Plans for Hinkley Point are creating turmoil within EDF, which also needs to spend €50 billion ($56.5 billion) to renovate its network of French nuclear reactors by 2025. In March, EDF’s chief financial officer quit rather than continue with the U.K. project. Ratings agencies have warned of a possible credit downgrade, and employee unions are threatening to strike. Private investors, who own 15 percent of EDF shares, are spooked: The stock is down 50 percent over the past year. On April 22, EDF said it plans to sell €4 billion in new shares to raise cash. News of the plan caused shares to drop even further. Even in France, says Simon Taylor a professor at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School who specializes in energy finance: “there are voices in the nuclear industry saying, ‘We must come up with a plan B.’ ”Public support for the project in Britain has fallen to 33 percent, down from 57 percent in 2013, according to a YouGov poll released on April 26 commissioned by New Nuclear Watch Europe, a pro-nuclear group. Britain can offset the closure of old nuclear and coal plants and put off the need for new reactors for another decade by increasing its investment in renewable energy, says Deepa Venkateswaran, a utility analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London. New, less expensive technologies might be developed to store energy from wind and solar, helping to ensure reliable supply. Building Hinkley Point now, she says, “is not make-or-break.” “The decision-makers on both sides (France and Britain) are totally underestimating” the risks, says Mycle Schneider, an independent nuclear analyst in Paris. “But the farther they go on, the more difficult it is to pull out.”
Bloomberg 29thApril 2016 read more »
EDF Energy continuously monitors public opinion towards nuclear energy, our nuclear power stations around the UK, and our nuclear new build project at Hinkley Point C. This research by independent polling company ICM Unlimited continues to indicate stable levels of support for the Hinkley Point C project, as well as existing nuclear power. A poll published by The Times (29th April 2016 ) on public support for Hinkley Point C only uses results collected on two separate dates, rather than a long term series of polling data. One of the dates chosen by their poll coincides with a particular spike in support for the project that followed the agreement with the UK Government on the Hinkley Point C Contract for Difference in October 2013. More accurate analysis requires multiple polling dates that can take into account short-term changes in support.
EDF Energy 29th April 2016 read more »