French utility EDF’s project to build two nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point, Britain should pour its first concrete in 2019 and a possible British exit from the European Union would not change the plan, its chief executive said on Tuesday.The 18 billion pound (23.26 billion euro) project was first announced in Oct. 2013 and EDF announced a partnership for it with Chinese utility CGN in Oct. 2015, but an investment decision has been delayed several times although EDF has said repeatedly a decision would come soon.”We have the intention to proceed rapidly with the investment decision for Hinkley Point,” EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Levy told reporters.He added that EDF had not yet finalised talks with its Chinese partners before the Chinese New Year break. “Today we estimate this final decision is very close,” he said.Levy said it would take about three years, possibly a bit more, of study and work with sub-contractors before EDF will begin building the first definitive structures on the Hinkley Point C site, though the company will do terracing and other preparatory work between now and then.”Definitive construction of what will be built on the site, what we call the first concrete, is on the horizon for 2019,” Levy said.Asked whether a possible British exit from the European Union could change the utility’s plan to go ahead with Hinkley Point, Levy said “No, we do not think so”.
Reuters 16th Feb 2016 read more »
Yesterday EDF’s chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy insisted the plant would get the go ahead soon. He said: ‘We have the intention to proceed rapidly with the investment decision for Hinkley Point. We estimate this final decision is very close.’ Levy said he expects the first construction on Hinkley to begin in three years’ time. And when asked if that plan would be affected if Britain votes to leave the European Union, he said: ‘No, we do not think so’.
Daily Mail 16th Feb 2016 read more »
Central Somerset Gazette 16th Feb 2016 read more »
EDF has admitted it is yet to finalise funding for its proposed Hinkley Point nuclear plant, as it announced it would extend the life of four of the UK’s ageing nuclear reactors by up to seven years. The French energy giant claimed a final investment decision on the £18bn project was “very close”, but disclosed that an agreement was yet to be confirmed with Chinese state nuclear corporation CGN, which is due to take a one-third stake in the Somerset plant. He also confirmed that EDF, which reported a 68pc drop in net profits and cut its dividend, was still looking at the “financial equation” for funding its own two-thirds stake in Hinkley, admitting: “We have a number of constraints.” A final investment decision on the project would follow “when all this is fully organised”, he said, claiming this was “just ahead of us”.Mr Levy also disclosed that even after a decision was taken, the “first concrete” – construction of the actual nuclear plant, rather than just preparatory work – would not begin until 2019.
Telegraph 16th Feb 2016 read more »
FT 16th Feb 2016 read more »
This week seemed to see a step-change in the debate over the UK’s first new nuclear site in 20 years. While Greenpeace went down the traditional route with a bold statement at the Houses of Parliament (see below), anti-nuclear protestors occupied EDF’s Cannington offices in a show of defiance against the scheme. But aside from the ever-more public demonstrations against the project, questions marks have grown ever bigger this week over the economic future of Hinkley. French energy utility EDF has continued to postpone making the final investment decision reportedly due to the small matter of stumping up the best part of £18 million for the project. the fact remains that the UK’s renewable energy policy may not be able to rely on nuclear in the way Rudd would like. The fact is the project may not be completed till 2030, by which time public support, which only stood at 54% at its height, will have dropped even more. The question is; what will UK solar look like by 2030? It’s hard to say, but the 3.2GW that Hinkley is expected to generate will have been met by solar well before, so maybe it’s not necessary to look that far ahead. DECC recently upgraded its forecasts for solar, suggesting that 13GW will be connected by 2020. Considering installed capacity has already hit 10GW, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change has a history of upgrading its forecasts on a regular basis (36% increase in the last six months), solar is surely on course to provide the power Hinkley will likely be late in delivering.The argument remains though that solar can’t provide base load power in the way nuclear can. However, there are companies working around the clock to address this issue, with predictable rise of battery storage systems making it an economic proposition worth exploring.
