Ecotricity set for legal challenge to Hinkley Point nuclear project

Dale Vince
Dale Vince

Independent renewable energy supplier Ecotricity and Greenpeace have written to the UK and French governments and EDF Energy to warn that any further state aid for Hinckley Point nuclear power station could be illegal.

The letter makes clear that both Ecotricity and Greenpeace would be prepared to challenge further state funding in the courts.  

The Hinkley Point project has been rumbling on for a number of years, despite the support of the UK, French and Chinese governments.

The UK government has given EDF the maximum amount of subsidy allowed under state aid rules, offering the company a 35 year subsidy at twice the market price and an export guarantee for Hinkley. 

Despite this, France’s economics minister, Emmanuel Macron, committed to provide further state support for the project – support that Ecotricity and Greenpeace say would be illegal without approval from the European Commission.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “It’s time for everyone to realise that we’ve reached the end of the road for Hinkley Point – it’s not going to happen. 

“Illegal state aid is one thing, and we’ll work with Greenpeace to challenge that if it happens. But it’s not just financial issues, there are technical problems with Hinkley Point too. 

“EDF are yet to build one of these reactors. Their first two attempts are, between them, 16 years late and billions over budget. Nobody in a normal business would attempt a third with the first two so woefully out of control.  

“The Energy Secretary, Amber Rudd, has conceded that we don’t need Hinkley Point to keep the lights on in Britain – that’s a change of stance having previously said it was essential for that purpose. 

“They need to go further and change their stance on green energy – which powered a quarter of the country last year, and could do so much more if it received even a fraction of the economic and political support given to the nuclear industry.” 

Yesterday the French Minister of State for State Reform said that EDF needs to invest in renewable energy not nuclear technology.  

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