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[cdn-nucl-l] Green levy politics
I thought you might be interested in the below article from the other side of
the Atlantic. Notice that there is no science being discussed, it is pure
Nuclear tax break `would kill green levy'
Sep 21 - Independent - London -
THE GOVERNMENT has been warned that exempting the beleaguered nuclear
electricity generator British Energy from the Climate Change Levy would, in
effect, spell the end of the controversial tax.
Rival electricity producers have told ministers that if British Energy is
allowed to escape the levy then 85 per cent of all the industrial and
commercial users who currently pay the tax at the full rate will be able to
get their electricity from nuclear generating stations.
British Energy says exemption from the levy would save it pounds 100m a year,
helping it survive the financial crisis which now threatens to force the
company into administration.
But rival producers say it would destroy the market for non- nuclear
generators and hand British Energy a captive industrial customer base
equivalent in volume terms to 18 million domestic consumers.
It would also strike a blow at the environmental gains the levy is supposed
to produce by disadvantaging renewable energy and combined heat and power
producers, they say.
Coal and gas-fired electricity producers would, in effect, be frozen out of
much of the industrial market because they would still have to charge
customers an additional 4p per unit to cover the levy on top of the 16p a
unit market price.
TXU Europe, one of the generators which would be hit by an exemption from the
levy for nuclear, has written twice to Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of
State for Trade and Industry, setting out its concerns. TXU is expected to
meet the Government next week in advance of next Friday's deadline for
pulling the plug on British Energy or rolling over an emergency pounds 410m
Paul Marsh, the chief operating officer of TXU Europe, said all generators,
not just British Energy, were suffering from low wholesale prices. "Anything
which further destabilises the electricity industry by reducing one player's
costs at the expense of everyone else is only going to exacerbate the
situation," Mr Marsh said.
Industrial and commercial customers paying the levy at the full rate account
for about 120 terawatt hours of electricity output. Of this, about 100
terawatt hours could be met from nuclear - 70 TWh from British Energy's eight
stations and the remainder from British Nuclear Fuels' Magnox reactors and
the cross-Channel interconnector which supplies French nuclear power.
The Chancellor Gordon Brown is vigorously opposed to exempting British Energy
from the levy and now the full ramifications of such a move are beginning to
sink in too among DTI ministers.
Brian Wilson, the Energy Minister, this week played down fears the Government
had decided to push British Energy into insolvency stressing that no
decisions had been made.