Wednesday, 22 November 2017

£18bn cost of UK's new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will 'hit the poorest hardest', say MPs

A group of MPs has said that the £18bn cost of the UK's new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will hit the country's poorest the hardest.

The Public Accounts Committee said that households had been "locked into an expensive deal lasting 35 years".

In a report, it said there were no plans for Hinkley Point to provide wider benefits such as jobs and skills.

But EDF, the French firm funding two thirds of the project, said it would bring "huge benefits" to Britain.

The government gave the green light to Hinkley Point near Bridgwater in Somerset last year, in a deal which guarantees EDF a fixed price of £92.50 per megawatt hour for the electricity it produces for 35 years.
If it falls below that level, consumers will pay the difference.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy estimates that top-up payments will cost consumers around £30bn.

In its report examining the deal, the Public Accounts Committee said: "Over the life of the contract, consumers are left footing the bill and the poorest consumers will be hit hardest. Yet in all the negotiations no part of government was really championing the consumer interest."

The committee's chair Meg Hillier said: "Bill-payers have been dealt a bad hand by the government in its approach to this project.

"Its blinkered determination to agree the Hinkley deal, regardless of changing circumstances, means that for years to come energy consumers will face costs running to many times the original estimate.

"It doesn't know what UK workers and business will gain from this project, and appears to have no coherent idea of what to do about it."

BBC    News.