pound deal to build Hinkley Point C to be signed today
years of talks, EDF and the Government will today (Wednesday)
finally unveil an agreement to build the first UK nuclear power
station in a generation.
approval for the £25billion Hinkley Point C plant near Burnham-On-Sea
will be hailed as a landmark moment in British nuclear history.
while it will create thousands of jobs and bring business opportunities
to the area, ctritics are worried about the huge sums being handed
out by the Government to get the scheme off the ground.
had originally wanted to find a group of outside investors to
bear the risk of financing a scheme that will not begin paying
any money for another decade.
was dealt a blow when British Gas owner Centrica pulled out of
its 20 per cent stake.
after then, EDF hoped to take a minority stake but could
now see its holding in Hinkley pushed up.
originally agreed to take a stake between 30 per cent and 40 per
cent. While EDF pushed the Chinese towards the higher figure,
it's been reported this week that China will take a 33.5 per cent
stake leaving EDF with 66.5 per cent of the project.
Osborne, who has been the driving force behind the open doors
policy to Chinese funds sloshing into Britain, is pushing for
nuclear authorities to fast-track approval for its reactors designs.
plant owners in this case, EDF and Beijing want
to guarantee a return for their investment. But electricity prices
are notoriously volatile, and can fluctuate wildly even in the
space of a single day.
Government will guarantee EDF will receive a fixed sum
£92.50 for every unit of power (a megawatt hour)
technical mechanism, called a 'contract for difference', means
the company will receive that exact sum for its electricity. If
the price of electricity falls to £50, the state will pay
the £42.50 required to top up EDF's income.
if the price soars to £150, EDF must pay the Government
back £57.50 out of the money it makes. But the price it
can receive called the 'strike price' has been pegged
£92.50 is the price it will receive in 2012 money. This
translates to £100.68 in today's currency, and could be
worth up to £120 or more by the time the plant begins generating
power into the system in the next decade.
will rise in line with inflation every single year until 2060,
when the guarantee ends. In 2013, when the subsidy level was agreed,
EDF said its nuclear technology was 'the cheapest of all low carbon
Stop Hinkley spokesperson Alan Jeffery told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Why does George Osborne want to throw good money after bad
on this project. In the process, he has devastated the UKs
burgeoning renewable energy industry, threatening up to 20,000
jobs in the process. He is doing his best to kill off an innovative
industry of the future in order to keep alive a technology of
the past. It makes about as much sense as funding a telegram service
whilst killing off the mobile phone industry."
cap in hand to a country with such a lamentable human rights and
health and safety record is bad enough, but doing so to fund the
biggest white elephant in history and kill off the industry which
offers the UKs best hope of tackling climate change is just
insane. Surely it must only be a matter of time before this crazy
scheme collapses under the weight of argument."