German Companies Dump UK Nuclear
RWE and EON have pulled out of building new nuclear plants in the UK. (See Telegraph Here)
It is perhaps unsurprising as both companies have been financially crippled by the German decision to shut down their nuclear plants. Both companies are faced with a massive drop in income as their German plants languish. This is the income they were relying on for the next 20+ years to pay for the investment in UK nuclear. Essentially RWE and EON say they now lack the cash for the up front investment in the UK nuclear facilities.
They will also have to pay out for early decommissioning of their German plant. So while the Horison consortium is obliged to keeping to its Finnish commitments for nuclear plant
they have found that legally they can pull out of the large up front commitment in the UK with virtual impunity.
While it is easy to see their financial reasoning, this clearly leaves a big hole in power supply for the UK. It also perhaps shows the stupidity of allowing strategic industries to fall into the clutches of foreign companies. Especially when their commitment to the UK is essentially controlled by a foreign government. (This incidentally applies to all generation technology not just nuclear)
So, we live in interesting times.
Maybe the Horison consortium will be picked up by EDF or others. Again foreign companies controlling our strategic industries.
Then maybe we could simply not build the nuclear plants.
We desperately need reliable, dependable and dispatchable power generation. We have already wasted far too much time and money on unviable an ineffective energy daydreams.
If we were to walk way from these two proposed nuclear sites the most likely outcome is that we would have to adopt the German post nuclear strategy and build more coal plant. Maybe with the potential of the Lancashire shale gas field we could build more gas instead.
Either way we slide backwards.
For the last 20 years we have been living in a dreamworld where strategic industrial investment has been dictated by the technically illiterate, ideological bigotry and wishful thinking.
Instead of relying of foreign companies, who are in turn controlled by foreign governments, maybe it is time we took responsibility and did it for ourselves.
You know - Just for a change - and before it is too late.