Utility Week

UtilityWeek 5th August 2016

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10 | 5th - 11th August 2016 | utILItY WEEK Lobby Policy / Party conferences Policy & Regulation Timeline Nov 2005: The government launches a review into the UK's energy system. May 2009: Centrica agrees to take a 20 per cent stake in a joint venture with EDF to build four new nuclear plants. Oct 2011: EDF submits its planning application 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 T he long-running Hinkley Point C drama goes on. Before the champagne corks could pop in celebration of EDF making its final investment decision on the £18 billion nuclear power station, the gov- ernment waded in to poop the party. Almost immediately aer the EDF board voted 10 to 7 in favour of the deal, the new energy and business secretary, Greg Clark, unveiled another delay to the project, push- ing back the final, final decision until the autumn. The saga began way back in 2005 when Hinkley Point C, the neverending story Mathew Beech looks at the saga of delays that have blighted EDF's nuclear new-build project. the Labour government under the leadership of Tony Blair launched an energy review, which culminated in renewed support for new nuclear, and ultimately the Hinkley Point C project. However, this latest plot twist has arisen from the Brexit vote, which led to the depar- ture of some the project's leading supporters: notably former chancellor George Osborne and the entire Department of Energy and Cli- mate Change. Brexit appears to partly be behind Clark's push back on the final decision. Another driver is said to be new prime minister The- resa May's national security concerns about Chinese involvement in the deal (see more in Political Agenda, p8). To many, a delay to allow further scrutiny of the deal is a sensible, rational decision and the only logical path for May's govern- ment and the new Department for Busi- ness, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to take. "I would commend the government for their decision to undertake the review," energy and climate change select committee chair Angus MacNeil tells Utility Week. The SNP MP, who is not a fan of the Hin- kley project, says it is a "sensible move" that will enable the new energy team in BEIS to get to grips with the detail of the deal. Others, including CBI deputy director general Joshua Hardie and CGN, which is partnering with EDF to build and fund the 3.2GW nuclear plant, have also expressed their understanding at the government seek- ing to familiarise itself before committing to the deal. Nuclear Industry Association chief execu- tive Tom Greatrex cautiously backed the EDF share price The board's backing for Hinkley was labelled "credit negative" by credit rating agency Moody's, and it was announced with group results that showed operating profit down nearly 15 per cent. Despite this, its shares leapt the next day – at one point up 15 per cent – to close at a two-month high of €12.11 following the news that the UK government had delayed the final sign-off on Hinkley Point C until the autumn. 13.0 12.5 12.0 11.5 11.0 10.5 EDF sharE pricE FivE Days 26 Jul 27 Jul 28 Jul 29 Jul 13.0 12.0 11.0 10 9 EDF sharE pricE FivE Days Jun 2016 Jul 2016 Jul 2006: The energy review approves new nuclear as a source of secure, low-carbon power, but says it will be up to the private sector to pay for it. Feb 2007: EDF announces plans to build the first new nuclear plant in Britain for a generation. Chief executive of EDF Energy Vincent de Rivaz says by the Christmas 2017 Brits will be cooking their Turkeys with power generated at Hinkley. Feb 2012: Centrica pulls out of joint venture with EDF. Mar 2013: Energy secretary Ed Davey approves the construction of Hinkley.

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