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UK energy needs could be met without Hinkley Point nuclear

Staff Writer | August 26, 2016
The UK could meet its energy needs and climate change targets without the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, according to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).
Hinkley Point
Britain   The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit:
In a report, the think tank said a mixture of established approaches including wind farms, cables connecting the UK grid with other countries and gas-fired power stations, together with measures to manage demand, would save the UK around 1bn pounds a year "while keeping the lights on and meeting climate targets".

The government is due to make a final decision on Hinkley in the autumn after new Prime Minister Theresa May surprised the markets by ordering a review into the 18bn pounds project, to be largely financed by French energy firm EDF.

ECIU director Richard Black said all targets and needs could be met using "tried and tested technologies, with nothing unproven or futuristic".

"Despite years of debate on Hinkley, we're still not sure whether or not it's going to get built - the Prime Minister is due to make a decision next month, but even if she says 'yes' there are many other issues that could derail the project, including legal cases and EDF's financial woes," he added.

Former Npower chief executive Paul Massara, who co-authored the report, called Hinkley C "unwieldy and complex".

"That the UK is even considering investing so much money in an unproven design based on outmoded technology is staggering enough," Massara, who now heads North Star Sola, said.

"But when energy markets are so clearly heading in an entirely different direction, it looks like madness to push ahead with Hinkley. Listen to any informed energy market insider, and they will tell you that future grids will be smart, decentralized, flexible, and dominated by a mix of renewable energy, demand-side and energy efficiency measures, and storage."

"If that's the case, then the question is very simple: what's Hinkley for?"