Hinkley Point – the case against grows stronger – part 2

MOwl’s view: meanwhile, all those board members (and former board members) of our LEP with nuclear interests are very happy – those providing the roads to the site, those building houses near the site, those recruiting staff for the site, those building new facilities for site workers and extending their colleges and universities on the back of nuclear training courses they will run. It really doesn’t matter if it is a Somerset white elephant.

AND they are using OUR money for this.

”The government has saddled families with inflated household bills for decades because of the poor deal it negotiated over the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in Somerset, MPs have said.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticised a contract awarded to EDF to build the first new nuclear station in Britain since 1995 as too expensive, with the burden falling most heavily on poorer households.

Meg Hillier, the committee’s chairwoman, accused the government of “grave strategic errors” in crafting the deal, which will leave consumers paying £30 billion in subsidies over 35 years — five times more than expected.

“Bill-payers have been dealt a bad hand by the government in its approach to this project,” she said. “Its blinkered determination to agree the Hinkley deal, regardless of changing circumstances, means that for years to come energy consumers will face costs running to many times the original estimate.”

The government signed a preliminary deal in 2013 with EDF, the French state-owned nuclear generator, to pay a fixed price of £92.50 per megawatt hour for the electricity produced by the Hinkley station for 35 years, indexed to inflation. The costs are to be met via a levy on consumer bills once the station enters service, expected to add £10 to £15 a year to the average household bill.

But when wholesale energy prices plunged sharply in 2014, amid growing doubts over the French reactor technology earmarked for use at Hinkley, following delays and cost overruns at other plants, the government failed to revisit the terms.

The PAC accused ministers of pressing ahead and locking consumers into an expensive deal.

“The economics of nuclear power in the UK have deteriorated since the government last formally considered its strategic case for nuclear in 2008,” the report said. “Estimated construction costs have increased while alternative low-carbon technologies have become cheaper. At the same time, fossil-fuel price projections have fallen.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said that it was a “competitive deal”.

EDF Energy said: “The cost of Hinkley Point C for customers has not changed and they will pay nothing for its reliable, low carbon electricity until the station is completed . . . Construction is fully under way and is already delivering a huge benefit to British jobs, skills and industrial strategy.”

Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace UK, said the PAC report showed that the government should revisit the project because it “makes absolutely no financial sense”.

Source: The Times (pay wall)

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