News May 2010

31 May 2010

Energy Supplies

A proposed levy on power suppliers that could add £10-20 to a typical household’s annual electricity bill is being considered by the Treasury, The Times has learnt. Officials are attracted by the idea of an electricity tax that would help to create a fund to finance green power projects. The tax could generate capital for the Lib-Con Government’s proposed green investment bank and is being debated within Whitehall as concern mounts over the reluctance of power companies to commit …

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30 May 2010

New Nukes

CHRIS HUHNE, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, last night signalled a softening of his opposition to nuclear power, insisting he was no “ideological ayatollah”. Huhne, who once described nuclear power as a “failed” technology, claimed that plants would be built despite the government’s refusal to subsidise the industry. “It is very clear from the coalition agreement that there will be a new generation of nuclear power,” he said in an interview with The Sunday Times. He said the likely …

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29 May 2010

Nuclear Subsidies

In a nimble piece of semantic two stepping Chris Huhne has managed to combine the Conservatives pro-nuclear Energy Policy with the Lib Dems opposition. The solution, while lucrative for the Energy companies and their financial backers is a financial black hole for the UK Taxpayers argues Natural Choices editor Peter Shield. The solution they have come to is an interesting one, and potentially a hugely expensive one for the UK taxpayer and very lucrative for EDF and their fellow …

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28 May 2010

New Nukes

Banks are coming under pressure for financing the nuclear power sector, with a group of NGOs launching a website which names the top 10 “nuclear banks”.

Environmental Finance 27th May 2010 more >>

The coalition government has received its first mauling in the Commons on nuclear power, as Ed Miliband suggested the Liberal Democrats had a “hidden agenda” on the issue. The Conservatives support new nuclear power but the Lib Dems do not. Under the terms of the coalition …

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27 May 2010

New Nukes

EDF Energy will announce today that it has received sufficient reassurances from the energy and climate change secretary, Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne, to continue planning for a new generation of nuclear plants in Britain. There were fears that the Lib Dems’ manifesto commitment to halt the construction of any more nuclear reactors, and recent sceptical signals from Huhne, could derail its £20bn building programme. But Vincent de Rivaz, the chief executive of EDF in Britain, will tell a conference …

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26 May 2010

IPC

The coalition has also waged war on quangos by slashing £600m through axing some and reducing the budgets of others. That includes shelving the Infrastructure Planning Commission set up to speed through major schemes such as nuclear power stations like Anglesey’s Wylfa B. Communities Minister Greg Clark said: “We need to speed up the planning system and deliver new infrastructure like power generation. But it is vital that there are proper democratic checks and balances – which the Infrastructure Planning …

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25 May 2010

Nuclear Subsidy

21st century nuclear power needs a 21st century subsidy… no blank cheques this time – just an apparently green tweak to the emissions trading system, and voila! A floor price for carbon is the answer. Driving up the cost of producing polluting energy from coal- or gas-fired power plants, doesn’t just favour renewables. It also makes the costs of nuclear production far more competitive, even without subsidy. Plus, of course, those companies looking to build new nukes are the …

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24 May 2010

Radwaste Costs

Labour left a multi-billion-pound black hole in its nuclear power budget, which could force ministers to implement bigger cuts elsewhere in Whitehall, coalition sources claimed this weekend. They alleged that future costs of safe waste disposal had not been properly accounted for in spending budgets, amounting to a £850m shortfall next year, £950m in 2012-13 and £1.1 billion by 2013-14. The issue was judged so serious it was discussed at the cabinet’s first meeting. “We will have to look …

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23 May 2010

Coalition

Chris is bent on turning out the lights on Britain, according to Melanie Phillips – and “provoking a possible nuclear explosion in the energy department” for good measure.

One’s mind inevitably jogs back over 25 years to the days when Chris and Mel were both Guardian leader writers – and wholly comradely in their views. More chattering-class socialism? Not really. Just two highly intelligent people agreeing a leader line, because agreement was the nature of the job. Journalism may be the …

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22 May 2010

Coalition

The coalition has pledged that it will not provide any subsidies to the nuclear industry. This, you might think, is likely to present a wee bit of a problem. Nuclear is a deeply uneconomic technology. So are some kinds of renewables at the moment, but the technology on which renewables depend is in its infancy. Improvements in renewable technology, further commercialisation and economies of scale – if we can ever get renewables off the ground – will reduce these costs …

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