Germany considers joining Austria in suit over UK nuclear decision

The German government is mulling the possibility of filing legal action against the European Commission for approving the Hinkley Point project this week.

According to the Montel website the German ministries of energy and environment are studying the contract between EDF and the UK to ensure it complies with state aid guidelines.

The results of that analysis will lead to a decision on whether to back neighbouring Austria in challenging the Commission through the European Court of Justice.
German Bundestag
The Commission approved a modified UK plan to offer EDF Energy guaranteed payments of £92.50 per MWh for 35 years once the nuclear power plant is built, which is expected to be around 2023.

The deal included a number of concessions designed to reduce the burden on the UK taxpayer, including a clawback mechanism to prevent EDF from raking in excess profits.

However, German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks told the German Parliament that the decision was "utterly wrong" while Julia Modes, spokeswoman for the Economics and Energy Ministry, told Montel the decision showed "in principle, nuclear power is very expensive."

Hendricks also told the German Bundestag midweek, “As far as I know, the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C will receive guaranteed prices for more than 30 years, which are considerably higher than our feed-in tariffs. The move shows nuclear power can’t compete with renewables, or else prices wouldn’t need to be fixed for 30 years.”

Austria are pursuing the matter through legal channels, arguing such a mature form of technology should not receive government support.


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