Nuclear Energy is a “bad investment” claim Greens

The Green Party has criticised the Government’s track record on renewable energy, following reports that Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will not be completed in time.

The Green Party spokesperson Cllr Andrew Cooper said nuclear energy was a “bad investment” and called for further funding to ensure that more of Britain’s energy needs are met from renewable sources.

The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station is due to be completed by 2023, but the Chief Executive of EDF Energy, Jean-Bernard Lévy said during a press conference last week the project was being delayed.

“I have total confidence in the success of the Hinkley Point project, which is based on a realistic estimate of costs and timetable,” he told reporters. 

“Even though the final investment decision has been pushed back from the initial previsions, the construction time will stay the same, which means that the commissioning date will be updated at the point when FID is made. The final investment decision will be made by EDF’s board. We are in final discussions with the British Government and our Chinese partners. We hope to make this final investment decision as soon as possible.”

In response, Cllr Cooper said: “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.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues