29.07.16 Hinkley Point C: You couldn't make it up

Posted on July 29, 2016
Archive : July 2016
Category : Energy News

Most of us know zip all about nuclear power, but I bet quite a few of us would be prepared to bet our life savings on whether or not this particular nuclear power plant will arrive on time and on budget, if they ever get to dig the first sod that is. EDF's record on the deal hasn't actually been rock-steady with a number of its directors jumping ship, major time and money problems with similar projects, the French government (who own EDF) talking about selling Peugeot (which they also part own) so that they can lend EDF the money to plug their funding black hole and, as with all of these large scale adventures, there's the continuously escalating costs which would have frightened off most people by now, if this wasn't also some kind of vanity project for the French, British and Chinese governments. And let's not forget too the French unions who have never exactly been keen on this one (they have no words for 'hunky dory' in French).

Through all of this and having kept our hands deep inside our pockets you would have thought that now EDF have bitten the bullet (and also taken a few) to ensure they could finally give the go-ahead to Hinkley, our lot would have said 'Merci beaucoup mes amis' but 'non'. We've just told them that after a decade deep in thought we still need some more time to think about it. Maybe the Minister responsible for this decision had just seen the latest figures for the growth in the share that renewables now make to our energy supply. In 2015 electricity sourced from renewables was 5.5% up on the previous year and now counts for 22% of all of the electricity generated – and just about to overtake coal. If it ever gets built Hinkley Point C could eventually supply 7%. So, too big to fail? Watch this space and throw another log on the stove while you're at it.

Sources: BBC News, Edie Newsroom and Utility Week – to read more on this please click here