Commission rejection of Hinkley Point state aid ‘unavoidable’

A leading expert on European law has told Platts news web site that he believes the UK’s bid to provide state aid for the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant will almost certainly be rejected by the European Commission on the grounds that it is illegal.
Franz Leidenmuhler
Austrian law professor, Franz Leidenmuhler, who specializes in EU state aid cases and European competition law, said in an email that he believed “a rejection is nearly unavoidable. The Statement of the Commission in its first findings of December 18, 2013 is too clear. I do not think that some conditions could change that clear result.”

The new Hinkley unit will be built based on a funding model in which the UK government guarantees a floor price for future power sales. This floor price, known as a “strike price,” is the reference price below which EDF would receive UK government financial support and above which EDF would pay back money, effectively a guaranteed price for the power.

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