Hinkley Point nuclear deal ‘risky and expensive’ 

Posted: June 23, 2017 by oldbrew in Accountability, Critique, Energy, government, Nuclear power
Tags: ,

Planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point

For some reason the UK has chosen to pay a lot more for its new nuclear power than anywhere else, using untried and complex technology, and now even the country’s own auditors are complaining about it. The fear seems to be that it could prove to be a vastly expensive pig in a poke.

UK government plans for a new £18bn nuclear power station have come under fire from public auditors, who call it “a risky and expensive project”, BBC news reports.

The case for the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset was “marginal” and the deal was “not value for money”, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). The NAO said the government had not sufficiently considered the costs and risks for consumers.

The government said building the plant was an “important strategic decision”. The report comes nine months after the government granted final approval for the project, which is being financed by the French and Chinese governments.

State-controlled French energy firm EDF is funding two-thirds of the project, which will create more than 25,000 jobs, with China investing the remaining £6bn. Critics of the deal have warned of escalating costs and the implications of allowing nuclear power plants to be built in the UK by foreign governments.

Case ‘uncertain’

The NAO’s report centred on the role of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in finalising the deal in 2016. At the time, said the NAO, the department’s own value-for-money tests showed “the economic case for Hinkley Point C was marginal and subject to significant uncertainty”.

“But the department’s capacity to take alternative approaches to the deal were limited after it had agreed terms,” the NAO added.”The government has increasingly emphasised Hinkley Point C’s unquantified strategic benefits, but it has little control over these and no plan yet in place to realise them.”

It added that consumers were “locked in” to years of paying for the plant.

Continued here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    Meanwhile ‘Ofgem has given preliminary approval for three new interconnectors to France, Germany and Norway’.


  2. wolsten says:

    Whoops, just noticed you have already reblogged this.

  3. It’s all down to Ed (Mr Potato) Davey. He got his knighthood as a result of wasting £billions. Talk about corruption in high office!

  4. oldbrew says:

    Hinkley Nuclear Deal ‘Cost Public £15Billion More Than It Should Have’

    Date: 23/06/17 Ben Webster, The Times

    The government’s deal for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point has “locked consumers into a risky and expensive project with uncertain strategic and economic benefits”, according to a damning report by the National Audit Office.


  5. oldbrew says:

    GMB demands ‘home-grown’ energy supplies

    Chinese-built “pop up power stations” are not the answer claims trade union
    – – –
    No chance of direct public finance for new power stations in the current system.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Stumbling around in the dark?
    – – –
    UK has “no shared vision” for energy future, report warns


  7. oldbrew says:

    The Curse of Hinkley Point

    Date: 27/06/17 Dr John Constable: GWPF Energy Editor

    The contract for the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear power station is so heavily loaded with penalties that the UK government is unlikely to cancel. Rising costs and other project risks, on the other hand, mean that EdF is in no hurry to build it. This results in a stagnant uncertainty that further clouds prospects for what would otherwise be the technology of choice, Combined Cycle Gas Turbines, and even for renewables.

    – – –
    There just isn’t anything positive to be said about Hinkley Point from the public’s point of view 😦

    Or is there? The GWPF story concludes:

    ‘The need for low cost firm generation is not yet quite acute, but will become more pressing. With the market hemmed in by the punitive Hinkley contract on one side, and commitments to EU renewables targets on the other, government will choose to clear space with least effort. This could easily mean abandoning renewables to their fate by loudly declaring them a glorious success while quietly cancelling further support and allowing nature to take its course.’ [bold added]
    – – –
    Nice idea but probably wishful thinking.

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