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EDF decision on Hinkley not the last word

EDF decision on Hinkley not the last word

Whatever EDF’s Board decides on Thursday, its proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset must cross 10 further hurdles before construction can begin.

These include:-

  • The current legal action in the European Court by the Austrian Government and others to annul the Commission’s clearance of the British Government’s subsidies;
  • Authoritative legal advice warns there is a high probability of a State Aids investigation by the Commission into the French Government's measures to re-finance EDF so it can pay its share of Hinkley;
  • The legal action currently being taken by a French Union to annul any Final Investment Decision at this time by the Board of EDF;
  • A series of unresolved investigations by the French Nuclear Safety and Financial Markets Authority into safety and financial misreporting.

Details of the significance of these and other hurdles can be found in the attached schedule.

Failing to cross these hurdles would save Britain from making a serious energy policy mistake.

Analysis by McKinsey, the National Infrastructure Commission and others shows that a combination of energy efficiency, renewables, a smarter grid and interconnectors could secure Britain’s electricity supplies faster, cheaper and more reliably than going ahead with Hinkley.

In fact, this combination of measures could deliver three times as much electricity security for less cost than the whole of the proposed nuclear programme.


Tom Burke, E3G Chairman, said

“Nuclear is yesterday’s technology. Going ahead with Hinkley commits Britain to a 20th Century energy infrastructure that keeps control of energy bills in the hands of large corporations. We should be investing in 21st Century energy infrastructure that allows consumers to take back control of their energy bills. At the moment, Britain is being left behind as the rest of the world drives ahead to take advantage of the higher productivity and falling costs of today’s technologies.”

Available for comment

Tom Burke, E3G’s Chairman is available for commentary – please contact him directly at +44 (0) 7710 627616,

Or call the E3G press office at +44 (0) 20 7593 2030


Notes to Editors

  1. E3G is an independent global think tank, working to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. E3G specializes in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance.
  2. In 2016, E3G was ranked the number one environmental think tank in the UK by the Go To Think Tank Index, second in Europe and sixth in the World.
  3. Tom Burke was formally advisor to three Secretaries of State: John Gummer, Michael Howard and Michael Heseltine. He has also been a director of Friends of the Earth and the Green Alliance. He is now Chairman of the climate change think tank E3G.


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