26 June 2012
Claimed Economic Benefits from Hinkley C Cancelled out by Subsidies
The claimed economic benefits from building new nuclear power stations would be cancelled out by proposed government subsidies, according to the Stop Hinkley campaign.
French power company Electricite de France claims, in research published today, that the annual economic gain to the UK from a programme of up to 18 Gigawatts of new nuclear power stations would be £5.1 billion (1).
This is exactly the same as the amount which it is calculated would be spent by electricity bill-payers - through new subsidies for “low carbon generation” proposed under the Energy Bill - on just two nuclear sites, Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk (2).
“The country would be no better off building nuclear plants because their additional costs require enormous subsidies,” said Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey. “Instead, we should be investing in renewable energy like the wind, the waves and the tides, which would produce more sustainable jobs for less money and a lot less risk to public safety.”
A recent analysis carried out for the South West Rural Development Agency concluded that five million homes could be supplied with electricity (the same as the claimed output from Hinkley Point C nuclear power station) from offshore renewable sources in the south west, and at a much lower investment cost (3).
The government is currently planning to subsidise nuclear power through so-called “Contracts for Difference” proposed in the Energy Bill being considered by parliament. If agreed, this could add an extra £83 per year to the fuel bill of every person in the UK .
Stop Hinkley is encouraging its supporters to write to Energy Secretary Ed Davey asking him to abandon all planned subsidies for nuclear power and stick to the original Liberal Democrat policy of no new nuclear and a steady transformation towards a renewable future (4).
For more information : Crispin Aubrey, Press Officer (01278 732921)