Green Party slams government over “woeful” underinvestment in renewables as Hinkley nuclear plant construction faces further delays

4 September 2015

The Green Party has criticised the government for a ‘woeful lack of investment’ in renewable energy, as doubts are raised over the potential for nuclear power to generate the energy capacity needed in the next 10 years. Calling nuclear energy a ‘bad investment’, Green Party spokesperson Cllr Andrew Cooper called for further funding to ensure that more of Britain’s energy needs are met from renewable sources.

It became clear today that the construction of nuclear power station Hinkley Point C will not be completed in time to fill the gap in the UK’s energy needs expected when a number of coal-fired power stations close.

Hinkley Point C was initially projected to be completed by 2017; however, as French energy company EDF struggles to find funding, it is unlikely that construction will even have started by then, and now will not even be completed by 2023.

It was also revealed today that the UK’s projected nuclear costs are the highest in the world.

Green Party energy spokesperson Cllr Andrew Cooper said: “As the construction of Hinkley Point C is further delayed, with costs mounting, it is becoming increasingly obvious that nuclear energy is a bad investment.

“We’ve long been told that nuclear is a necessary short-term solution in the transition to a zero-carbon economy, but it’s now clear that the Hinkley plant will not be completed in time to fill the gap in capacity before our current generation of coal-fuelled power stations close.

“Other European countries are already producing up to half of their energy from renewable sources, and the UK could be doing the same were it not for a woeful lack of investment by the government; instead, we are spending up to three times as other European countries on nuclear power.

“If we are to build a zero-carbon Britain, we must scrap inefficient projects like Hinkley Point C and invest in genuinely renewable energy sources.”

Earlier this year, the government was accused of jeopardising millions of pounds of investment into renewable energy after it announced an early end to subsidies for onshore wind. 

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