Hinkley Point Postponed Until September
Posted on Aug 9, 2016
Hinkley Point has Postponed Plans until September
Towards the end of July, last minute delays were proposed for Britain’s first new nuclear power plant for a generation. The decision for Hinkley Point, Somerset, came into place after Theresa May’s Government announced a new review. Resulting in the decision on the future of Hinkley Point being postponed until September.
After the EDF board approved the £18 billion project, within hours their decision had been subsided by the new Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark. He announced the project will be delayed.
He said: “The UK needs a reliable and secure energy supply and the government believes that nuclear energy is an important part of the mix. The government will now consider carefully all the component parts of this project and make its decision in the early autumn.”
Critics say that Hinkley Point is “poor value for money” and “very risky”.
The government has promised to pay EDF a cemented cost of £92.50 per mega-watt hour of electricity for a substantial 35 years.
Questions have been raised regarding the association in the project with the Chinese State nuclear firms who are due to invest one third of the Hinkley Point project. The Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, has stated that he feels as though the ‘mutual trust’ is in jeopardy as a result of the recent delays to the nuclear project. This will continue unless the Hinkley Point power station is given the green-light again.
Liu Xiaoming said: “Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture. Mutual trust should be treasured even more.
“I hope the UK will keep its door open to China and that the British government will continue to support Hinkley Point – and come to a decision as soon as possible so that the project can proceed smoothly.”
The two reactors which are planned to be constructed at Hinkley Point are expected to generate the right amount of electricity in order to meet 7 percent of the UK’s energy needs. This would enforce power in 5.8 million homes.
Considering recent delays, the power is expected to be produced by 2033. Before the recent changes, the initial prediction for power to be produced was 8 years before this date, therefore allowing Hinkley Point to be producing power by 2025.
Given the above, the government have insisted that Hinkley Point represents a good deal to assist the replacement of Britain’s ageing power plants. Old coal stations have been shut down to environmental rules and old nuclear reactors have to also bid farewell.
What are your views on the new Hinkley Point plans? Do you agree with the critics comments or do you think Hinkley Point will be a good investment in the energy industry? Should the plans be postponed or should we go ahead ASAP with our new nuclear power plant station?
D-ENERGi have started to roll out smart meters to its valuable portfolio of customers. By the end of 2020, around 50 million smart meters will be fitted in over 26 million households across Wales, Scotland and England. This is the biggest national infrastructure project of our lifetimes. D-ENERGi are planning to switch all of its customers to smart metering by end of September 2015. This is a whopping 5 years ahead of any of the big six are expected to complete their national rollout of smart meters.
Fossil fuels as we most commonly know them are coal, oil and natural gas. Oil and natural gas are namely known for being located in underground reservoirs but they can also be found in other locations such as shale gas and tar sands. Previously these were considered to be too costly to excavate and make them commercially viable, it is only thanks to the advancements made over the last ten years in drilling technology that these can now be accessed and sold at a profit.
As with many countries Britain is a source of shale gas but this is an as yet untapped resource and yet one that is understandably becoming more and more appealing to businesses and the government. The North Sea oil rig is one of the main contributors to the British Economy and quite often the economy rises and falls with the output of these oil fields; the economy shrank by 0.3% in the final quarter of 2012 because of declining gas and oil output.
“Shale gas could be a new North Sea for Britain, creating tens of thousands of jobs, supporting our manufacturers and reducing gas imports.”
The above statement was made by Corin Taylor, Senior Economic Adviser and author of a new report from the IoD regarding the potential impact of frakking for shale gas on the British economy. Such statements will undoubtedly incite excitement in a government that is looking for an immediate solution to their fiscal woes.
The report cited government figures that estimate 76% of the UK’s gas would be imported by 2030 the cost of which would be around £15.6bn. per year. However, according to this report, if shale gas were to be aggressively pursued gas imports would be reduced to around 37% by 2030 at a total cost of around £7.5bn. per year.
The above figures are clearly an encouraging incentive and shale gas has been somewhat of a revolutionary natural resource in countries that have found themselves with an abundance of it. The two most hotly discussed examples can be found in Northern America. The USA is hoping to be nearly entirely self sufficient regarding energy thanks to their vast reserves of shale gas and Canada is looking for a major boom to it’s economy thanks to their recently discovered tar sands, also known as oil sands. However, what on the surface appears to be the answer to all our looming fears over the future of global energy production could potentially force climate change into an irreversible state.
The process by which shale gas is extracted is called ‘frakking’ and involves drilling a well to the depth at which the shale rock sits and then blasting the rock with water and chemicals. As the water and chemicals produce fissures in the rock natural gas is released and can subsequently be siphoned off and used as energy. One of the most commonly cited issues with frakking is that the chemicals used in the process can contaminate local water suppliers as only 50-70% of surplus water is recovered. However, these figures are regularly disputed and though there are examples of this, such as in Pennsylvania as outlined in this study, they appear to be isolated incidents and are yet to be corroborated by other communities located near frakking sites.
There are obvious benefits to excavating the shale gas resources, the economic boost alone is incredibly appealing, but surely this can only be seen as a desperate attempt to hold onto a system that will ultimately fail us. These resources can only ever be finite, and whilst they are available to be used their use will ultimately push climate change to such a degree that there is no stopping it and certainly no returning from it. We should see the dwindling supply of fossil fuels as a reason to pursue something new, to invest in renewable energy solutions that could potentially reverse the devastating impact that carbon emissions have had.