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photo courtesy of EDF Energy

This week, the Government announced that the taxpayer would be subsidising the construction of a £16 billion, 3.3GW new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.  The deal was stuck with EDF, the French state owned utility.  In the wake of the disaster at Fukishima, with dangerous levels of radioactive Strontium entering into their water, any investment in the construction of a new nuclear facility is short-sighted, presenting a formidable threat to the economic health and potentially the physical well being of future generations.

The subsidy presents the threat of a dangerous economic legacy for us now and for future generations.  The guaranteed strike price of £92.50 per MWh lasts for 35 years, and is twice the current price of electricity in the market today.

What this means is that every taxpayer, regardless of whether one benefits from it or not, will be financing the generation of this electricity for the next 35 years.  Because of the base load nature of nuclear power, there may be times when no one is consuming this electricity yet, the taxpayer will still be paying EDF and the investor consortia for generating it.

Foreign investment could comprise more than 50% of the ownership of the plant, which means our taxpayers’ money is contributing to the wealth of foreign nations instead of being invested at home.   It’s a no brainer for the Chinese to take up to a 40% stake in the consortium, because for them it is a guaranteed investment return with very little risk.  The move creates distortions in the supplier market and sets a greedy precedent for other suppliers.

Energy subsidies EnergiewendeThis graph, prepared by the EEG to analyse the level of subsidy to be provided for Hinckley Point demostrates that even when the taxpayer subsidy for decommissioning the plant and the long term storage of the nuclear waste is excluded, the subsidy for nuclear power far exceeds any subsidies for solar PV or Wind (either on or offshore).

It doesn’t make any sense to continue to invest good money into an expensive and dangerous source of electricity.  The lion’s share of the budget for the Department of Energy and Climate Change is allocated to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to manage our legacy of radioactive nuclear waste.

The UK has the highest stockpile in the world of radioactive Plutonium buried in a temporary storage facility in Cumbria.  The cost of managing our nuclear legacy is estimated to be about £100 billion, the equivalent of the entire investment required to upgrade our electricity network.

We must reject this plan to expand the facility at Hinkley and support investment in clean, renewable energy generation and energy efficiency investment.  We must invest in a smart grid that would transform our network into a low carbon, clean energy generation, transmission and distribution network.  Please contact your MP and let them know you do not support any subsidy for nuclear power.

21 Oct 2013

Energy Café 26 October 2013

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34050-CM_ENERGY CAFE_A5 MASTER FLYER_TEMPLATE_AW.inddCome down to the Energy Café at the newly renovated Church of Christ the King at 21-23 Clarendon Villas in Hove this Saturday, 26 October.  Meet local energy specialists, hear interesting talks on energy plans and visit the exhibits on  solar electricity and solar heating, wood fueled boilers, insulation and other energy efficiency measures designed to help you save money on your energy bills.  Entry is free!

In co-operation with Communities Matter , we’ll be offering energy advice, served with coffee, tea, home-made cakes, seasonal soups and other refreshments throughout the day.   The speakers will start at 1pm.

Hove Station Neighborhood Forum was formed by residents and local businesses to represent the community in light of the plans to redevelop the area around Hove Station.  As part of the Neighbourhood Forum, we are undetaking a Local Community Energy Plan to assist local residents to discover how they can save energy and generate their own renewable energy, to lower their electricity and heating bills.

Drop by and see what communities across Brighton & Hove can do to take more control over their energy bills.

If your business is located in East Sussex and your annual energy costs are over £1,500, you may be eligible for a grant of between £150 and £1,000 to invest in energy saving projects that will achieve a quantifiable reduction in energy consumption and spend. Qualifying projects could include upgrading lighting to energy efficiency models, fitting insulation or installing a renewable energy system. BHESCo can help you identify such a project.

East Sussex CC LogoThe grant funding is provided by East Sussex County Council. The Council is keen to help local businesses improve their profitability and reduce their carbon footprint. The Sustainable Business Partnership are administering the grants on the Council’s behalf.

The grant is available to Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SME) only.  An SME is defined as a small or medium sized business or social enterprise that has fewer than 250 employees and a turnover less than £35 million and that is not owned by a group or larger company that does not meet these criteria. Public sector organisations are not eligible for funding.

A free Energy Audit by a qualified commercial Energy Assessor is also available to East Sussex SMEs. The Energy Audit will provide you with recommendations for energy saving projects, which you could then apply for a grant to install.

If you already have an energy saving project in mind, you can apply for a grant without having had an Energy Audit first. Depending on the complexity of your proposed project, an Energy Audit may be required however before your grant application can be progressed. This is to make sure that your proposed project is suitable for your premises and business activities and to verify the potential energy savings that you have provided in your Grant Application.  BHESCo can arrange for the Energy Audit for you.

To apply for a grant please go to the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC website download and complete an application pack and return it to info@sustainablebusiness.org.uk along with two quotes for the installation of your proposed project. Further guidance and full terms and conditions are also included in the pack.

Please contact us if you want some help in completing the application.