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Renewable Energy Investment Would Be Cheaper Than Nuclear 'Bad Deals'

08 Aug 15:00 by Steve Walia

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The Labour Party has warned the government that any 'bad deal' arrangements with the Hinkley Point nuclear facility would be more expensive than further green energy investment. It has said that bill-payers will actually end up paying more than they would for green energy under the terms being drawn up for the EDF programme at Hinkley Point.

Escalating Costs and Lagging Time Frames

Barry Gardiner, the shadow energy secretary, said that the Labour Party was an in principle a supporter of nuclear power, but that the cost overruns and delays meant that this particular project needed an urgent review. He added that figures from the National Audit Office had showed that the cost to consumers was likely to grow to £30 billion from £6 billion.

The news comes following confirmation that the government will be cancelling its anticipated signing of the Hinkley deal at the eleventh hour. It will now be postponing a final decision until later this year.

A Poor-Value Decision

Mr Gardener said that the the decision to go ahead with a new nuclear deal was the right one ten years ago, but that the latest 'bad deal' was only signed up to in the last four years. He explained that the government had agreed to pay £92.5 per MWh under the terms of the deal when onshore wind cost just £70 per MWh and represented better value in the changing energy landscape.

He added that offshore wind was also now down to £80 per MWh, which meant that the nuclear deal was increasingly bad value, especially with its index-linked nature meaning it would effectively rise every year. He added that the ability to deliver sufficient energy at a reasonable cost was a key factor and made rapid delivery of a decision crucial.