The French president, François Hollande, is expected to hold a meeting of government ministers at the Elysée palace on Wednesday to discuss whether or not the construction of the £18bn Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in Britain will go ahead. The French government is not yet expected to reach a final decision on the controversial plans for France’s state-controlled utility EDF to build two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point. But the president and top ministers are expected to consider the various financing options for the project. EDF shareholders will then meet later this week to consider the options. After repeated delays, a shareholder vote and a final decision are expected in early May.
Guardian 19th April 2016 read more »
The UK’s energy secretary has admitted for the first time that the lights would stay on if new nuclear reactors at Hinkley were cancelled or delayed. Amber Rudd has previously said that “energy security has to be the number one priority” and that new gas and nuclear power would be “central to our energy-secure future”. But in a letter released on Tuesday in reply to MPs on the energy and climate change select committee, which asked what contingency plans were in place if Hinkley is delayed or cancelled, she said: “While we have every confidence the deal will go ahead, we have arrangements in place to ensure that any potential delay or cancellation to the project does not pose a risk to security of supply for the UK. I am clear that keeping the lights on is non-negotiable.” She also said that delays to the troubled plant could risk the UK missing its targets to cut carbon emissions, and that alternatives could cost more but would not represent a “significant increase” in cost in the short term. John Sauven, Greenpeace’s UK director said: “There is absolutely no reason that the UK could not meet our decarbonisation targets if the government dropped Hinkley and gave renewable energy businesses a fraction of political and financial support that nuclear and fossil fuel companies enjoy.”
Guardian 19th April 2016 read more »
Rudd’s reply to Angus McNeil.
Parliament 12th April 2016 read more »
Amber Rudd has admitted delays or cancellation to the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear project could push up energy costs for billpayers and leave the UK’s decarbonisation targets “at risk”. The admission from the Energy and Climate Change Secretary came in a letter to Angus MacNeil, chair of the energy and climate change select committee of MPs, who following a recent evidence session on the Hinkley Point project wrote to Rudd to request information on the government’s contingency plan should the project be subject to delays or compensation. Rudd’s letter, which has been published online by the committee, stresses the government remains “fully confident that the project will go ahead”, adding that “the risks of delays are borne entirely by the developer”. She also points to recent signals from the French government that it intends to approve the project. Hopes that French ministers are preparing to give the project the green light were further boosted over the weekend, when economy minister Emmanuel Macron told the BBC EDF would deliver the project. Moreover, French President Francois Hollande is reportedly preparing to host a meeting about EDF’s plans tomorrow morning. However, in her letter Rudd admits the UK has “arrangements in place to ensure that any potential delay or cancellation to the project does not pose a risk to security of supply for the UK”. Specifically, she details how the government intends to use the existing capacity market to incentivise generators to provide sufficient capacity to cover any shortfall caused by a delay to the Hinkley project. However, Rudd admits extra capacity could come at higher cost and may result in higher carbon emissions, especially if it has to be secured at short notice.
Business Green 19th April 2016 read more »
A delay or cancellation of the proposed Hinkley nuclear project in the UK could lead to an increase in energy bills and jeopardise the nation’s decarbonisation targets. Energy Secretary Amber Rudd said while she is “fully confident” the project will go ahead, DECC has arrangements in place to ensure any delay does not pose a risk to security of supply.
Energy Live News 20th April 2016 read more »
Reuters 19th April 2016 read more »
Energydesk 19th April 2016 read more »
A group of managers at French utility EDF have sent a letter to its board of directors warning they could all face legal action if the company pushes ahead with its contentious Hinkley Point C nuclear project in the UK. The letter, dated April 19 and seen by the Financial Times, said that if a board decision in favour of Hinkley Point led to the “destruction of the value” at the group, its directors could be held personally responsible. Most of the EDF board members are expected to vote in favour of the final investment decision on Hinkley Point at a meeting scheduled for May 11. But the letter also comes ahead of another EDF board meeting on Friday, where directors are expected to discuss the funding of the £18bn Hinkley Point project. French president Francois Hollande is also meeting ministers at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday to discuss financing options for Hinkley Point. The French state has an 85 per cent stake in EDF. The letter by the group of EDF managers highlights the internal battle that has raged within the company over Hinkley Point, with Thomas Piquemal, chief financial officer, resigning last month because of concerns that the UK project could threaten the company’s future.
FT 19th April 2016 read more »