rd March 2016 read more »