Hinkley Point decision due as government restates commitment to nuclear

Jessica Morris
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Debate Continues into Future of UK Energy Generation
The FID had been pushed back until September (Source: Getty)

French energy giant EDF will make its final investment decision on Hinkley Point C next week, as the government assures international investors of its continued commitment to nuclear power.

EDF recently announced that the final investment decision (FID) will be taken at a board meeting on Thursday, much earlier than expected. It had been pushed back until September, as EDF consulted the unions, a process which ended 4 July.

Read more: Hinkley Point C cost estimates balloon to £37bn

But Paul Dorfman, an honorary senior research fellow at University College London's Energy Institute, warned that the state-backed firm faces numerous issues.

He told City A.M.: "If EDF decide to take a punt on Hinkley, it's also because of the hugely generous financial support structure that the UK government is offering over a staggering 35 year contracted period."

"UK taxpayers and electricity consumers will be locked in to paying for the coming Hinkley debacle long after the current EDF Board and UK government decision-makers are dead and buried."

Read more: French economy minister urges timely decision on Hinkley post-Brexit

It comes as Greg Clark, the business and energy secretary, prepares to assure Japanese investors that are planning Britain's next two plants after Hinkley of the government's commitment to nuclear.

While Hitachi and Toshiba are behind the Horizon project on Anglesey in north Wales and the NuGen plant in Cumbria respectively, funding for the schemes is yet to be found.

The three-day trade mission to Tokyo, which kicks off tomorrow, is intended to shore up investor confidence following the Brexit vote.

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