An obstacle blocking approval for the Hinkley Point nuclear reactor was lifted yesterday as ministers appeared to change the decision criteria. Greg Clark, the business secretary, suggested yesterday that the future of Bradwell would play no part in the decision on Hinkley, thereby removing an obstacle to the deal. A government spokesman said that no decisions have been taken on the Somerset project. Other considerations, such as value for money and the cost to consumers, will also play a part in Mrs May’s decisions. Last October, when David Cameron was prime minister, the government signed an agreement with China over future nuclear co-operation. The document said that the government welcomed the proposal of a Chinese-led project at Bradwell. The agreement suggested that the Chinese company would submit its plans for the new reactor by the end of this year, once Hinkley had been signed.
Times 14th Sept 2016 read more »
The Government is poised to give the green light to the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. Downing Street and the new Department for Business and Energy are working flat out so that an agreement can be announced before the end of the week. The Prime Minister wanted to announce on Monday that the project was back on but had to postpone the plans when the Cabinet minister in charge of the project said he had some last minute concerns. A call was arranged between Mrs May and the French President François Hollande on Monday afternoon but it’s understood the Business Secretary, Greg Clarke – whose department is responsible for Hinkley Point – raised some questions at the eleventh hour. It forced Downing Street to postpone the planned phone conversation with the Elysée Palace and it delayed the announcement that the project was back on track.
ITV 14th Sept 2016 read more »
Theresa May will finally allow the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear power plant to go ahead this week, it has been reported. The Prime Minister had delayed the decision on whether to give the flagship energy project the go-ahead until she had looked over the plans personally. A No 10 source has dismissed news of the go-ahead as speculation and insists no green light has yet been given. It comes despite reports that Downing Street and the Department for Business and Energy are working “flat out” to reach an agreement before the end of this week.
Telegraph 14th Sept 2016 read more »
Public support for plans to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant has fallen to an all-time low, a new poll has shown, ahead of Whitehall’s widely anticipated decision on the project. The survey of 2,000 people, by Populus on behalf of Greenpeace, showed a quarter are in favour of Hinkley, while 44 per cent oppose it. Previous polls this April and in October 2015 put support at 33 per cent and 29 per cent respectively. John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace, said: “The public knows what the government has yet to learn — investment in renewables should be prioritised over nuclear power. The government shouldn’t risk taxpayers’ money on old fashioned, flawed technology. It should be investing in the future. Advances in renewable energy like offshore wind, alongside battery storage, energy efficiency innovations and wires that carry electricity under the sea connecting us to other countries are the future for keeping the lights on.”
City AM 13th Sept 2016 read more »
Energy Voice 13th Sept 2016 read more »
Greenpeace Press Release 13th Sept 2016 read more »
Four reasons why Hinkley will go-ahead. First, there has been the lack of anti-Hinkley spinning from the new brooms at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Last week, the Secretary of State, Greg Clark, and senior civil servants hosted journalists for a get-to-know-you session. If Hinkley was dead you can be sure that the subliminal chat would have been how the energy market had changed, new options were available, delays at other EDF sites were a big worry etc. There was none of that. Secondly, EDF has already spent £2.5bn on developing the project. Clearing earth, building a concrete factory and providing top-notch bat and hedgehog facilities doesn’t come cheap. Does the government really want to face a compensation claim from EDF? If so, that could mean spending £2.5bn on NOT building infrastructure. Third, Theresa May has had a chance to deal with China’s top brass directly. Meekly nodding through a project developed by two previous governments without acknowledging the parties had changed would arguably show weakness. With China now added to the project, it seems reasonable to want a personal chat with Mr Xi to remind him who the customer is. Fourth, EDF went to the trouble of announcing a Welsh steelmaker as the preferred bidder on a £100m steel order for Hinkley just last week. Granted, that may have been another nudge from EDF and the subcontractors to the government to highlight the benefits to a particularly beleaguered industry of Hinkley. BUT after the embarrassment last time, one feels that it wouldn’t be worth going through the motions unless they were fairly confident.
BBC 13th Sept 2016 read more »
French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said she understands that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May needs to take her time to decide whether the new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant should go ahead as talks between the two countries on the project continue.
Bloomberg 13th Sept 2016 read more »