Hinkley Point C could be abandoned without risking power cuts
Commenting on the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change’s (Amber
Rudd) letter to the Chair of the House of Commons Energy & Climate Change Committee, Stop Hinkley spokesperson, Roy Pumfrey said:
“The Minister seems to be leaving it up to the French Government to decide whether the UK will meet its climate change targets. And if the EPR reactors at Hinkley Point are delayed, which on past experience is almost certain, we could find electricity costs increasing yet further.”
“Rather than waiting for the French Government and EDF to make up their minds, and then rushing forward with climate busting gas-fired power stations when things go pear-shaped, the UK Government should be supporting our world-leading renewable energy industry now, and implementing a proper energy efficiency programme.”
In the last few weeks Ministers have been caught misrepresenting how close the solar industry is to being able to build subsidy-free projects and refusing to extend the grace period for onshore wind farms with planning permission hit by the early closure of the Renewables Obligation (RO). And yet we know that Hinkley Point C will cost around £99/MWh over 35 years at today’s prices compared with £67/MWh currently being paid to newly installed onshore wind farms for only 15 years. And solar with storage and flexibility would cost roughly half the cost of Hinkley Point C over its 35 year lifetime.
“This Government seems to make up whatever nonsense it feels like to support its nuclear ambitions. Yet the reality is that scrapping Hinkley Point C and going for renewable power instead would save the UK tens of billions of pounds.
Now Rudd says Hinkley could be abandoned without risking power cuts. The answer is obvious– time the Government stopped depending on this failed French reactor for our electricity supplies and climate targets and got on with promoting renewables.”
Hinkley: a “total waste on money” Government should “move to more sensible solutions”
It has been a very bad six weeks for the crisis-ridden Hinkley Point C. And today’s Times newspaper reports that the proposed nuclear station has been dealt a fresh double blow as the French minister responsible Emmanuel Macron admits that it is a risky project and fresh problems have emerged at Flamanville – the reactor being built in Normandy which is the same design as Hinkley Point C.
Nevertheless, EDF and the UK Government continue to say they are determined to carry on with construction. Leading many to ask what it will take to make them stop? Here’s a summary of news since the beginning of March.
One of the highlights perhaps was a comment on DECC’s five reasons why it is backing Hinkley Point C by independent energy consultant, Mike Parr. Writing in Energy Post, Parr called the list “a mix of truth, unprovable assertions and omissions which could also be construed as lies”. The DECC statement assumes that the problem of intermittent generation plus storage will not be solved any time soon. He asks whether DECC has read the interview with Steven Holliday, CEO of National Grid, who said in September last year that “the idea of large coal-fired or nuclear power stations to be used for baseload is outdated” and we “…have the intelligence available in the system to ensure power is consumed when it’s there and not when it’s not there.”
The Stop Hinkley Campaign also published five reasons for NOT backing the new nuclear reactors.