Friday, 9 January 2015

All Quiet on the Nuclear Front

With the price of oil the way it is, (and gas and coal in the same boat), anything else in the energy space looks a bit sick.  And everything has gone eerily quiet on the nuclear front, which ought to be humming since the EC gave its craven clearance for Davey's giga-subsidy for Hinkley C.

Instead, we have one recent sighting of EDF's de Rivaz, saying he hopes for FID by the end of March, but oh it's so difficult because that 80-page agreement (the subsidy contract) now needs to be turned into thousands of pages of proper contracts.

For this, he requires the whole-hearted collaboration (nice word, that, in context) of DECC.  What could be easier for them, than to spin the whole thing out ...

I'm guessing this one gets carefully nudged out until beyond the election, after which, all bets off.  Of course, it could be exactly the other way about, and there might be a desperate scramble to get it done by May.  But I can't see any upside for Cons or LibDems in binding anyone's hands, whomsoever will be in Downing Street next time.  This isn't Gordon "scorched earth" Brown we're talking about.

As a longstanding opponent of this deal I can obviously be accused of wishful thinking.  Fair enough, but that's what I think.  Have a nice weekend!



Budgie said...

Whilst I do not think it is a great deal at £92.50/MWh it is miles better than Wind (onshore and especially offshore) and solar which, with the necessary back-up, cost far more.

I would much prefer a production line for small thorium reactors, of course. Then gas could be used domestically and where sensible, rather than wasted on electricity generation.

Jan said...

According to my local BBC TV news last night EDF are proceeding with the preparatory work at the site and have already spent £1billion pounds even without the finances being in place. I'm still hoping it won't happen.....

rwendland said...

There was an interesting report in the Bridgewater Mercury a few aweeks ago that, as well as Areva being unable to stump up its 10% of finance, that the Chinese financiers were not compliant with EDF's desires:

"There have been widespread reports that over-excessive demands from the Chinese partners have caused setbacks for Hinkley which prompted new talks with Saudi Electric."

Heard any more detail on that ND? Given the oil price fall, Saudi doesn't sound a too promising financier right now.

Nick Drew said...

yes, apparently the Chinese wanted a very big slice of the supply chain

a bit like when Putin says you want to buy gas but I want to sell you trucks - for gas, read cash!

rwendland said...

You'd have thought EDF & the Chinese would have agreed the % of components made in China a long time ago. My guess is that Areva has incresed its large component prices a lot, given it is delivering Flamanville components a year late probably because they are harder to make than expected, and the Chinese are saying they can make them a lot cheaper so up our % to save money.

NB I think you'll enjoy the photo in this story ND.

Nick Drew said...

I do indeed - hilarious!

they seem to have baked a radioactive EDF turdcake, as well ...

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