Here at Hinkley Point alongside existing reactors is where George Osborne wants to build a new nuclear power station in Britain. It will be built by EDF, a French state owned electricity company, and will cost 24 and a half billion pounds, that’s more than Crossrail and the 2012 Olympics put together.
To pay for it EDF will receive a guaranteed price for its electricity for 35 years, at twice the current price we pay for our electricity. That will add over a billion pounds a year to the energy bills of Britain’s hard working families.
I think that this is a very bad deal for Britain, I am not alone in thinking so, even David Howell, George Osbourne’s father in law, Mrs Thatcher’s first Energy Secretary agrees, not your usual ‘green suspect’.
There is real doubt about whether EDF can build Hinkley on time and within budget. There are three similar reactors in construction around the world already, one in China, one in Finland, and one in France. The French one is already 6 years late and three times over budget.
Investing more in renewables and energy efficiency is a cheaper and more reliable way of making sure that we keep the lights on, and our carbon pollution down. Earlier this year renewables provided a quarter of Britain electricity, more than nuclear. If Hinkley is allowed to go ahead, Britain’s families will be subsidising an expensive folly rather than investing in the cleaner, greener, brighter future that the rest of the world is going ahead with.
This piece first appeared on the BBC News website