A new nuclear power plant will be built at Hinkley Point, Somerset, with up to £17.6 billion in subsidy funding to come from hiking up energy bills. To put that into perspective, £17.6 billion could cover the cost of insulating every single fuel poor home in the UK — twice over!
Image courtesy of Greenpeace.
£17,600,000,000 subsidy for a single nuclear power station! Is this really the kind of investment we need for the future?
No nuclear power station has ever been built on time or on budget – not one – EVER. Half of DECC’s £5bn annual budget is lost trying to deal with the impossible, existing nuclear waste problem… Post Fukishima, Japan went solar. Germany switched off their nuclear stations without a single black out due to the penetration of solar in their energy system
The UK solar industry took nearly two decades to build the equivalent of a nuclear power station, by end 2012. It started with a single grid-connected solar array that is still performing at over 80% on its 20th anniversary in 2014.
Installed solar capacity during the last 2 years trebled generating over 35,000 jobs and the start of a clean energy, jobs-rich future. In the same period, solar panels in Northern Ireland increased from just over 1MWp to over 20MWp installed capacity. We give more back to the treasury than we take in subsidies and utilise just 3.5% of the Renewables Obligation budget. By 2020 we will no longer require subsidy support. Solar balances the 15-20% transmission and distribution losses in the grid, thereby improving efficiency in an otherwise obsolete energy system and extending it’s working life as we transission.
Solar drives additional energy efficiency and lifestyle changes through direct engagement. We observe this first hand every week when handing over systems. Every project is like a micro-energy-revolution.
We can replace nuclear with solar faster, cleaner and cheaper. This level of subsidy investment would generate 20GWp solar capacity by 2020 and provide 50,000 long-term jobs. That’s 10x as many jobs as nuclear and 5x as much energy as the proposed nuclear power station.
There is NO economic, social or ecological case for blank-cheque nuclear power.