The story so far: EDF is dangling in front of HMG the prospect of developing one of the ten new nukes it wants. It used to be 4 that EDF promised, but let that pass because HMG will be grovellingly, pathetically grateful for one. Ah, say EDF, but first you must cross our palms with a very high guaranteed electricity price.
How high ? Well of course they propose to torture HMG in a smoke-filled room until they yield whatever EDF decides is enough, so we won’t know until they all emerge blinking into the sunshine waving a contract. But people are prone to doing their own maths and, based on EDF’s lamentable recent attempt to build one such new nuke in La France elle-même, (no start-up date in sight, at least 4 years late and massively over budget, EDF at war with nuke contractor Areva), various estimates have been derived, in the range £150-165 / MWh.
Quelle horreur, this is three times the current price (geddit?) of wholesale electricity. Can it really only be four years ago EDF told us it would be £45 ? This weekend, the wily frog has granted an interview to the lovely Emily Gosden, one of a production-line of DTel fruity-girl energy correspondents. In this, M.de Rivaz, for c’est lui, has let slip (well, planted, of course) the notion that he might just squeeze us in at less than recent estimates of the cost of offshore wind (another unaffordable technology), say, £140.
As I’ve surmised before, we are presumably being softened up for £119.95, indexed-linked of course, to commence production in, oooh, 2020? (no guarantees, of course) which will be proclaimed a miracle. This, ladies and gentlemen, is no bargain. If it’s security of supply we want, it can be had a great deal cheaper – and earlier - than that.