News July 2013

31 July 2013

Hinkley

Despite numerous attempts by the pro nuclear politicians of the main parties to push the propaganda that building will start soon, Hinkley C will never be built, we have been here before! Does the following sound familiar? Even though Mrs Thatcher had been given permission to build Hinkley C by Mr Barnes the inspector after a year-long public inquiry, and with all the taxpayers’ money available, Hinkley C was never built. Why not? It was a combination of two key …

read more »

30 July 2013

Europe

Letter Andrea Carta, Greenpeace: Your report on the European Commission’s plans to allow direct state aid for nuclear power (“EU to allow state aid for nuclear power”, July 20) has prompted a somewhat confusing reply from the commission. Antoine Colombani, the EC spokesman for competition, goes to great lengths to argue (“EU rules do not prohibit state aid for nuclear power”, Letters, July 23) that the commission is still sitting on the fence on the issue, but his claims are …

read more »

29 July 2013

Energy Costs

Energy price rises coupled with high profits, mis-selling scandals at power firms and a lack of transparency over bills have destroyed consumers’ trust in energy companies, a committee of MPs has said in a report that also criticises the sector’s watchdog for failing to take effective action. The MPs also criticised the government for doing too little to help millions of people living in fuel poverty. The current approach is to offer low-income families subsidies, paid for by energy …

read more »

28 July 2013

Sellafield

The Government is expected to take back control of the clean-up of nuclear waste at Cumbria’s Sellafield, following a string of failures by a private sector consortium of US, French and British engineers. Alarmed by spiralling budgets – £70bn and counting – and a series of delays to crucial projects, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has quietly drafted in a team of consultants from the accountants KPMG to review how Sellafield is run, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. It …

read more »

27 July 2013

Europe

For the last week, the European Commission has been at pains to explain itself after leaked plans to change EU rules and allow European countries to provide direct state aid to nuclear power came under heavy fire. Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Germany’s opposition to subsidies for nuclear energy, while Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said Austria would resist the plans as there was no future for nuclear energy in Europe. In an attempt to reassure anti-nuclear countries, the Commission published a …

read more »

26 July 2013

Energy Supplies

SSE, one of Britain’s ‘big six’ energy firms, has warned that the government’s energy plans fail to address the risk of power shortages in the near term. Westminster has announced a draft package of incentives for energy companies to keep plants which might otherwise be shuttered on standby, in a bid to address an acute capacity shortage expected as ageing power stations retire. However, it will not make them available until 2018/19 – a move SSE said would create …

read more »

25 July 2013

Energy Costs

ScottishPower has reignited the row over who is to blame for rising energy bills after reporting the costs of government energy efficiency schemes had more than doubled since last year. Keith Anderson, the energy giant’s boss, said the government had got its sums wrong over the costs of implementing its new “Energy Company Obligation” (ECO) programme – and refused to rule out raising prices as a result. Analysts warned that suppliers were likely to increase prices by a “high …

read more »

24 July 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

Negotiations between the UK government and EDF over the price to paid for nuclear power are dragging and a row has now erupted on the continent over whether nuclear power can qualify for state aid. Steve Thomas from Greenwhich University unravels the hurdles facing any deal.

read more »

23 July 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

Letter European Commission: The commission has no plans to encourage such aid or to make it easier for member states to grant it. State aid for nuclear power is currently not prohibited by EU rules: member states’ plans in that respect are notified to the commission and assessed directly under the Treaty rules, in the absence of specific commission guidelines in this sector. The purpose of this assessment is to check that such subsidies do not unduly distort competition …

read more »

22 July 2013

Energy Companies

No wonder the big energy companies are spooked by the green dream. Have you seen their share prices lately? Witness npower last week, which warned that green policies will drive a 20% rise in energy bills by 2020. Npower is owned by the German utility RWE. In 2008, RWE’s shares traded at a whopping €100 each. Today they are worth less than €20. EDF and E.ON, which have 5.5 million and 4.8 million UK customers respectively, have seen a …

read more »