Reactions to Hinkley Point C developments

29 July 2016

Hinkley Point C has dominated news in the UK due to EDF's final investment decision and the government's surprise move to review the deal. Here, we gather some reactions from industry and academics.


On EDF's final investment decision:

"Approval of Hinkley Point C heralds a new dawn for Nuclear Power in the UK. Clearly one thing of great significance is its ability to provide 3.2 GWe, powering approximately 7% of the UK and doing so for 60 years, but its implications and ramifications extend way beyond this. The go-ahead for Hinkley shows that the UK is 'open for business' in the international arena following the Brexit decision."
Paul Norman, University of Birmingham

"Finally the decision to go ahead with Hinkley Point has been taken. This is most welcome, and a good deal for the UK. Although some may think that the strike price is high, it isn't when you compare it with the cost of offshore wind, solar or other forms of renewable energy. We need a balanced portfolio of low carbon energy sources in the UK in the future."
Sue Ion, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

"Today's announcement that Hinkley Point C will be progressing we hope signals the start of a resurgence that may encourage other nuclear development projects in the UK, including small modular reactors."
Tom Mundy, managing director, NuScale Power (UK & Europe)

"Hinkley Point C sets the UK on a course for a new generation of nuclear power plants that will be the foundation of a reliable low carbon electricity generation mix fit for the 21st century. We need to encourage international investment and ensure electricity markets support the energy choices that will meet the growing need for electricity worldwide and protect the planet."
Agneta Rising, director general, World Nuclear Association

"This is excellent news for Britain - and in particular for the UK nuclear industry. Hinkley Point C will be an important element in the UK's drive to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to homes and businesses for generations to come. As the country which first developed civil nuclear power back in the 1950s, the UK still has a great deal to offer the global industry - from technical skills, knowledge, innovation and facilities to our regulatory expertise and our experience in engaging with local communities. By adding a new build program to that list, this announcement represents a huge step to restoring the UK to the global 'top table' of nuclear nations, where we belong."
Paul Howarth, CEO, National Nuclear Laboratory 


On the UK government's review:

"Theresa May's decision to review the go-ahead on Hinkley Point C is bewildering and bonkers. After years of procrastination, what is required is decisive action not dithering and more delay. This unnecessary hesitation is putting finance for the project in doubt and 25,000 new jobs at risk immediately after Brexit. It is a gross error of judgement and must be reversed."
Justin Bowden, national secretary for energy, GMB union

"The government's decision to take longer to look at the contract does not change the fundamentals - that by 2030, two thirds of our electricity generation capacity will have retired, and we need to replace it with low carbon and reliable power for the future to improve our energy security and meet our commitments on carbon emissions targets. We now need the new ministers to quickly endorse the decision to show they are serious about industrial strategy, building new infrastructure by securing inward investment to create our low carbon energy supplies of the future.
Tom Greatrex, chief executive, UK Nuclear Industry Association

"Regardless of the government's decision to postpone any ruling on Hinkley, other foreign investors will not be put off even if the project is cancelled given the important issues surrounding it. It is worth remembering that the participation of large international energy firms in Britain is dependent on the financial health, events in the home markets, and the corporate strategies of these companies. The new government has not had time to develop a new coherent energy policy but the main alternative to Hinkley is, in the medium term, more CCGT generation which may require revisiting the carbon emission targets."
Tooraj Jamasb, chair in energy economics at Durham University Business School and co-director, Durham Energy Institute

"I am sure at the top of the government's thinking will be maintaining the UK's admirable reputation as a reliable partner for inward investment. If it appears that countries or companies investing in the UK may be encouraged to spend very large sums, running into the billions, in the run-up to a decision which then goes against them, even in the absence of any mistakes or new evidence, it will inevitably drive away investment. Projects that do proceed will presumably have to conclude much tougher break clauses with associated compensation. There is a real danger of TTIP coming in through the back door here."
Malcolm Grimston, senior research fellow, Imperial College London

"While it is understandable the government wants to get to grips with the details of the Hinkley contract, it must press ahead to finalise the deal as soon as possible. The UK is facing a major investment challenge to ensure a secure, low-carbon and affordable energy supply. It's crucial that we see clear and timely decisions, and send a definite message that the UK is well and truly open for business. In particular, clarity is needed around the next Contracts for Difference auction and the post-2020 Levy Control Framework, to build investor confidence."
Josh Hardie, deputy director general, confederation of British Industry

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News