Wednesday, 22 December 2010

tax nuclear windfall profits and give it to renewables

See a letter (text below) I had published in the Guardian about how EDF will make billions a year for doing nothing extra out of the Government proposals for a floor price for carbon emission allowances (they already make a lot out of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for producing no extra power than they would anyway):
  • The Guardian,

  • EDF's claim that they "have not asked for subsidy for new nuclear" is not all that it seems. The nuclear industry, owned by British Energy (in turn owned by EDF), will be receiving huge sums of windfall profits under government proposals for a floor price on carbon emission allowances. British Energy will greatly expand its profits for no increase in nuclear power production, all subsidised by electricity consumers.
    Based on Royal Academy of Engineering analysis (a pro-nuclear source) a carbon floor price of £30 per tonne is likely to lead to electricity price increases of around 2.5p/Kwh. Given that British Energy produces (according to their website) around 50 TWh per year, this would give them annual windfall profits of around £1.25bn a year. Many argue that the "floor price" would have to be higher than this to make new nuclear power stations profitable. A floor price of £50 per tonne would give EDF windfall profits (at 50 TWh a year) of over £2bn a year. Indeed British Energy and EDF are already receiving hundreds of millions of pounds a year of subsidy by another name through existing levels of carbon prices.
    Dr David Toke
    Senior lecturer in energy policy, University of Birmingham

    In Germany the Government is imposing a tax on these windfall profits and then spending the money on renewable energy. But then Germany wants to build an economy based on renewable energy whilst in the UK, contrary to the 'greenwash' that the Government is spreading, increasing quantities of consumer subsidies are being transferred to nuclear energy when there is plenty of renewable wind, solar etc resources around. WRITE TO YOUR MP DEMANDING A TAX ON NUCLEAR WINDFALL PROFITS TO BE SPENT ON RENEWABLE ENERGY INSTEAD. EDF is already bagging hundreds of millions a year from this, and under the Government proposals it will get much worse.

    See previous blogs about how nuclear is being given priority over renewables as the main non-fossil future energy source.

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