Westminster’s damaging obsession with nuclear power will add “considerable costs” to consumer energy bills for decades to come – according to a leading energy firm.
A report by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has said that the UK Government’s deal for the construction of two reactors at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station will see increased energy bills for the next 35 years.

According to the report: “the deal which the UK government has reached with EdF over the construction of two reactors at Hinkley Point, which will add considerable costs to consumer energy bills for 35 years.”
The report adds: “One leading analyst, Peter Atherton, described it as “the most expensive conventional power station in the world” and a ‘clear case of socialising risk and privatising profits’.”

The new SSE report echoes warnings in a December report led by Dr David Toke from the University of Aberdeen – which also pointed to the increased costs to consumer bills from new nuclear power.

In December last year, the report’s authors said: “We previously argued that, relative to remaining with the Union, Scottish Independence could substantially increase the cost to Scottish consumers of achieving its renewable energy targets.  However, having reviewed the impact of the [UK] Government’s recent decisions on nuclear power and incentives for renewables, we believe that this is no longer the case.”

On 18 December 2013, the European Commission stated that new nuclear costs will likely push up consumer bills, stating Hinkley C  “could hardly be argued to contribute to affordability – at least at current prices, when it will instead and most likely contribute to an increase in retail prices.”
Scotland’s Future makes clear that after a Yes vote, the Scottish Government proposes to permanently transfer the responsibility for the Energy Company Obligation and the Warm Homes Discount from consumer bills to the government – reducing energy bills by around £70 per year on an ongoing basis, but also ensuring that vital energy efficiency measures go ahead – unlike under UK Government policy.

The taxpayer subsidy that the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station could receive dwarfs the amount offered to renewables.  Hinkley Point could receive an estimated £35bn subsidy – over four times the cost of support to all renewable development across the UK over the last ten years. 

The SNP has previously called upon the UK Government to provide appropriate investment and support for the renewables industry – rather than continuing to direct support at nuclear energy.
Commenting, SNP MSP Mike Mackenzie said:
“SSE has confirmed that the UK Government’s investment in nuclear will add costs to energy bills for the next 35 years– people in Scotland will be lumbered with the bill for Westminster’s obsession with nuclear power.
“As SSE points out, energy experts have highlighted the risks and costs associated with nuclear energy – and last year the European Commission has also warned that nuclear power could push up energy prices for consumers.

“Scotland has the potential to be the renewables powerhouse of Europe – a Yes vote will allow Scotland to take action to prioritise our incredible renewable resources, and cut energy bills by around £70 a year on a permanent basis.”


2014-03-27 23:47

As far as I know Westminster propose a levy on all electricty bills to pay for this.
Scottish voters must understand that even though we don’t need energy from these sources,if they vote No then their electricity bills are going to be hit with this surcharge.
This may influence those who are primarily influenced by money in their pocket.
2014-03-28 04:00

The UK government have agreed, in writing, to pay around 3 times as much per unit of electricity produced by this reactor than the amount the German government have contracted to pay for their new (and last) reactor.

Begs the question “Where is the extra cost going?”.

This new reactor will produce electricity which is significantly more expensive than on shore wind production. Although it will still be cheaper than England’s favoured off shore wind production program.
2014-03-28 23:00

Quoting chicmac:

Begs the question “Where is the extra cost going?”.


I’d imagine that Germany’s last reactor will be being built by a German company. The UK is at the mercy of the French and Chinese as the last remaining people prepared to build a Nuke station in the UK. So they could name their price!


Saoghal Eile
2014-03-28 05:57

The £35B is an estimate of the direct subsidy to EdF (or French State as their owners are called). This is a payment, guaranteed regardless of actual output/usage. Unlike the fixed or declining renewable subsidies the nuclear bunce is index linked, ensuring it will remain well above market price.

To this we can add the actual cost which is 25% higher than the equivalent build in France.

We also need to account for the new fossil plant that has to be built and run 24/7 in case of unplanned outages. There is currently insufficient standby power in the UK. If we have to build and run new plant why build the additional nuke??? Cost is estimated £1M pa.

The grid needs upgraded, another £1B.

This is blind dedication to a failed and unaffordable technology. Scotland needs free of this insanity to achieve a stable affordable energy price.
2014-03-28 17:37

How much is the massive new Cross London Tunnel to carry the grid costing – it’s over and above Crossrail which is now going to be extended to Reading at additional cost but still won’t connect to HS1.

Westminster are incapable of removing their London blinkers for a second – they seem incapable of imagining any transport infrastructure upgrade that somehow doesn’t involve going to or through London.

2014-03-28 06:50

Still, at least they sorted out the problems of nuclear waste before ordering a new generation of nuclear power stations. To have done otherwise would be criminal stupidity.

Still the UK is a land of opportunity. Grease the right palms and you can do what you like and curse countless generations with toxic filth created in one single lifetime.
2014-03-28 13:12

It’s also important to remember that Hinkley C is a replacement plant.

Hinkley A closed in 2000, Hinkley B is slated to close in 2023. While the new plant will have an increased capacity, it would be completely misleading to regard it’s output as ‘additional’ rather than ‘replacement’.

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