EDF will make a positive return on its proposed £12bn investment in Hinkley Point even if the nuclear plant is completed four years late and 25pc over budget, leading analysts have said. The assessment of the controversial project by experts at Barclays was seized upon by critics as fresh evidence that the subsidy deal offered to EDF by the UK Government is too generous. The new analysis from Barclays suggests the market is underestimating the benefits to EDF of the project. In a report, its analysts say that in their “base case” scenario for Hinkley, first power would be delayed until 2029 and costs would overrun by 25pc, but it would nevertheless add value to EDF. Barclays analysis suggested that even with delays and overruns Hinkley would generate a return of 7.2pc, above EDFs estimated 6.9pc cost of capital and so “still creates some value for EDF shareholders”. The analysts said that while Hinkley was a “large and risky project”, EDF’s current share price did not reflect this value it was likely to create. Separately, analysis from consultancy Aurora Energy suggests that building new gas power plants instead of Hinkley and other nuclear plants could reduce UK energy costs by £1.2bn a year by 2035, saving households about £15 a year in today’s money.