The Fun in Funding

“As well as taking a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) approach to financing the Thames Tideway, the government offered a “contingent financial support” package which guarantees public money when certain parts of the project go wrong. It’s this transfer of liability first to the consumer, and then also the taxpayer, which helps lower risk and attract investors. A similar package may be offered to nuclear developers. …
Ian Byatt, a former head of the Ofwat, said: “If a company has a big capital project it should put money aside to fund it. Thames [Water] hasn’t done that — it’s paid out every penny in excessive dividends and left Londoners to pick up the bill for the new sewage tunnel.”” https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/08/06/new-nuclear-plants-funding-regulated-asset-base/

Shares in new nuclear for all!

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Exhausted

“ClientEarth is now examining the latest [UK government air pollution] plan and could go back to court again if it decides the measures will not reduce illegal levels of air pollution in the ‘shortest possible time’, as the law demands.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/05/air-pollution-plan-sacrificing-the-nations-health-to-save-an-election-campaign

The UK government, in a flush of swollen electoral sovereignty, may feel justified in treating citizens as collateral damage as those with weak lungs are unlikely to be Conservative voters.

“The plan requires local authorities to exhaust all other options before introducing CAZ [clean air zones] charging for diesel vehicles, as will happen in London, such as removing speed bumps and retrofitting buses.”

It is hoped that the exhaust from these other options will obscure the diesel miasma.

Persuasive argunment

“Apart from the Woodland Trust, which appears to be gaining some access to Defra ministers, the UK conservation movement is remarkably absent from these meetings, while the fieldsports lobby has done very well.” https://anewnatureblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/time-to-rename-defra-the-ministry-of-agriculture-and-fieldsports/

The shooting industry has UK government over a barrel.

gov.broken

“Theresa May launched a slick new government website on Thursday, promising a ‘plan for Britain’, but for the first hour or so it just displayed an error message.” https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/17/theresa-may-website-launch-election-expenses-scandal-nicola-sturgeon

The message read: this is not an IT error.

Noclearer

“The UK’s energy department, BEIS, today announced the go-ahead for the controversial Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power plant in Somerset … [despite]
•its very high cost, more than double the current wholesale power price and far more than the current cost of even high-cost renewable power from offshore wind;
•security concerns over China’s involvement in core UK infrastructure;
•the lack of any single example of a working EPR reactor anywhere in the world;
•the severe delays, cost overuns and technical problems at all EPR construction sites;
•the low value of HPC’s contribution to UK energy supply in the new decentralised ‘smart grid’ era;
•and, common to all nuclear power, the continued absence of any solution to the nuclear waste problem.” (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2988131/hinkley_c_nuclear_goahead_may_caves_in_to_pressure_from_france_and_china.html)

“Ministers will impose a new legal framework for future foreign investment in Britain’s critical infrastructure, which will include nuclear energy and apply after Hinkley.” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-confirms-hinkley-point-c-project-following-new-agreement-in-principle-with-edf)
After Hinkley?
“Hinkley Point C will provide seven per cent of Britain’s electricity needs for sixty years.”
Plus building and decommissioning time. So at least 100 years. If anyone can be bothered reviewing historical documents. If we haven’t extinguished ourselves by then. That’s a very long kick into very long grass.

“The Government will be able to prevent the sale of EDF’s controlling stake prior to the completion of construction, without the prior notification and agreement of ministers. This agreement will be confirmed in an exchange of letters between the Government and EDF.”
Who is this Government if it is not ministers?

“After Hinkley, the British Government will take a special share in all future nuclear new build projects.”
British Government, not UK. So, in 100 years, whatever artificial intelligence entity comprises Government is expected to have disintegrated the union of regions, if not yet detached from Europe.

“A new era of UK nuclear power – building on Britain’s strong nuclear legacy.”
That would be the nuclear waste, bequeathed to anyone left standing in 1000 years.

“The Contract for Difference would provide a set price of £92.50 per megawatt hour of electricity provided by Hinkley Point C for 35 years once it begins generating.”
Start betting on a very high rate of inflation.

“Is there anything wrong with this page?”
Er, yes.

Climate Check-Mayte

“The government has approved a new and ambitious UK carbon pollution reduction target. It commits the UK to cutting carbon emissions 57% from 1990 levels between 2028 and 2032. … ‘Climate Change is not a risk that has been downgraded after the Referendum’ – Amber Rudd, [ex-] Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.” (http://blogs.wwf.org.uk/blog/business-government/keeping-climate-policy-alive-brexit/)

“The abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change has been condemned … ‘Less than a day into the job and it appears that the new prime minister has already downgraded action to tackle climate change, one of the biggest threats we face,’ said Craig Bennett, the CEO of Friends of the Earth.” (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/15/decc-abolition-major-setback-for-uk-climate-change-efforts

“The experts of the Climate Change Committee … also outline some of the potential opportunities global warming may bring to the UK. It’s a meagre list, with plenty of caveats, such as an extended growing season for certain crops (assuming we can manage the plunging soil fertility and can find enough water to irrigate them).” (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987900/fit_to_rule_over_us_theresa_mays_response_to_climate_hazard_report_will_be_her_first_big_test.html)

Rebranding climate change nightmares as ‘Climate Opportunities’ – Climatunities! – will only give policy advisors the wrong sort of wet dreams.

Meanwhile, here in progressive Scotland,
“The Prime Minister and I [the First Minister] have big political disagreements but we are both women who approach business in a similar way, so I think we can have a good working relationship not withstanding those political differences.” (http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/First-Minister-meets-the-Prime-Minister-2706.aspx)

Political difference #152:
“The Environment and Climate Change will have a dedicated Cabinet Secretary for the first time, with Roseanna Cunningham’s appointment underlining the Scottish Government’s ambitious plans to further reduce carbon emissions, protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and take forward the Government’s work on land reform.” (http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/New-Scottish-Cabinet-unveiled-24d3.aspx)

Clue in the Name

“In Poole, the area designated for new housing is already at threat from flooding. Plans were approved to build 1,350 new homes on the site of a former power station.” (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2986683/government_planning_thousands_of_new_homes_for_flood_zones.html)

Not so much a brownfield site as a marsh.