Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
EDF Energy tight-lipped over Hinkley C Government subsidy claims
10:31am Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
EDF Energy says getting a decent price from the Government for its electricity remains the last piece of the jigsaw to ensure Somerset's third nuclear power station goes ahead at Hinkley Point.
In the past week, the Financial Times has claimed EDF has asked the Treasury to underwrite its new nuclear project following the withdrawal of a major backer, Centrica.
The Guardian has also reported the Government is considering offering energy firms 40-year subsidies - potentially worth tens of billions of pounds - to ensure the next wave of nuclear stations are built.
EDF has declined to comment on either report but said negotiations were ongoing over a Contract for Difference - a guaranteed price the firm will receive for its energy throughout the lifetime of its nuclear power stations.
EDF chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “This Contract for Difference is now more than ever the key to attracting investors and to unlock the funding for this project, which will give the UK the secure, low carbon energy it needs for the future.”
A company spokesman said negotiations were focussed on agreeing a “fair price that is balanced for both consumers and investors.
“Nuclear offers a long-term consistent guarantee that the UK will have the low-carbon energy it needs.”
The County Gazette understands the CFD is unlikely to be agreed before March 19, the cut-off point by which time Energy Secretary Ed Davey will have announced whether or not Hinkley C has planning approval.
A Treasury spokesman declined to comment on any negotiations with EDF, but did say the Government's UK Guarantee Scheme, launched last year, was available to help kick-start major infrastructure projects.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change said: "No commitment has been made on commercial terms or a strike price.
“Ongoing discussions are focused on finding a fair, affordable deal, which represents value for money for consumers. Any agreement reached will be laid before parliament, and will include details of the strike price."