In Focus: Brussels launches state aid probe into Cameron’s nuclear project
Leading EU energy journalist Hughes Belin looks into the merits of the Commission’s decision to open a state aid probe into the new nuclear power project at Hinkley Point C in the United Kingdom.
The European Commission is currently carrying out and in-depth investigation of the business model of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project. Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has doubts with regard to the compatibility of the UK financing mechanism for nuclear energy with EU state aid rules. In its analysis, the Commission will examine the balance between market distortions and benefits to address security of supply and climate protection.
Hughes Belin talked to different experts, Jean-Pol Poncelet, Director General of FORATOM, Mark Johnston, Advisor at the European Centre for Policy Studies (EPC), Giles Chichester, MEP for South-West England and Gibraltar, ECR Group and Pieter Cleppe, head of Brussels Office at Open Europe. They all concur that this state aid case is of the utmost importance for the future of the EU energy market as it can set a precedent for energy policies in several other EU Member States, in particular with regard to nuclear energy development.