Scrapping Hinkley Point nuclear plant could save £1bn a year, says Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 26 August 2016 in News

Theresa May delayed approval of the planned £18bn development until next month

Nuclear plant - credit: PA

Scrapping plans for the proposed new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point and focusing on other projects could save the taxpayer £1bn a year, according to a new report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).

Prime Minister Theresa May delayed approval of the planned £18bn development until next month, reportedly amid concerns about the involvement of Chinese state money in vital UK infrastructure.

But a report from ECIU has questioned the basis for building the plant, with the report finding the nuclear plant was “not essential” to the UK’s future energy needs and climate targets.

It found "Britain can meet all its targets and do so at lower cost" without the new plant.


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The ECIU said investment in other “established approaches” like wind farms and gas-fired power stations and greater demand management could remove the need for the Hinkley Point project.

“We wanted to know how essential Hinkley is for the ‘energy trilemma’ – keeping the lights on whilst cutting greenhouse gas emissions and keeping costs down,” said ECIU director Richard Black. 

“Our conclusion is that it’s not essential; using tried and tested technologies, with nothing unproven or futuristic, Britain can meet all its targets and do so at lower cost.

“So if Mrs May decides to go ahead with Hinkley, all well and good – if she decides not to, or if the project stumbles at a later stage, we have alternatives.”

EDF, the French energy giant that would build Hinkley Point C, said the proposals from the ECIU were “not credible”.

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