Campaigners call Hinkley Deal “Economically Bonkers”
23 September 2014
Commenting on reports today that the deal between the UK Government and EDF Energy to subsidise the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is on the verge of winning approval from competition authorities in Brussels, campaigners in Somerset stressed that no decision has yet been made.
According to media reports competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia supports the approval of public funding for the construction of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, however the final decision, which may happen soon, has to be taken by a college of all the European Commissioners.
The Stop Hinkley Campaign welcomed a letter sent by a group of over 20 academics, politicians and renewable energy companies to the European Competition Commissioner as well as Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and his successor Jean-Claude Juncker to urge them not to rush through any decision and warning that doing so could mean the decision would face legal action.
The two proposed nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point will infringe single market rules on the internal energy market, if the £16 billion mega-project proceeds on its present basis. The project has not been subject to any kind of competition with alternative ways of providing the same service.
“Irrespective of what we think about the possibility of an accident or routine emissions of radioactivity into the environment, or the fact that there is no solution to dealing with the dangerous waste, this deal is economically bonkers”, said Stop Hinkley Campaign spokesperson Allan Jeffrey. “Britain has 7 million homes with lofts that need to be insulated; 5 million with cavity walls that need to be filled and 7 million with uninsulated solid walls, yet this deal will lock consumers into paying about twice the going rate for electricity until almost 2060 while the cost of renewable energy is falling rapidly. It would be hard devise a worse deal for consumers or tackling climate change if you tried .”