Saturday, 10 May 2008

The Glorious Ninth: Open Season on British Energy



Raised yesterday in comments by our Hon Member Mr BQ, EDF has opened the bidding on British Energy.


This is all highly political, and difficult to read in detail: but by way of marking the spectators’ cards we can list several solid principles:

· BE’s main value is as a collection of sites where it would be easiest to build new nucs

· Otherwise it is a gigantic liability

· EDF is an even bigger liability, but Sarkozy is playing double-or-quits with the whole EU

· People will always need electricity

· There isn’t much that can’t be done with (a) a guaranteed income stream and (b) an indemnity on decommissioning in your back pocket

This last statement is rather based on the easy financing conditions of recent years. I am continually probing utilities and other energy co’s on whether the Credit Crunch has bitten them yet, and they all say ‘no’. But I really wonder if this can remain the case indefinitely.

If it doesn’t, the lights will go out some time in the middle of the next decade.

ND

5 comments:

Lil Jimmy said...

2012 I've been saying since 2006 and have been laughed at.

rwendland said...

According to The Times today the takeover battle is hotting up: "one of which valued it at almost £11 billion"!

Is there a champion yet for U.S. built nucs yet? With the way the Euro and dollar have gone, and the EPR build fiasco at Olkiluoto, I would have thought U.S. nucs would be looking more economic - if any truly are. Though all this looks like a punt on carbon pricing to me.

Had a look at (most of ex-BNFL) the other day. Full of photos of half knocked down plant, and their business is "we are carrying out some of the most innovative and complex nuclear decommissioning projects in the world." This is what has become of the £billions UK plc has poured into nucs the last 40 years, plus a few clapped out AGRs. I'm very glad to see that other countries, not us, are betting on the next generation in this foolish game.

Nick Drew said...

Mr Endland ! welcome back

glad to see other countries, not us, betting on the next generation

well I keep banging on about it, but I reckon the French intend to socialise their nuclear industry - or at least the liabilities

so we may find we all have a stake !

the US newbuild capacity - such as it is - anticipates being fully occupied Stateside. They have an even worse engineer shortage than in Europe - hence the ease with which National Grid (plc) makes its business there

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