Letter Keith Parker: In response to Tom Bawden’s article on Hinkley Point (28 August) I would like to clarify a few points. There is an urgent need to build new energy infrastructure in the UK. Around half of existing capacity will close by 2030, and this needs to be replaced by low-carbon generation if we are to meet our carbon reduction targets. Our energy system needs new nuclear power to help manage a system with an increasing amount of intermittent renewable generation. By matching output to demand, it will save money by providing power when we need it. It is the only large-scale low-carbon option able to do this. There is a role for gas in this system, providing flexible generation at peak times. But it is not low-carbon and too much will leave UK consumers exposed to volatile gas prices and a reliance on foreign imports. The agreed price of £92.50/MWh for Hinkley Point C provides the certainty needed for ED F and its partners to make the largest inward investment in the UK’s history. It will be built without taxpayer funding, with the investors bearing all the construction risk. Consumers will pay nothing until it starts generating in the mid-2020s. The HSBC report is right that demand for power in the UK has declined slightly in recent years. What it fails to take into account is the likelihood of increased demand from economic growth and increased electrification of transport and heating infrastructure. Even with flat or declining demand, we still need to replace infrastructure, or else we will become dependent on importing energy from sources, and at a cost, which are out of our control. The Government has been clear that new generating capacity and energy security are vital for UK prosperity.