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UK energy chief advises that Hinkley Point nuclear project should be scrapped

Telegraph 28th Sept 2019   Scrap Hinkley Point: nuclear plant is expensive and out of date, says Ovo Energy chief, Britain’s next nuclear power plant should be scrapped because it is wastefully expensive and out of date, according to the boss of Ovo Energy. The industry should instead look to the future with ever-cheaper renewable energy, said Stephen Fitzpatrick, the founder and chief executive of the group that will soon be the UK’s second-biggest supplier as Ovo acquires SSE’s consumer business.

“We should just call it a day. I thought at the time the deal was struck at £92.50 per megawatt
hour (MWh), inflation-linked, that it was a bad deal for customers. Unfortunately the technology, the design it is based on, is unproven,” he said. “Looking at the cost for customers of renewables, solar, and wind, the cost just keeps coming down. The cost for nuclear keeps going up.

It strikes me that this does not represent value for money for consumers, never more so than this week when the cost went up by £2.9bn.” The Hinkley Point C reactor will cost up to £22.5bn to build as costs keep rising above initial plans.

Mr Fitzpatrick would prefer the industry to invest in restructuring the energy network to handle more renewables, including the variable supply of wind and solar. This could be handled in
part with a “smart network” using batteries to handle shifting supply and demand.

“If you think about the £39/MWh that was achieved at the last auction for offshore wind, and when Hinkley Point goes live it is going to be about £100 more per MWh some time in the late 2020s,” he said. “If we make smart decisions and focus on value for money and what is best for the end consumer, I am quite sure we can keep costs [of decarbonising thenetwork] under control.”

September 30, 2019 - Posted by | politics, UK

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