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Saturday, October 11, 2008


Robin Pagnamenta, Energy and Environment Editor of the Times writes

British companies are being forced to pay over four times more for their electricity this winter than competitors in France and in excess of 70 per cent more than in Germany.

The discrepancy will increase concerns that Britain's crumbling power infrastructure is a growing threat to the country's competitiveness and comes as Ofgem today announces its report into competition in the energy market.

Wholesale power prices in the UK have soared because of a squeeze in generating capacity, which is expected to leave an unusually thin margin of spare supply next month.

On Friday, the forward price of power for November reached more than £130 per megawatt hour. In France, it was about €40 (£31) per megawatt hour, according to Spectron, a supplier of energy market data. In Germany, the price stood at around €97 per megawatt hour.

Jeremy Nicholson, of the Energy Intensive Users' Group, gave warning that some British companies could close this winter because they will not be able to pay such high prices.

Little more to say. This is simply because France produces its power 85% from nuclear & most of the rest from hydro. Perhaps I should apologise for previously saying that we could more than halve electricity prices by going nuclear thereby massively cutting the number of people in fuel poverty & the 24,000 pensioners a year who die of it. I had clearly underestimated the injury we impose with this eco-fascist nonsense.

It's always good get more accurate figures - but to what extent is French electricity subsidised, that's the missing figure.

Just because nuclear generated electricity costs 75% less at point of sale/use does not necessarily mean that it is that much cheaper in reality; in the same way that the NHS or State Education costs next to nothing at point of sale/consumption but it is actually rather more expensive than competing private providers.
What on Earth makes you believe it is subsidised in any way? I have seen nothing which suggests so, apart from the assumption that if it costs less it must be. Wind is certainly subsidised & it doesn't seem to help.

If it were subsidised it would seem unlikely that the French would be so keen to be supplying all their neighbours. They have a quite pragmatic attitude to dealing with foreigers, unlike the hypocrisies we put ourselves through.
Neil, maybe it isn't subsidised, i was just saying.

And there are hidden subsidies, like exempting it from corporation tax, making interest free loans, not accounting for the sinking fund for decommissioning, treating nuclear workers' pensions promises as unfunded public sector pensions and so on.

If the French supply neighbouring countries on the same terms, then perhaps you are right.
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