The government and French energy giant EDF are set to sign the key contract for the new £18bn Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. EDF boss Jean-Bernard Levy is expected to join high ranking officials from the UK, France and China at the behind-closed-doors ceremony in London. Earlier this month the government gave the go-ahead for the plant which will power nearly six million homes. It will be the UK’s first new nuclear plant in a generation. The signing ceremony is a second attempt at finalising the deal after Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly announced in July that she needed more time. With her approval now granted and the contracts updated, the Department for Business is expected to confirm the formal signing on social media on Thursday afternoon.
BBC 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Belfast Telegraph 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Reuters 28th Sept 2016 read more »
The Green party’s co-leader Caroline Lucas has written to business secretary Greg Clark, objecting to the sign-off on the basis that the National Audit Office has said public subsidies for electricity from Hinkley could rise from £6.1bn to £29.7bn. In the letter, Lucas says the change is a “significant deviation” on the cost of the project and that there is a “strong case” for a revised estimate to be put before parliament. The plant, which will meet 7% of the UK’s energy needs, is to be built near the existing Hinkley Point B station in Somerset and will run for 60 years. The project is set to cost £18bn and is scheduled for completion in 2023. It emerged on Wednesday that Areva, the EDF-owned firm due to build the reactor, was facing court action over the EPR it is building in Finland, which is a decade behind schedule. Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima said it was seeking legal assurances that the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor would be completed on schedule in 2018. The executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, said: “On the eve of the official signing of the Hinkley agreement, this is a cautionary tale that should make our government think twice before putting pen to paper. The UK government is about to sign away billions of pounds of billpayers’ money to a project bedevilled by legal, financial and technical hurdles. “Theresa May cannot build a 21st-century industrial strategy around an outdated, dodgy, and ludicrously expensive technology.”
Guardian 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Britons think ministers should focus on upgrading the country’s broadband network ahead of airport expansion, the HS2 high-speed rail project or the Hinkley Point nuclear plant, a poll suggests. Half of British adults thought an upgrade to the national network would be beneficial to them or their family, compared to 16% for Hinkley, 11% for a new runway in the south-east and 9% for HS2, the ComRes survey found.
Mirror 28th Sept 2016 read more »
Going ahead with the Hinkley Point C nuclear project is the right decision, according to the former Energy Secretary Ed Davey. Speaking to ELN at the Carbon Trust ‘Clean Tech Investor Forum’ event yesteday, he said nuclear investment is the right decision as it is not yet certain whether renewables and storage will be able to reliably cover the UK’s base-load in the near future. As one of the original brokers of the Hinkley deal, Mr Davey reinforced his belief in the project: “Hinkley, I think is critical for a diverse low carbon approach. I know there are many people who think it’s expensive, I would tend to disagree… My view always was that if we are really going to get to the low carbon future, getting rid of all gas, all coal, replacing our aging nuclear fleet, it can’t all be done by renewables.”
Energy Live News 28th Sept 2016 read more »