News March 2013

31 March 2013

Carbon Floor Price

The government’s new carbon levy is effectively a “stealth poll tax” that will only work to put up household electricity bills and hand a windfall to old nuclear plants, the head of energy giant E.ON has warned. The Treasury’s “carbon price floor” comes into effect on Monday and official estimates say it will add £5 to household bills this year, rising to about £50 by 2020. The tax is intended to provide an incentive to invest in new …

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30 March 2013

Nuclear Costs

As we continue to await news on negotiations between the government and EDF on the price of Nuclear now is as bad a time as any to look back at what the government thought it was getting into when it first embarked on the nuclear new build programme. In its 2006 document The Energy Challenge the (then) Department of Trade and Industry the government outlined its view of the future cost of nuclear (and gas). “The cost of new …

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29 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

French electricity company Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR) and the British government are unlikely to meet a deadline at the end of March to agree on subsidies that would allow the construction of new nuclear power plants in the U.K., people familiar with the matter said. The people said in recent days that although discussions are still ongoing, they aren’t intensive and neither side appeared to be willing to make any compromises. “There’s no deal in sight, discussions are …

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28 March 2013

Energy Minister, John Hayes replaced by Michael Fallon

For those not on Twitter, Tim Probert, @TimProbert a freelance energy journalist specializing in the electric power industry says in honour of the WB Yeats-loving ex-energy minister John Hayes, he has written a commemorative limerick.

There once was a minister called Hayes
Who touched people’s hearts with his praise
For nukes, coal and gas
Not wind and biomass
And he left in six months in a daze

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28 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

The row over subsidies for the UK’s new nuclear power stations has deepened after it emerged that the £160m-a-year cost of accommodating the giant reactors on the national electricity grid will be borne by all generators, including renewable energy providers. The new reactors planned by EDF for Hinkley Point are significantly larger than any existing power stations, meaning the national grid has to pay for extra standby electricity to stop the grid crashing if one of the reactors unexpectedly …

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27 March 2013

New Nukes

A nuclear energy-free future for the UK is not something the coalition “is thinking seriously about”, the government’s chief science adviser said on Tuesday at the launch of the country’s long-term nuclear strategy. The government said its nuclear strategy would help seize the economic opportunities of a £1 trillion global market and provide 40,000 UK jobs. Prof Sir John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said new nuclear power was essential: “We really can’t see a future for the …

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26 March 2013

Energy Policy

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is considering extending the life of coal-fired plants because of concerns surrounding the expected capacity squeeze in the UK. “We are looking at keeping existing plants alive,” Jonathan Brearley, director of energy strategy and futures at DECC, said at a World Energy Council (WEC) workshop for energy market reform strategy. Brearley’s statement came in response to a challenge from Ronan O’Regan, a PricewaterhouseCoopers utilities consultant, who suggested that contract for difference …

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25 March 2013

Energy Supplies

The Sunday Telegraph warned in this column of the problems of an energy policy that puts expensive, inefficient green power before coal-fired and nuclear power. There have been a few signs that the Coalition is at last turning its attentions to the issue but, still, not nearly enough has been done. Now we are reaping the consequences. Because of a misguided faith in green energy, we have left ourselves far too dependent on foreign gas supplies, largely provided by …

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24 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

French energy giant EDF is this week set to clinch a £90 billion deal with the Government for providing the first new nuclear plant in Britain in 20 years. The contract is likely to prompt fury, as the figure will guarantee EDF a huge income at a price likely to be nearly twice the market cost of electricity. ‘EDF has the Government over a barrel because it’s the only horse in the race. Britain is effectively negotiating over how much …

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23 March 2013

Energy Supplies

The chairman of ScottishPower’s owner has become the latest boss of a “big six” energy producer to warn that Britain faces looming power shortages. Ignacio Galan, chairman of Spanish firm Iberdrola, ratcheted up the pressure on the UK Government after Ian Marchant, chief executive of Perth-based SSE, said there was a “very real risk of the lights going out”. Mr Galan called on the ministers to provide more details about its proposed energy-market reforms if new power plants are …

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