21 October 2013
The deal to build a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point will mean higher energy bills and tie Britain into a costly and outdated technology for years to come, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion said today, as she called on the National Audit Office to investigate.
Caroline Lucas said it was “ridiculously generous” of the Government to guarantee the consortium building the new plant at Hinkley Point a strike price of almost twice the wholesale cost of electricity,
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“This is a terrible deal for billpayers. At a time when the costs of renewable energy are rapidly falling, this amounts to a ridiculously generous subsidy for the nuclear industry. Another key coalition agreement is being broken.
“There remain serious safety concerns about nuclear, and no safe, reliable solution for dealing with the toxic waste it creates. The Public Accounts Committee has already said that we are accumulating hazardous nuclear waste in outdated facilities which will cost nearly tens of billions to clean up.
“And on top of the possible costs of waste disposal, there could be a whole range of other costs to billpayers and taxpayers in future.
“Overseas investors will make massive profits from this deal, paid for by British billpayers. This deal will further increase the distance between those who profit from nuclear and those who pay for it.
“Instead of locking Britain into this costly and risky technology, the Government should be investing in energy efficiency and renewables, the costs of which are rapidly decreasing. The Government is giving the nuclear industry a guaranteed price for 35 years, but offshore wind could potentially be the UK’s cheapest power source within the next 15.
Earlier in the year, Lucas and other MPs wrote to the National Audit Office calling for a review of the negotiations between the Government and EDF. She will now write to them calling on them calling for an investigation of the value for money of the strike price.