Monday, 1 August 2016

Hinkley Point

I've written previously about the economics of electricity generation here

The Hinkley Point debacle has confirmed my analysis. Modern power stations have become uneconomical to run, investors demand large subsidies as incentive to build them, governments have to keep the lights on while satisfying the ever increasing demands of the greens and their cohorts in the renewable unreliable energy industry.

It can only end in disaster, unless that is, Greg Clark and Theresa May can bring normality back to the post Brexit UK energy market. 

They will need to move quicker on the Article 50 button before the lights go out.  


  1. Hi folks. This is from the Guardian newspaper in - line to day.

    The Chinese company with a major stake in the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been charged by the US government over nuclear espionage, according to the US justice department.

    In a 17-page indictment, the US government said nuclear engineer Allen Ho, employed by the China General Nuclear Power Company, and the company itself had unlawfully conspired to develop nuclear material in China without US approval and “with the intent to secure an advantage to the People’s Republic of China”.

    Allen Ho, nuclear engineer employed by the China General Nuclear Power Company
    Allen Ho, nuclear engineer employed by the China General Nuclear Power Company, charged by the US government over nuclear espionage. Photograph: Knox County Sheriff's Office
    CGNPC has a 33% stake in the £18bn Hinkley Point project in Somerset, which Theresa May has delayed partly because of concerns over China’s involvement. The delay prompted a warning earlier this week from the Chinese ambassador to the UK, who said that relations between the two countries are at a “crucial historical juncture”.

    Assistant US attorney general John P Carlin said: “Allen Ho, at the direction of a Chinese state-owned nuclear power company allegedly approached and enlisted US-based nuclear experts to provide integral assistance in developing and producing special nuclear material in China

  2. Apart from the fact that most green electricity sources do not work, there is the fact that they cannot compete in the market place Governments may think subsidies are needed to kick start the renewable industry, whereas subsidies are needed to sustain the industry. The most valuable subsidy is not the direct payments through the complex PSO system, its priority dispatch (must buy) at a high price. This means that conventional generators must move out of the market to allow renewables in. This takes their profits away necessitating the payment of increased capacity payments and curtailment payments. More and more generators being paid more and more money means higher electricity prices to keep them afloat. Taking the profits from conventional generators will force some out of the market leaving dangerous margins of power when renewables are not available. As blackouts loom, there is a rush to replace these with nuclear and new gas plant. Without engineering expertise, the Chinese offer help at a huge cost and in the process they steal the know how from the west to bolster their own knowledge and improve their own nuclear weapons capability. It is like as if a law was passed requiring a one inch nail be driven up into the heal of every right hand boot or shoe worn by every person over 20 years old so that it protrudes a half inch above the sole. There would be massive unintended consequences and cost. So why do I say subsidies for renewables are unworkable while subsidies for farming are a good idea. Check out my next post on this blog.