The UK’s Energy Secretary has told power generator EDF he wants an “even lower” price for future nuclear plants.
Yesterday the Government and the supplier announced they have agreed on the strike price– that is, the level of payment for nuclear power from the plant under its Contracts for Difference mechanism.
EDF will get £92.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) for power from Hinkley Point C. This price could be lowered by £3 to £89.50 if EDF agree to build a second new power station, Sizewell C.
However neither ministers nor the supplier expect the strike price for Sizewell to be at the same level.
Asked about this at a press conference about the Hinkley agreement yesterday, Ed Davey said: “For Sizewell C there will be new negotiations, there’s no way they’ll be identical.
“Let me just tell our EDF colleagues we’ll be looking for an even lower price.”
A small titter followed the half-jest, as well as an expressionless glance from the chief executive of EDF’s UK energy business, Vincent de Rivaz.
It’s by no means certain EDF will decide to spend on more power stations. Earlier at the briefing, Mr de Rivaz said: “We haven’t made any commitment to do Sizewell C but obviously several EPR reactors in the country would be good news.”
After the conference Mr Davey told ELN the price was “cheaper than we expected”.
He added: “Let’s remember, it won’t start touching consumer bills until after 2023 when we expect the plant to be generating.
It’s over ten years’ time until consumers might see any of this coming through to their bills and in that world we think this will be a very good value for money for consumers.”