The National Audit Office has opened the door to an investigation into any agreement between EDF Energy and the Government over building the £14bn Hinkley Point nuclear plant. Amyas Morse, the controller and auditor general of the audit office, has written to MPs suggesting that he may investigate any deal. Mr Morse, who produced a report into the Government’s energy policy last year, said: “I expect to follow up my earlier memorandum with further reviews to support parliamentary scrutiny of the Government’s implementation of its energy policy and in particular I will consider the case for a review of the negotiation of the Hinkley strike price if one is agreed. “If the Government reaches agreement with EDF an audit could review the process and outcome of the negotiations and whether they have secured value for money.” This could “inform the continued management of the contract” and “provide lessons for future negotiations” of the so-called “contracts for difference”.
Telegraph 20th April 2013 read more »
The chief executive of EDF is not ruling out the possibility of failure in the company’s ongoing negotiations with the British government to build the country’s first nuclear power plant in two decades. Speaking at a conference on French nuclear strategy, Henri Proglio said, “We have precise conditions in mind, and we are negotiating with the British. We obtained an extension of the lifespan of existing plants. As far as I am concerned, negotiations can fail.” The protracted negotiations have stuttered once more, due to disagreement over acceptable costs for the £14bn project and the rate of return (strike price) that EDF should take for granted. During the same conference, Mr. Proglio confirmed that the total cost to upgrade all French nuclear reactors is estimated at $72.21bn. The company has 58 reactors in France and 15 in the UK.
Power Engineering International 20th April 2013 read more »
A “small fire” at the Hartlepool nuclear power plant has been put out by the emergency services, police said. The fire at about 18:30 BST on Saturday led to the venting of steam generators which caused noise and would have been visible to people living nearby. A statement by Cleveland Police said nobody was injured at the EDF Energy-owned plant. Fire crews and police remained at the scene for several hours. The cause of the blaze has not yet been revealed. It is understood the alarm was raised when the fire broke out in a turbine hall at the power station.
BBC 21st April 2013 read more »
ITV 20th April 2013 read more »
Sky News 20th April 2013 read more »
Northern Echo 20th April 2013 read more »
York Press 20th April 2013 read more »
Will Hutton: The world is going to fry – unless there is change soon. There is weakening political will to make national and international targets for carbon reduction stick, no strong business and financial coalition prepared to lead and a weakening groundswell of public opinion prepared to foot the bill. Instead, the international consensus of 25 years ago – that the world must act to challenge climate change – is dissolving. Individual countries are trying to steal a march on each other in a race to the bottom, dropping whatever scant penalties there have been for burning fossil fuels.What is needed is a new vision of how to do capitalism in which enlightened self-interest is hard-wired into its operation, saving us from decades of austerity and environmental disaster. There are instruments at hand – the Unburnable Carbon report sets some of them out – and they mesh with larger arguments for stakeholder capitalism. The political task is to bind them together to underpin a new consensus and a new narrative. There is no time to lose.
Observer 21st April 2013 read more »
This interactive map reveals which nations’ stock exchanges are most exposed to the ‘carbon bubble’ – the theory that oil, coal and gas reserves held by fossil fuel companies are massively overvalued since climate change policy will make these reserves impossible to exploit and therefore ultimately worthless.
Guardian 19th April 2013 read more »
One of Europe’s flagship policies — the battle against climate change — was in deep trouble. The MEPs had come to vote on a plan to bring it back to life. Since it signed up to binding pollution reduction targets in 1997 under the Kyoto protocol, the European Union has made much of its role as the world’s great green general, leading the rest of humanity into battle against global warming. However, its big weapon — the world’s first carbon trading system — was firing blanks. Known as the EU ETS (emissions trading system), it is meant to inflict pain on polluters by requiring them to buy permits for every tonne of carbon dioxide they produce. The goal is to make it so expensive to pollute that industry has no choice but to invest in cleaner options. That has not happened, however. The market has proven messy, complicated and dysfunctional. A glut of CO2 permits has led to a collapse of more than 90% in the carbon price, turning Europe’s big stick into a brittle twig. Last week’s rescue plan would have temporarily removed hundreds of millions of permits from the system, reviving the carbon price. Thanks to aggressive lobbying by industrialists and coal-reliant countries such as Poland, the proposal was narrowly defeated, 334 to 315, with 63 abstentions. The verdict led politicians and executives alike to claim that Europe’s green experiment, nearly two decades in the making, was doomed.
Sunday Times 21st April 2013 read more »
COMPANIES sitting on cash piles should use their money to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings, according to the former mayor of Toronto. Speaking after his keynote address at yesterday’s Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI) forum in Edinburgh, David Miller said that businesses were not receiving the returns they were used to on their cash. So he called on firms to invest the money in their buildings, which he claimed would give them a return on their investment within five-to-ten years through cuts to their energy bills.
Scotsman 20th April 2013 read more »