EDF’s plans to build an £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset will be subject to a fresh wave of uncertainty following Brexit. EDF reiterated its commitment to the project, which has already suffered repeated delays, after Brits voted to leave the EU on Friday. But asked whether Brexit could lead to Hinkley being scrapped, Angus Brendan MacNeil, chair of the energy and climate select committee, said: “Anything could happen … Hinkley is in a very different position this week than it was last week.” “At the very least the final investment decision (FID) will again be kicked down the road … you can’t see the French committing billions to a country they thought was in the European Union and is no longer.” Peter Atherton, utilities analyst at Jefferies, said: “It’s yet another added complication in what’s already a very complicated process.” He added that if chancellor George Osborne, who is a strong supporter of the project, leaves the Treasury his replacement “might take a somewhat different view”.
City AM 26th June 2016 read more »
Plans for a third runway at Heathrow and a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point have been left in doubt following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, according to a report today. The Brexit decision could also affect the £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The project has been stuck in the final stages for months, waiting for approval by the French state giant EDF Energy. It is due to hold a board meeting as early as next month. Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chairman, said the result would have “no impact” on the project and the Department of Energy and Climate Change said it was “fully confident” it would go forward. But a source told the paper: “This [scheme] was already looking so challenged. The vote is the perfect excuse for the French to walk away.”
Politics Home 26th June 2016 read more »
Two of Britain’s biggest infrastructure projects — a third runway at Heathrow and an £18bn nuclear power plant in Somerset — have been thrown into serious doubt by the decision to leave the EU. The referendum outcome could also kill off Cameron’s plan to build an £18bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The controversial project has been stuck for months at the final hurdle — approval by the French state giant EDF Energy. It is due to hold a board meeting as early as next month. Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF’s chairman, said on Friday that the referendum result would have “no impact” on Hinkley Point and the Department of Energy and Climate Change said it was “fully confident” the project would be approved. But a source involved in the negotiations said: “This [scheme] was already looking so challenged. The vote is the perfect excuse for the French to walk away.”
Times 26th June 2016 read more »
Experts suggested the government could in theory rethink a number of controversial projects, including the new £18bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, a crucial part of the UK’s future energy mix.
FT 26th June 2016 read more »
Andrea Leadsom, MP – the junior UK Energy Minister – is due to give evidence to MPs on ‘the impact of Govt. policy on confidence in the energy sector’. Given her role as a victorious British Independence champion in last week’s EU referendum, this is likely to be a lively meeting with MPs on the Commons’ Energy Committee on Wednesday. The meeting will also explore a number of themes arising from the Committee’s report on investor confidence in the UK energy sector, including; – Levels of investment in new and existing projects, and Support for energy projects (e.g. Contracts-for-Difference and the Levy Control Framework).
Scottish Energy News 27th June 2016 read more »
Scotland will be the decision-maker in terms of energy policy once the British exit from the European Union is confirmed, according to the Energy and Climate Change select committee (ECCC). Speaking exclusively to Utility Week, Angus MacNeil – the SNP MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, and ECCC chair – said Scotland will seek to remain in the EU and will continue to have a say on energy policy in the single market. He added that he expects England and Wales to adopt a “Norway-type status”, whereby they are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), and will have to adopt European rules and legislation without having any influence on their development. MacNeil said: “The decision maker in the EU will be Scotland and the followers will be England and Wales – that will be energy and everything else.
Utility Week 24th June 2016 read more »
The $100 billion overseas order book of Russia’s nuclear power plant builder Rosatom — bigger than all its Western competitors combined — makes it look like the giant in its field. But if the company — formed in 2007 from the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry and tasked with turning nuclear power into a major export industry — is ever to reach its potential as a global industrial giant, it will have to shed Russia’s reputation for using energy policy as a means to political ends. Deal after deal has collapsed in Europe, where individual countries and the European Union as a whole consider it a priority to reduce dependency on Russian energy, and relations have deteriorated over Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. A project in fast-growing, energy-hungry Turkey — possibly the ideal market on paper — has been stalled because of a collapse in relations between the two countries supporting opposite sides in the Syrian civil war.
Reuters 26th June 2016 read more »
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to lead a $2 million additive manufacturing research project. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) will lead the project by producing sample replacement parts for nuclear power plants. The samples will be 3D printed in metal at the GE Power Advanced Manufacturing Works facility in Greenville, SC and then be shipped to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
The Manufacturer 26th June 2016 read more »
As the political chaos deepens, key government decisions look likely to be delayed in the coming weeks, including the vote on the renewal of the Trident nuclear programme.
FT 26th June 2016 read more »
British Independence from the EU-bloc paints a picture of mixed opportunities and threats for renewable energies. Solar power development may actually profit from Brexit, as the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures for cells and modules from China tend to artificially inflate the cost of China-made solar panels by about 10%. Yet again, the rate of value added tax (VAT) applied within the UK may be impacted by Brexit, affecting the cost of essential equipment such as wind turbines, solar panels, labour and capital costs. Leaving the EU would most certainly slow progress of large cross-border infrastructure projects like interconnectors, which is key to businesses trading with electricity. At present, the UK imports a significant amount of electricity from abroad – mostly nuclear power from France. The UK anaerobic digestion energy sector (AD-energy) and the production of biogas could possibly suffer as the UK will no longer be required to comply with EU waste and recycling directives.
Scottish Energy News 26th June 2016 read more »
There is “plenty of opportunity” for growth in the UK’s burgeoning heat sector, despite the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE) has said. Local authorities have also sought European funding in the past to support projects, however, the district heating sector was awarded £320 million of support in November’s budget last year which is not European money, and this will be able to support local authorities in its stead. A key driver for the market is the new housing and building sector, so the effect of the decision on the economy, especially in London, will have an impact on district heating.
Utility Week 24th June 2016 read more »
The costs of managing the UK’s electricity supplies could double to £2bn a year within five years due to the growth of renewable technologies, a senior National Grid official has forecast. The company already spends just over £1bn a year on “balancing services” to ensure power supply and demand are matched, that the grid is not overloaded, and that supplies are at the correct voltage and frequency across the network. The cash is primarily paid to power generators to increase or decrease their output at short notice, and it ultimately passed on to consumers through their energy bills. Julian Leslie, head of electricity network development at National Grid, said: “At the moment we are spending around £1bn a year and ever-increasing, and I think personally by the next five years or so that will be £2bn a year. “This market of flexibility, providing these services to us, is only ever going to increase as we get to a more and more complex network with more distributed generation.” The biggest element of balancing services is spent on minute-by-minute adjustments to keep supply and demand balanced and at the correct frequency and voltage across the UK’s transmission network, by paying generators to increase or decrease the power they are putting on to the Grid. The second biggest element is spent on ‘constraints’, or paying generators to turn down their output in order to deal with effective ‘bottlenecks’ in certain parts of the network where there is insufficient cabling capacity to transmit the power being produced.
Telegraph 26th June 2016 read more »