Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The future of Hinkley: Is the UK government about to invest 'direct public subsidies'? And is China about to 'pull out of the UK, creating an even bigger tax burden'?

The arguments over how much nuclear power is subsidised have been well considered:
Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable without Subsidies (2011)
Corporate Welfare Nuclear Subsidies: $7.1 billion a year
Facts on the massive costs and subsidies for nuclear power | Nuclear Information
Energy Subsidies - World Nuclear Association

These are all part of the even bigger picture of the 'economics' of nuclear power - that is, measuring efficiency in terms of getting energy for the money invested:
Economics of nuclear power plants - Wikipedia

The FT puts a clear case for supporting the industry:
British nuclear energy and the case for public funding - Financial Times

Whilst the Guardian looks at the offshore wind option:
UK offshore wind 'will lower energy bills' more than nuclear | Business | The Guardian
“Offshore wind “could be cheaper than nuclear power” (And doesn’t require untold billions in decommissioning costs) | East Devon Watch

However, according to the Times, it now seems that the government will be 'forced' to subsidise nuclear energy:
Ministers forced to throw taxpayers’ cash at nuclear plants | Business | The Times & The Sunday Times
Nuclear power plants to need massive taxpayer subsidies | East Devon Watch

Here is the view from the 'Nuclear News' website - not exactly best friends of the nuclear industry:

UK Ministers “forced” to throw taxpayers cash at nuclear plants – Step 1 bail out – To get “skin in the game”!

February 12 2017, 12:01am,
Ministers are poised to admit that taxpayer cash will be used to fund a new fleet of nuclear power stations — reversing years of government opposition to direct public subsidy.
With Britain’s ageing coal plants due to shut by 2025, the government is banking on new nuclear reactors going up at sites including Wylfa in Anglesey, north Wales, and Moorside in Cumbria.
Successive energy ministers have insisted that no public cash will be used to fund this new generation. Yet industry sources say that energy secretary, Greg Clarke, that this hands-off approach an not persist if the plants are to be built. They say that Whitehall is preparing to launch a consultation….. [PAYWALL]
Posted to nuclear-news.net
12 Feb 2017
There are quiet a few issues that have brought about the UK need get the beleaguered Tax payer to cough up for these nuclear new builds and the writing has been on the wall for some time now. One of the reasons for adding the 2 European nuclear treaties to the list of Brexits (EURATOM and also ESPOO the cross border radiation contamination treaty) is because the UK was not conforming to either fully anyway. And now that the EURATOM directive now includes extra health and safety rules with extra oversight being brought into legislation, the UK did not want to conform to such transparency and certainly did not want to be obliging any further restrictions on the allowable dose to humans from radioactivity sources that are likely because of many new health and environmental studies that have and are being done.
The military application of UK nuclear is intrinsic to the UK nuclear power program and the crony based economic policies to keep this old technology going. The UK`s nuclear new build has to be done to support the existing energy and industrial power elites of the nuclear and fossil fuel industries. Both media and academic institutions are largely  bought and paid for in the UK.
So a withdrawal from the EU with a stand alone policy will limit these institutions ability to report or study in any areas that the Government sees fit to announce is of importance to “National Security” and therefore under the remit of the 2014 Secrets Act change that made many thing “official sensitive” (with a possible 2 year sentence) and indeed, with the even newer whistleblower version going through Parliament (that will allow over 10 years imprisonment, we see that  the UK has followed Japans lead in attempting to clamp down on any pitiful vestige of free speech and academic freedoms that might be left in the UK even today.
Lastly the UK corporations have one more reason to drain the UK Tax payer out of their money. The issue is with Uranium stocks of which many UK based business is invested in. Not only have these stocks plummeted because the biggest nuclear providers on the global market (Japan up to 2011 and China) are quickly and quietly investing huge amounts in the renewables markets with China employing more people in their renewables sector than the whole world combined.
China recently pulled out of a deal with Areva the French nuclear processor and may well decide to pull out of the UK creating an even bigger Tax burden. It looks like that the UK government will OK the Tax support of some projects and when the inevitable failure of international funding occours the Tax payer will be have to dig deeper into their pockets. The UK Government and their Industry cronies need to get the Tax payer to have some “skin in the game” and then the UK future energy policy will be set on course to make investors wealthy for decades to come.
To support my assertions I will leave a range of posts with source links and posits from recent weeks etc, for your easy perusal. Regards Shaun McGee aka arclight2011
China decides against taking stake in Areva and runs away!! « nuclear-news
China more than doubled solar capacity in 2016 « nuclear-news
Saudis take new interest in renewable energy and its bye bye to nuclear programs « nuclear-news

UK Ministers “forced” to throw taxpayers cash at nuclear plants – Step 1 bail out – To get “skin in the game”! « nuclear-news

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