Solar Portal 16th Feb 2016 read more »
Paul Dorfman: the final investment decision – widely expected to be a mere formality – has been delayed due to EDF’s failure to secure the necessary funding. It looks like the UK is reaching a tipping point, and now it’s time to invest in a rational, evidence-based energy policy – before it’s too late. Transitioning to a sustainable UK energy policy won’t be easy, and nor will it be cheap. However, unlike what’s currently in place, it will work. This means big renewable solar and wind energy, a big grid upgrade, local-scale networks for energy distribution, bridging combined heat and power (CHP) “clean-burn” back-up gas technology, market innovations from energy supply to energy services, real energy conservation and management, and the paced restructuring of our built and transport environment.
City AM 16th Feb 2016 read more »
Will they, won’t they? EDF, the French company on which the nuclear part of the Government’s energy policy depends, still hasn’t made a decision on whether to press ahead with the new Hinkley Point power station, the first new nuclear development in a generation. The company, 85 per cent owned by the French state, has struggled to secure financing for the hugely ambitious project, but has wider issues than that to deal with. It has just cut its dividend after a sharp fall in profits – driven by, among other things, writedowns in asset values and provisions. Anyway, if nuclear can’t hack it, there are always those billions of barrels of frack free oil under Gatwick. The widely derided (including in this column) claims made by UK Oil & Gas for the “Gatwick Gusher” are being reassessed after test results, although whether it is commercially feasible to extract much of it is open to question. It’s far too early to say Sussex is the new Saudi Arabia. Paul Dorfman at the Energy Institute, University College London, wonders if Hinkley will ever get going. It would be a shame if it didn’t. I stand with those environmentalists who, however reluctantly, see nuclear as a necessary part of an energy future that minimises the impact of by far the most dangerous polluting threat: carbon. So that belated government approval of Hinkley was a rare example of strategic thinking. Even if it meant guaranteeing a generous price to the developers. Even if it irked people that the UK wasn’t in a position to do the work itself. If it fails, shoulders will be shrugged, excuses will be readied, fossil fuels will be burnt, and we will all suffer the consequences.
Independent 17th Feb 2016 read more »
A West MEP has called for an urgent review of energy policy in the wake of EDF Energy’s announcement that four aging nuclear reactors are to have their lives extended. The French state-owned gas and electricity company has yet to make a final investment decision on a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset and yesterday its group results revealed “extremely challenging market conditions”. Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West and Gibraltar, says extending the lives of the existing nuclear reactors is more evidence that EDF’s plans for a Hinkley C station may be either abandoned or further delayed, creating a serious energy gap for the Government. Ahead of the results, environmental campaign group Greenpeace projected a huge picture of Chancellor George Osborne in a hard hat with the EDF logo onto the House of Commons, and the Treasury with the words: “Let it go, George everyone else has #LetHinkleyGo”. Greenpeace says the project faces “unprecedented opposition” from EDF’s management and French unions over costs.
Western Daily Press 17th Feb 2016 read more »
George Osborne wants to build a new nuclear plant in Somerset — Hinkley Point C. If it goes ahead it’ll be the first nuclear power station to come online in the UK in 30 years. But right now it’s increasingly looking like a big if. Because Hinkley is on the verge of becoming a national omnishambles. It’s suffered huge delays, safety concerns, and it’s clear the money could be far better spent. Here are eight reasons the Chancellor needs to #LetHinkleyGo. 1. The ‘unconstructable’ nuclear reactor; 2. The cost is astronomical; 3. About that reactor again… 4. Does anybody even want it anymore? 5. Onshore wind is already cheaper (and soon solar will be too); 6. It’s already 8 YEARS overdue; 7. We could be forced to pick up the cost; 8. The (not so) little matter of nuclear waste
Greenpeace 16th Feb 2016 read more »
EDF’s share price has been cut in half over the past year; China General Nuclear Power Company, better known as CGN, has a 33% stake in the Hinkley project. The state-owned firm, which went public on the Hong Kong stock exchange in late 2014, has had a rough time of it lately; its share price has plummeted by more than 50% since June last year.
Energydesk 16th Feb 2016 read more »