News March 2013

22 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

Britain’s plans to reward nuclear plant operators through fixed prices for low-carbon energy are illegal under existing EU rules and efforts to adapt them are likely to draw opposition from other member states, EU and legal sources said. “Neither under the current (…) nor under possible future frameworks could the CfD scheme for nuclear generators be declared compatible with European state aid rules,” said Doerte Fouquet, a lawyer specialised in EU law at Becker Buettner Held in Brussels. The …

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21 March 2013

Carbon Floor Price

Consumers groups claimed the Chancellor has introduced a new “stealth tax” on energy bills which will cost every household an extra £34 a year and raise £2 billion for the Treasury. The Government’s so-called carbon tax, which penalises dirty coal and gas power stations but passes costs on to household bills, is being introduced on April 1. But yesterday it emerged that the tax would increase almost fourfold by 2015, adding about 6.5 per cent, or £34, to …

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20 March 2013

Hinkley

Plans for Britain’s first new nuclear plant in decades will only become a “reality” if ministers “swiftly” agree on subsidies for the £14bn project, EDF Energy warned on Tuesday. Vincent de Rivaz said a deal was “still possible” but declined to express confidence it would be achieved. EDF is understood to want a price near £100 per MWh, but the Treasury initially offered nearer £80 per MWh. Sources suggested the Treasury position had softened but that many details remain unresolved. …

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19 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

Ian Marchant: Negotiations between EdF, the state-owned French energy company, and the Government over the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset are at a crucial stage. The sticking point appears to be the “strike price” — what we will all end up paying for power from the new reactor. If it is set too high or the contract is too long, consumers will foot an unnecessarily expensive bill for decades to come. Onshore wind already …

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18 March 2013

New Nukes

Talks with French energy giant EDF over how much the Treasury will pay for nuclear electricity have become bogged down and are now expected to run to the end of this month. On Tuesday, planning permission is expected to be granted for two new reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. However, a deal on the price for the power they will generate originally expected on the same day is still far away.

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17 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

PLANS to build Britain’s first nuclear power station for two decades could collapse in a fortnight unless the government agrees to provide tens of billions of pounds in subsidies. EDF Energy, the French power giant, wants to build two reactors at Hinkley Point, Somerset. The eight-year, £14bn infrastructure project will be the largest in Britain. The Olympics, by comparison, cost £9bn. EDF says it cannot proceed until it receives a government guarantee that it will be able sell power …

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16 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

Perhaps EDF’s latest media offensive in favour of their 35 year contract for nearly £100 per MWh is a sign of desperation rather than strength. Certainly the Government is under great pressure not to give into EDF. As discussed in the Guardian, the Government faces a choice about whether it wants to face a long wait for approval from the EU Commission to be given ‘state aid’ approval for the nuclear subsidies or whether it will achieve a quick …

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15 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidies

Britain’s planned nuclear reactor programme could be delayed for years, and the nation’s long-term energy policy thrown into turmoil, as European commission officials launch the first stage of a formal investigation into the use of taxpayer subsidies to support the development. Sources in Brussels have indicated that Britain hopes to win approval for a multibillion-pound deal with French energy giant EDF at the initial stage, which usually takes two months. But if after a preliminary investigation the EC’s competition …

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14 March 2013

Nuclear subsidy

Ed Davey will soon sign a long term investment contract to buy electricity for 30-40 years at twice today’s price from an EDF nuclear power station that will not produce any electricity in this decade. This decision is a £50 billion bet that DECC knows what the wholesale price of electricity will be in 2050. That would be like having asked Tony Benn, Harold Wilson’s Energy Minister, in 1976 if he knew what the wholesale price of electricity would …

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13 March 2013

Nuclear Subsidy

A number of well-sourced reports over the past two days suggest that, as predicted, we are on the edge of a deal for the construction of new nuclear power stations in the UK. The champagne corks however are not quite popping either in Whitehall or in Paris. On both sides of the Channel there is great nervousness about the details of the deal. A price of about £95 per MWh is high particularly given the reported length of the …

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