The total lifetime cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could be as high as £37bn, according to an assessment published by the UK government. The figure was described as shocking by critics of the scheme, who said it showed just how volatile and uncertain the project had become, given that the same energy department’s estimate 12 months earlier had been £14bn. EDF said the £37bn figure should be disregarded. “Hinkley Point C will generate reliable low-carbon electricity in the future, so a cost estimate based on last year’s depressed wholesale price is not relevant. HPC’s electricity will be competitive with other low-carbon energy options and consumers won’t pay a penny until the plant begins operating.” But experts said the extra money, if the cost did remain at £37bn, would have to come from somewhere – probably the taxpayer – or be shaved off other DECC budgets available for different energy projects, such as windfarms and solar arrays. “This whole-life cost of £37bn is a truly shocking figure. It is an extraordinary ramp-up from last year’s figure, and just underlines how hard it is to get a real handle on the long-term cost of Hinkley,” said Paul Dorfman, senior research fellow at the Energy Institute, University College London. Critics of the scheme have claimed that the fall in the value of the pound since the referendum vote will increase the costs of the scheme to EDF’s French contractors, who work in euros. But the management of the company said this week that the British referendum vote would not affect the project; it had completed its promise to consult further with the unions and was free to take a final investment decision.
Guardian 7th July 2016 read more »
Burnham-on-sea.com 8th July 2016 read more »
Bloomberg 7th July 2016 read more »
Support payments for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in Somerset may increase significantly if wholesale prices remain low, according to new government data published today. The data does not look at the actual cost of building Hinkley – which is unchanged – or the amount consumers will ultimately pay but instead calculates the difference between the cost of power from the new plant and the projected wholesale cost of electricity at the time. The data suggests the total budgeted “whole life cost” of the UK’s first new nuclear power plant in a generation is now £37bn – rather than the £14.4bn the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate change estimated just one year ago. The change comes because the department has dramatically revised down its estimates for the wholesale cost of electricity – meaning the UK bill-payer is, in practice, paying a larger subsidy for the project.
Energydesk 7th July 2016 read more »
State-controlled French utility EDF says it is ready to take a final investment decision on building two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C in southern England, saying Britain’s referendum vote to quit the European Union was no barrier to the plan and that consultations with unions has ended. The company made the statement at the end of a non-binding process of consultation with its works council of employee representatives, a process required under French law before a company can undertake a major project. It said the board could now move on to a final investment decision which, if positive, could set the project to build two EPR units in motion. EDF declared the works council scrutiny at an end because the period set aside for it had expired. However, several of the trade unions represented on the council said as they were unable to give a view on the HInkley Point C project one way or the other. The works council last month began legal action to try to force EDF to release documents relating the project, including all the contracts it has signed with the British government and its co-investor, Chinese utility CGN. The case will he heard by a Paris court on 22 September.
NucNet 5th July 2016 read more »