Australian news, and some related international items

Britain’s financial shock, as Hinkley nuclear plan costs balloon towards £50 billion.

Times 19th July 2017, The storm surrounding the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant was set to break out anew today after it emerged last night that the cost to consumers could mushroom to £50 billion.

The new official estimate is more than eight times higher than the £6 billion that the National Audit
Office estimated the plant would cost consumers when ministers first struck a subsidy deal to support it in 2013. The spark that ignited the explosion in the estimate is a decline in electricity prices, which in turn have hugely inflated the subsidies that the project is expected to require.

Under the terms of the deal, which was confirmed, after some delay, last autumn by Theresa May, the nuclear developers EDF, of France, and CGN, of China, will foot the up-front construction cost in return for a guaranteed price of £92.50 for every megawatt- hour of power that the plant generates for 35 years.

If wholesale prices are below that level, the difference will be subsidised by consumers through levies on their energy bills. Wholesale prices and projections of future prices have both fallen significantly
since 2013 as the cost of fossil fuels used in conventional power generation has plunged. This has increased the estimates of the subsidy payments that will be required for Hinkley Point, making the project appear increasingly poor value. Government figures show that, as of September last year, the lifetime costs of Hinkley Point C were estimated at £49.9 billion. That compares with an estimate of £36.9 billion in 2015 and £14.5 billion in 2014.


July 19, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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