EDF has raised the spectre of delays or cost overruns to its £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear plant as a result of Brexit, warning that any restrictions to trade and movement of labour could hamper the delivery of energy projects. The French state-controlled company said Britain would have to import goods and skilled labour from around the world in order to make the “very substantial investments in new infrastructure” needed to keep the lights on. “There is a risk that restrictions on trade and movement of labour will increase the costs of essential new infrastructure developments and could delay their delivery,” it said in a submission to MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee. Although EDF did not mention Hinkley Point, it said Britain’s import requirements would include “critical goods and services in the nuclear supply chain and specialist nuclear skills”. Hinkley Point is the only new nuclear power station to have been given the go-ahead in the UK. In its submission to the committee, the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) warned that potential changes as a result of Brexit could also jeopardise other nuclear projects. It said investments may not be forthcoming unless there was stable energy policy, clarity on the market and in particular “confidence that there will be continuing access to skills, both specialist nuclear skills fr om European/International companies and construction labour and the easy supply of goods and services across EU borders”. NuGen and Horizon are struggling to secure financing and are understood to be in talks with the government about potential direct investment in their projects. Toshiba is under particular pressure after making huge writedowns on its US nuclear business. The government yesterday highlighted the nuclear industry as a key part of its industrial strategy, appointing NIA chairman Lord Hutton of Furness to “oversee work to improve UK competitiveness and skills in nuclear”.
Times 24th Jan 2017 read more »
A new 35 year contract to build the Hinkley C power station signed between the UK government and the French company EDF energy and China’s CGN in September 2016 has given rise to a number of concerns both regarding security and what the ultimate price of the electricity for the consumer will be. At a recent Cambridge Public Policy workshop participants with expertise in energy policy debated our energy futures and the UK’s portfolio approach to energy policy including a new nuclear Renaissance and whether or not the contract itself is fit for purpose.
Cambridge JBS Sound Cloud 23rd Jan 2017 read more »