Decc opposes CMA remedies on nuclear CfD transparency, auction visibility

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) wants the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to rethink its proposed remedies in awarding  Contracts for Difference for low carbon projects.

Decc opposes the CMA remedies for both negotiated and auction-allocated CfDs.

For negotiated CfDs – already in place for Hinkley Point C and planned for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon and other nuclear projects – the CMA said Decc should publish an consult on impact assessments twice during the negotiation. But Decc complained that “could affect the government’s ability to negotiate successful commercial arrangements with prospective developers”. It warned that the measure would cause delay that would be “priced in” by developers and raise costs.

For the auction process, Decc said CMA proposals to set budgets 12 months in advance would require Decc to carry out spending and price analysis up to 18 months before the auction. That could “result in a conservative budget” and deliver less low-carbon capacity, Decc said.

The government also opposed CMA plans to ask regulator Ofgem to comment on draft legislation and policy proposals.  Decc said this was “risky” and Ofgem’s budget woudl be stretched if it had to comment on all proposals. The current situation, where Ofgem is able but not obliged to comment, “strikes the right balance,” said Decc.