It is looking increasingly likely that the British Government is about to cave-in to EDF’s demand that the British energy consumers should pay what could be massive cost overruns for building Sizewell C nuclear power plant. But what has not been discussed so much is how the contract the Government is likely to offer EDF will reduce deployment of renewable energy schemes. A report in The Times signals that EDF chiefs is meeting the Chancellor to complete the details for how to dress up what is in effect a blank cheque for Sizewell C. It reported that the withdrawal of Hitachi from the Wylfa site was a ‘shock’. Hitachi’s move which has been expected for a year, is not a shock to people in the energy industry. It became apparent (to me at least!) long ago that new nuclear plant can only be built if they are given an effective blank cheque (that is the promise of an unlimited supply of cash) from some state-backed energy monopoly. EDF will be expecting the same sort of contract as given to them for Hinkley C which allows nuclear electricity generation to crowd out production from future renewable energy plant. EDF will be given so-called ‘baseload’ contracts that mean that when electricity wholesale prices are low or even negative they will still get paid the same level of high premium prices. Meanwhile future wind and solar pv projects will be effectively forced offline by the nuclear power plant because they will not receive premium prices.
Dave Toke’s Blog 29th Sept 2020 read more »