The UK government
Letters, emails, and memoranda
- Letter to Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, 2011-04-05.
Email and letter to Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, 2010-05-26.
Follow on letter to Chris Huhne MP, 2010-07-22.
Government reports and consultations
DECC: Energy Bill 2012.
- DECC: Electricity market reform: keeping the lights on in the cheapest, cleanest way:
Committee on Climate Change
DECC Consultation on Electricity Market Reform (closed 2011-03-10).
Enquiry by the Energy and Climate Change Committee: "The UK’s energy supply: security or independence?"
Nuclear power generators will face £1bn in clean-up costs after an accident (The Observer, 2011-01-23). See also Seven-fold increase in liability for nuclear sites announced (DECC press release, 2011-01-24), Nuclear clean-up costs face big rise (FT, 2011-01-24). Comment: BP is likely to pay $41 billion or more for the Gulf oil disaster. From World Nuclear Association: "Germany has unlimited operator
liability and requires €2.5 billion security which must be provided by
the operator for each plant. This security is partly covered by
insurance, to €256 million."
Energy and climate change - third report: The revised draft National Policy Statements on energy, 2011-01-18.
Greg Barker plants seeds for growth in microgeneration industry (DECC press release, 2010-12-22)
The consultation document.
Consultation procedure (deadline, 2011-03-16).
What is conspicuously missing from the microgeneration strategy is any recognition of 'negawatts' and, in particular, the role of super-insulation in reducing the need for generation.
Consultation on a methodology for determining a Fixed Unit Price for waste disposal and updated cost estimates for nuclear decommissioning, waste management and waste disposal, May 2010:
2050 Pathways Analysis, August 2010. Contains links to the 2050 Pathways Analysis document itself, the 2050 Pathways calculator tool, and the 2050 Pathways Calculator Excel model.
Consultation on the revised draft National Policy Statements for Energy Infrastructure. See also Statement on Energy Policy by Chris Huhne (Written Ministerial Statement), 2010-10-18.
The coalition Government, 2010
The Lib-Con coalition Government established following the UK elections in May 2010 has made a commitment that any new nuclear power stations should "receive no public subsidy" ("The Coalition: our programme for government", page 17).
If this commitment means what it says, none of the subsidies identified in the Nuclear Subsidies report will be provided for any new nuclear power stations.
The Energy Fair group, with others, will be working to try to ensure that the Government honours its commitment. With regard to the seven types of subsidies described in the Nuclear Subsidies report, we will be pressing the Government to ensure that:
The operators of any new nuclear power stations should pay the full costs of insurance against accidents, disposal of nuclear waste, decommissioning of nuclear plants, and so on.
Where there is uncertainty about what costs may be in the future, the operators of any new nuclear plants should be required to take out appropriate insurance. If such insurance cannot be obtained commercially, the operators should be required to pay premiums to the Government as the insurer of last resort. In this case, the size of the premiums would be calculated by independent actuarial experts.
We will also be working to try to ensure that the Government's declared intention of creating "a floor price for carbon" is exactly that, and not some back-door subsidy for nuclear power.
Relevant news will be posted on this page.
New forms of support for the nuclear industry?
News reports suggest that, despite the subsidies described in the Nuclear Subsidies report, nuclear companies and investors will not be prepared to build new nuclear power stations in the UK unless they receive even more support (see, for example, 'More incentives needed for nuclear', says Energy Minister Charles Hendry, Daily Telegraph, 2010-11-05). It appears from that report that the main kinds of support that are being considered are:
A floor price for carbon emissions or something else that may be portrayed as a floor price for carbon emissions.
Capacity payments for low-carbon electricity generation: "This would reward companies for making their
electricity generation capacity available to the grid, even if it is just as
An obligation on suppliers to provide a certain proportion
of low-carbon power or contracts-for-difference in the electricity market.
With the possible exception of the first item, it is likely that these forms of support would be subsidies for nuclear power, additional to those described in the Nuclear Subsidies report. Whether or not they may be regarded as subsidies is discussed in the following pages:
Questions and statements in Parliament
- 2012-09-13 (transparency in setting of strike price).
European Commission and state aid
- Letter sent to MEPs, 2012-04-19.
Barry Gardiner (Brent North) (Lab):
I welcome the green investment bank. Will the Secretary of State
confirm, however, that the EU Commission has written to the Government
expressing its concerns, under state aid rules, that the Government’s
proposals in the electricity market reform for contracts for different
feed-in tariffs and a floor price for carbon may constitute a subsidy
for nuclear? If it has done so, will he make the letter available in the
Vince Cable: I cannot confirm that. If the information is available, I am sure we can pursue it in the proper way. As it happens, I met the Competition
Commissioner last week and he did not refer to that, but he is alerted
to the green investment bank state aid application, and he will deal
with it professionally, I am sure.