Energy Bill — Clause 11 — Subsidy of Nuclear Power Generation — 3 Jun 2013 at 19:00

The majority of MPs voted not to require nuclear power subsidies be less than subsidies for generating electricity from renewable sources.

MPs were considering the Energy Bill[1]. The text of the amendment[2] which was the subject of this vote stated:

  • amendment 24, page 8, line 37, at end insert—
  • ‘(3) Payments offered under a contract for difference relating to the supply of electricity generated by nuclear power must not exceed payments offered under any contract for the supply of electricity from renewable sources.
  • (4) For the purposes of subsection (3)—
  • (a) the calculation of payments must include both the strike price and the duration of the contract;
  • (b) renewable sources are defined in accordance with Article 2 of Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.’.

This would have been added to the end of Clause 11 of the Energy Bill as it stood on the 9th of May 2013[3].

Caroline Lucas, the MP who put forward the amendment spoke in the debate prior to the vote to say[4]:

  • Does the Minister agree, however, that the Government’s position on nuclear ought to be guided by the coalition agreement, which clearly stated that new nuclear should “receive no public subsidy”? Is he not acting rather like Humpty Dumpty in “Through the Looking Glass”, in that he is making words mean what he wants them to mean? Subsidy means giving extra money to that technology; it does not matter that he is also giving subsidies to renewables. He seems to be arguing that it is not a subsidy if it is being given to renewables and to nuclear, but it is still a subsidy. Will he not recognise that and stick to the line in his own coalition agreement?

She later added[5]:

  • Amendment 24, which has cross-party support, would simply ensure that payments under a CFD for nuclear electricity are not greater than payments for any form of renewable generation, in terms of price per megawatt-hour and taking into account the length of the contract provided.

Contracts for differences are the contracts under which subsidies are paid developers of low carbon electricity generation; ensuring generators get paid at the level determined to be necessary to support the particular technologies supported by the scheme.[5]

It is not really clear how the word "payments" in the amendment is intended to be defined. The reference to the duration and strike price in what must be included within "payments" suggests it does not refer to the total payment to each sector.


Debate in Parliament | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con252 (+1 tell) 3083.9%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent1 0050.0%
Lab209 11085.3%
LDem41 (+1 tell) 2078.6%
SDLP0 1033.3%
SNP0 2 (+2 tell)066.7%
Total:503 20083.5%

Rebel Voters - sorted by name

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

Martin CatonGowerLabaye
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabaye
John CryerLeyton and WansteadLabaye
Tim FarronWestmorland and LonsdaleLDemaye
Paul FlynnNewport WestLabaye
Zac GoldsmithRichmond ParkConaye
Dai HavardMerthyr Tydfil and RhymneyLabaye
Kelvin HopkinsLuton NorthLabaye
Martin HorwoodCheltenhamLDemaye
Michael MeacherOldham West and RoytonLabaye
Mark RecklessRochester and StroodConaye
Linda RiordanHalifaxLabaye
Andrew SmithOxford EastLabaye
Joan WalleyStoke-on-Trent NorthLabaye
Mike WeatherleyHoveConaye
Mike WoodBatley and SpenLabaye

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