The British government and EDF, the French energy company, signed the main contract for the new £18 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power station yesterday. Jean-Bernard Levy, EDF chief executive, joined officials from the UK, France and China at a private ceremony in London. The signing was also attended by Greg Clark, the business secretary, Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s foreign minister, Nur Bekri, China’s National Energy Administration director, and He Yu, chairman of CGN, the Chinese group that will have a 66 per cent stake in the joint venture. The government gave the green light for the power station in Somerset this month. It will provide electricity for nearly six million homes when it is completed in early 2020 and is the UK’s first new nuclear plant in a generation. Yesterday’s signing was the second attempt at closing the deal after Theresa May unexpectedly announced in July that she wanted to study the contracts more closely. Mr Clark said it was a “crucial moment” adding that Hinkley played “an important part in ensuring our future low-carbon energy security”. CGN said it was delighted to sign all final agreements for the Hinkley Point C project and a number of other agreements relating to Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex with EDF and the UK government.
Times 30th Sept 2016 read more »
The Hinkley Point C nuclear plant will saddle UK consumers with higher energy bills than building gas power stations, the Government has admitted, as it signed a legally-binding contract to subsidise the £18bn project. An official assessment claimed the Franco-Chinese project to build Britain’s first nuclear plant in a generation represented “value for money”, despite being more expensive than gas, because it would help meet climate change targets. A series of deals signed between the Government, France’s EDF and China’s state nuclear firm CGN at a ceremony in London marked the final go-ahead for the Somerset power plant and also fired the formal starting gun on Chinese efforts to build their own reactor in Essex. Writing in the Telegraph, He Yu, chairman of CGN, said the companies were “cementing the golden era between China and the UK” and attacked the “baseless and inaccurate” criticism of Chinese involvement in UK nuclear power. He said he hoped the UK could “learn from” CGN as it imported its own nuclear technology and know-how. The company plans to begin the safety approval process for its reactor “immediately” and aims to complete it within five years. Among hundreds of pages of documents issued on Thursday afternoon – some heavily redacted – ministers faced a series of questions over a cursory three-page assessment concluding that the deal would add £12 to energy bills in 2030 but was “value for money”. The assessment said Hinkley was “cost-competitive to other options for delivering power” despite its own assessment that the “comparable cost” of new gas in the 2020s could be as low as £45/MWh, solar as low as £65/MWh and onshore wind as low as £49/MWh. If Hinkley was delayed by three years and gas plants built instead then by 2030 the UK would be Â£3.2bn better off and energy bills would be “£6 cheaper per year”, it concluded.
Telegraph 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Guardian 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Redactions aside, there were a few eye-catching statements in the document dump. Most startling perhaps was the UK government admitting that the renewable energy alternatives to Hinkley could, in fact, be cheaper.
Energydesk 29th Sept 2016 read more »
Following the news that the UK Government will today sign contracts with EDF Energy for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, the Stop Hinkley Campaign have responded branding the deal “an enormous error of judgement” on the part of both EDF Energy and the UK Government. “We will be paying the bill for this folly for decades to come. It’s a bad deal for consumers; it’s a bad deal for Somerset; it’s a bad deal for the country and it’s a bad deal for the planet,” said Stop Hinkley spokesperson Roy Pumfrey. “Hinkley Point C will be out-of date long before it generates a single kilowatt, and yet after today we will still have to pay for it.” “Most of the Hinkley jobs will be abroad, and meanwhile Somerset will fall behind other parts of the country which have a more forward thinking attitude to renewable energy and the transition to a sustainable energy future.” “While other parts of the world are making fuel poverty a thing of the past and generating jobs from cheap solar and wind energy, Somerset will be left with a legacy of nuclear waste which we will be expected to look after on the Hinkley site for the next 160 years.”
Blue & Green Tomorrow 28th Sept 2016 read more »
New fears over Hinkley as scientists warn risks of nuclear power plants are seriously underestimated. Scientists warn true cost of Hinkley Point could be much higher than £18bn. Blamed underestimated costs on conflict of interest from industry bodies. Fukushima-scale nuclear disaster ‘more probably than not,’ analysis warns. University of Sussex report calls for greater transparency from watchdog
Daily Mail 19th Sept 2016 read more »