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December 18, 2010


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I've been ploughing through the Treasury 84 page consultation document, and that effectively explains the cross-channel HVDC link question. On pages 25 and D18-D20 there are small sections addressing the import/export question.


I've not finished reading it yet, but the answer appears to be that as there is no direct nuclear subsidy (instead the dominant carbon-emitting generators are being taxed more forcing up all prices, to non-carbon generators benefit), the question of subsidies applying to nuclear power coming across cross-channel HVDC links does not actually arise.

Of course the indirect effect of all wholesale electricity prices in the UK increasing will incentivise all EU generating technologies to want to export more to the UK, incentivising the building of more HVDC links. Not sure how the costs of a new HVDC link stacks up against access to increased UK prices, but it will certainly encourage them. It may be that EDF in France sees this as a way to sell more surplus French nuclear capacity. We really need a proper economic model to see if that might happen.

Someone considering building a large new fossil fuel station in UK might consider instead building it in France or Eire with a HVDC link to the UK, to avoid the new carbon price support tax. The costs of a HVDC link from France might make that uneconomic. But for Northern Ireland there will be a strong incentive to build new plant in Eire instead, with the minimal cost of exporting to the North from there. Maybe instaead Eire will introduce a similar mechanism, to raise tax that they much need now.

If you want to raise a question on this, one along the lines of "Has economic modelling shown that, under the proposed carbon price support mechanism, it would be more profitable for EDF to build new nuclear capacity in the UK rather than new cross-channel HVDC links to export existing French nuclear capacity to the UK." might be the way to go.


the daily Mail readers poll showed 70% in favour of leglaisation while the Guardians was over 90%, WHen will the Politiicans wake up to what the public already know. The war on drugs can never be won

Kay Tie

"Surely the prohibitionists cannot go on fooling the public for much longer?"

On this, as so many things, the public are way ahead of the politicians. And it's across any political lines too: the Guardianistas and the Daily Mail readers are at one (unlike their respective newspapers).


I just emailed Bob Ainsworth to congratulate him on his surprise but very welcome intervention in the drugs debate. In view of your continued campaigning on the subject it seems only fair to acknowledge your tremendous efforts. It may seem to you that you are an isolated figure in Parliament, but I can assure you that there are countless otherwise law abiding citizens like me [I am a disabled pensioner] who regard you with great respect for your commonsense views.

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