If Hinkley C has no public subsidy, why the need for state aid clearance?

Tom Burke in The Ecologist: “Mr Davey, If there is no public subsidy for Hinkley C why are you having to make an application to the Brussels for state aid clearance?” “The most important decision in this issue is EDF’s decision to order the major components for Hinkley. Only when that has happened will it become too expensive not to go ahead. If that has not been done, no deal has actually been made. All that has happened is that the price the British Government will pay for the output from Hinkley has been announced. It is very unlikely that any such order will be made until after state aid clearance has been granted. EDF have already announced that they do not expect the civil engineering work to begin at Hinkley before the middle of 2015. This is an optimistic assumption about how long it might take to get state aids clearance. It has already become clear that there will only be limited scope for British companies to supply the high value components for Hinkley. On the most optimistic assumptions there will be no electricity from Hinkley before 2023. The wholesale price of electricity is the main component of energy bills. In order to set that price he has had to guess the wholesale price of electricity in 2058 since the contract will last until then. This is courageous. It means that if wholesale prices fall, British consumers will lose out substantially. Wholesale prices for electricity in Germany have fallen about 30% in the past 12 months. In short, this, not quite a deal yet, does nothing to reduce energy bills now, will not help to keep the lights on this winter and offers few high-value jobs for Britons.”