Tom Burke: Hinkley is a 20th Century solution to a 21st Century problem. Bigger is no longer better. There are faster, cheaper, cleaner and smarter ways to deliver affordable, secure, low carbon electricity to Britain’s businesses and consumers. Nothing about this deal is good for Britain’s hardworking families. They will pay the bill for decades but most of the jobs will go abroad. It is a bad deal for consumers, for the climate and bad for the country. May’s decision to go ahead with Hinkley will slow down, and increase the cost of, making this transition in Britain. It will mean we will fall behind the rest of the developed world in building a flexible electricity system fit for purpose in the 21st Century. But this is not the only problem with Hinkley. The Investor Agreement that Greg Clark will sign with EDF is an irrevocable index-linked ‘take or pay’ contract to purchase 35 years’ worth of electricity from EDF at more than twice the current wholesale price. This will cost British consumers £37bn in subsidy, four times that originally forecast (this is also twice the largest figure presented to Parliament in the Departmental Minute of October 2015 that sought authorisation to take on the liabilities of the Agreement – this raises the question of whether the government has the authority to sign the Agreement at this time). It means Britain’s electricity consumers will pay more than £1bn per year in subsidy to EDF for 35 years. It will prevent Britain’s consumers buying cheaper electricity if it would displace that from EDF. Furthermore, this deal binds future governments.
Business Green 27th Sept 2016 read more »
The board of French state-controlled utility EDF on Tuesday confirmed its approval to go ahead with the Hinkley Point nuclear project in Britain, EDF said in a statement. EDF Chief Executive and chairman of the board Jean-Bernard Levy had submitted the project to a vote again after the British government earlier this month imposed limits on EDF’s right to sell its two-third stake in the project. Under revised terms announced on Sept. 15, the government of new British Prime Minister Theresa May said it would be able to block the sale of EDF’s controlling stake before or after completion of the project — a proviso it said it would apply to significant stakes in all future nuclear projects. These conditions followed a surprise delay to the May government’s approval for Hinkley Point. The delay was announced on July 28, just hours after the EDF board had voted in favour of the project with a narrow majority. “The EDF Board has today confirmed that the conditions set out at its meeting on 28th July 2016 are met in order to sign the project contracts,” EDF said in a statement. It gave no date for a possible signature of the contracts. A signing ceremony set for July 29 had been cancelled. A source familiar with the situation told Reuters the EDF and the UK government had agreed to sign the contract on Thursday. EDF declined to comment on a signature date. EDF will also inform the British government that EDF has no current intention to make use of the first tranche of the UK state loan guarantee for the project. One source said the board approved the 18 billion pound ($23 billion) project with a 10 to 7 majority, the same as in July, when the board first approved it.
Reuters 27th Sept 2016 read more »
IB Times 28th Sept 2016 read more »