If Theresa May really cared about energy prices she would cancel Hinkley Point C

Commenting on today’s (9th May 2017) news that Theresa May is to press ahead with her promised cap on energy prices, Stop Hinkley Campaign spokesperson Roy Pumfrey said:

If Theresa May wants to cut energy prices, the first thing she should do is cancel Hinkley Point C.

Robert Peston, called it “scarily expensive”. Simon Jenkins in the Guardian described it as “the costliest white elephant in history”. Christopher Booker, writing in the Daily Telegraph called it “a truly major national scandal … as absurd a project as any government has ever fallen for.” (1)

Yet the Conservatives seem to be obsessed with building new nuclear power stations. Hinkley Point C will be costing around twice the wholesale price for electricity, and consumers will be paying this surcharge for the next 35 years. Power produced by onshore wind would be by far the cheapest source of renewable supply, but government policy is against more onshore wind. Onshore wind is now probably cheap enough to deliver power to UK consumers without any subsidy. Even offshore wind costs have fallen to such an extent that a recent auction in Germany will see one wind farm built without any subsidy at all. The Financial Times recently said that “offshore wind progressively looks cheaper to run, even with all the subsidies, than Hinkley ever will.” (2)

Bloomberg reports that solar is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world and in less than a decade is likely to be cheaper everywhere. (3)

Roy Pumfrey continued:

Britain needs an energy system fit-for-purpose. A system that delivers cost effective low carbon energy for all customers from a smart and flexible energy system. What we have got instead is a system that tries to maintain the ‘old’ centralised system. The world is moving quickly towards smart flexible energy systems based on wind, solar, energy efficiency, demand side response, storage, and grid interconnections.”

EDF’s white elephant is trashing this beautiful corner of Somerset for yesterday’s energy system which is going to put up prices for consumers but will fail to deliver the kind of sustainable low carbon energy system we need for the future. If Theresa May really cared about energy prices she would cancel Hinkley right now.”

(1) See http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/21-media-comments-opposing-hinkley-c/

(2) FT (LEX Column) 4th Jan 2017 https://www.ft.com/content/da093f3e-d26b-11e6-b06b- 680c49b4b4c0

(3) Bloomberg 3rd Jan 2017 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-03/for-cheapestpower-on-earth-look-skyward-as-coal-falls-to-solar

 

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Published: 9 May 2017
Last updated: 1 July 2017