We generate and supply electricity and gas for the UK from a nuclear, coal, gas and renewable energy portfolio. In 2014, we maintained our position as the largest generator of electricity (in terawatt hours, TWh, produced) and as the largest producer of low carbon electricity (1) in the UK. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of the EDF Group.
(1) Elexon Reporting
In 2014, we simplified the structure of our business to focus our functions on Customers, Generation, and Nuclear New Build. These businesses are supported by our Corporate and Steering Functions. Our simpler structure means we are better placed to more efficiently deliver our role as the largest producer of low-carbon electricity in the country and as a better kind of Energy Company – one that stands on the side of the customer.
Since 2009, Centrica plc (“Centrica”) has held a 20% shareholding in Lake Acquisitions Limited, the company in which the nuclear generation assets sit (except New Nuclear).
EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity. The company produces around one-fifth of the nation’s electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants.
Our existing nuclear power stations continue to provide the UK with safe, secure and reliable low-carbon electricity; we finished 2015 with an overall output for nuclear of more than 60.6TWh, the best in 10 years. This excellent level of output is driven by our long-term commitment to continuous improvement by implementing best international practices and investment in the fleet.
EDF Energy aims to secure value from its existing nuclear, coal and gas assets through continued safe and reliable generation. A key strategic programme is securing lifetime extensions for existing nuclear plant, when safe and commercially viable, to allow the UK to continue to benefit from nuclear energy until new low-carbon capacity can come online at scale. This will also provide ongoing nuclear employment opportunities and support the maintenance of skills in the UK nuclear industry. In February 2016, EDF Energy confirmed a five year life extension for Hartlepool and Heysham 1 nuclear power stations to 2024 and a further seven year life extension for Heysham 2 and Torness nuclear power stations to 2030.
In 2015, Cottam and West Burton A coal-fired power plants generated 15.7TWh of electricity. Although lower than last year, this represents a good performance in a year of lower dark spreads, two major outages and a number of unplanned losses, notably at Cottam power station. West Burton B CCGT generated 6.2TWh, driven by strong availability performance and improved market spark spreads.
EDF Energy Renewables (50/50 joint-venture with EDF Energy) operated a total gross capacity of 589.7MW of wind power at end-2015 (a net capacity of 208.1MW). At end-2015, the Burnhead Moss (26MW), Park Spring (8.6MW) and Rhodders (12.3MW) projects had been commissioned with the acquisition in November of the Dorenell wind farm project located in the Scottish Highlands. It has been granted permission by the Scottish government for a potential capacity of 177MW. At present, 67.2MW of onshore wind power is under construction in the United Kingdom.
Bringing our Generation business together, and ensuring a long-term strategy that puts a low-carbon and renewable energy mix central to our approach, means we are better able to play a key role in delivering a sustainable energy future for the UK.
During the year, EDF Energy supplied 13.7TWh of electricity and supplied 27.6TWh of gas for the B2C segment. As at 31 December 2015, EDF Energy had 3.3 million electricity accounts and 2.0 million gas accounts.
The residential market has been exceptionally competitive in 2015, marked by steep falls in wholesale energy costs that has allowed new and smaller suppliers to offer a series of cheaper short term fixed priced tariffs. EDF Energy constantly reviews its prices to ensure that its tariffs attract new customers and offer good value to existing ones. During 2015 EDF Energy has continued to expand its portfolio of fixed price Blue tariffs, backed by low-carbon nuclear generation. EDF Energy currently has 2.6 million product accounts on Blue tariffs.
In 2015 B2B retained its leadership position in volume, supplying a total of 35.0TWh of electricity; 1.8TWh to 182,382 Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) accounts and 33.2TWh to 113,409 Industrial and Commercial (I&C) accounts, reflecting an overall B2B market share of 19.3%.
The business continues to be well established in the large, national and multi-site customer segments, and it successfully retained large customers such as Nestle and Nissan, and acquired Airbus as a new customer. This year, the B2B division signed innovative contracts with two water companies, providing them with access to long-term power (Severn Trent Water and South Staffordshire Water on a five year contract term).
Nuclear New Build
We plan to build four new nuclear reactors in the UK - two at Hinkley Point in Somerset and a further two at Sizewell in Suffolk.
We are working hard to complete all the necessary steps to enable the final investment decision for Hinkley Point C at the earliest opportunity. Once at full capacity, Hinkley Point C, will generate around 7% of the UK’s electricity when complete. The electricity generated will avoid 9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, which is 600 million tonnes overs its 60 year lifespan.