German energy cooperative to sue EC over UK’s Hinkley C nuclear project

4 March 2015 (Last Updated March 4th, 2015 18:30)

A German energy co-operative led by Greenpeace is set to initiate legal action against the European Commission (EC) for approving state aid of £16bn for the Hinkley C nuclear power station in the UK.

hinkley point coast

A German energy co-operative led by Greenpeace is set to initiate legal action against the European Commission (EC) for approving state aid of £16bn for the Hinkley C nuclear power station in the UK.

The project, to be built by EDF Energy, is considered as crucial for the UK, which plans to reduce carbon emissions and replace its old nuclear and coal power projects, reports Reuters.

However, the ‘highly subsidised’ project faces opposition from other European countries and some EU policymakers, as it is believed to ‘distort’ competition.

"The project is crucial for the UK, which plans to reduce carbon emissions and replace its old nuclear and coal power projects."

Greenpeace Energy managing director Soenke Tangermann was quoted by the news agency as saying: "This effect will have economic disadvantages for committed green power providers like us."

Recent estimates, which include the effects of inflation and interest during the ten-year construction phase, place the project costs at around £24.5bn.

The figure is far higher than the EDF’s specified costs, reports BBC.

Earlier in the year, Austria had also opposed the project approval. The European country, which is against nuclear power, had indicated that it may launch a legal challenge because it believes government subsidies should be allotted for renewable power developments only.


Image: The Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Photo: courtesy of Richard Baker.