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Hinkley Point C to get £14bn from UK and Japanese taxpayers – despite ever-cheaper renewables

Guardian 21st Jan 2018, Finance aside, renewables will be nuclear’s real foe in the future. The
new chief executive of EDF Energy admitted last week that it had been a
“monstrous job” drumming up the backing for the UK’s first new
nuclear power station in decades.
The next nuclear plants will need to be built for a much cheaper, subsidised price
of power than the generous one awarded to EDF’s Hinkley Point C, Whitehall has warned.
So those who undertake construction will need every possible weapon at their disposal to
defeat their biggest enemy: financing.
Public finance is the magic sword that some think could slay the Godzilla-sized challenge facing Japanese
firm Hitachi, which wants to build a plant on the island of Anglesey.
Japanese press reports recently put the capital cost of the project at
£19.5bn, with more than £14bn to come from loans from the UK and Japanese
governments. The rationale for Tokyo is clear. The big question is why the
UK would want to shoulder the risk of such a huge scheme.
The idea of taxpayers taking on any of the construction risk of building new nuclear
plants has been political anathema for years. It has become a government
mantra that the subsidy cost promised to EDF is justified because the
public is not bearing the risks of building Hinkley.
By 2030, when Sizewell C might be under construction, there could be five times as much offshore
wind capacity as there is today, according to a report this week.
Renewables, battery storage and other technologies could prove to be the
real monster facing nuclear.


January 24, 2018 - Posted by | Japan, politics, UK

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