Following Osborne’s announcement of a £2 billion subsidy to kickstart the Hinkley C nuclear power station to be built in Somerset, Vivienne was Jon Snow’s guest on Channel 4 News, 21 September discussing the Future of Power.

Hinkley C simply should not be built – after years of delays by French company EDF – the Chinese have now joined the project, which might be further delayed until 2023 at a cost of £24.5 billion.

Osborne promised however much it costs the British taxpayer will cover it. The French company EDF is constructing the same power plants in

  1. Finland supposed to be finished in 2005, then 2009, now 2018. Costs are now 4X original estimate
  2. France – 2007 – 2012 – 2018, costs 3X estimate

Hinkley C supposed to be finished 2023, estimated cost £24.5 bn. Also guaranteed price of energy when/if it is finished £92.5/kilowatt hr – 2X current price. Price of solar already cheaper, by 2023 much cheaper.

Why is Osborne doing this? See Kickbacks post on Features of Capitalism.

Bridge. Government keeps pretending we need a bridge or the lights will go out. If Hinkley C is supposed to be that bridge then let’s be clear – by the time it produces this super expensive energy (2023) renewable energy will be much cheaper. Where is it supposed to be a bridge to – Green Energy?

The Government has just shut down production of British Green Energy. Instead, this year it has subsidised fossil fuels by £26 bn.

Conservatives took advantage of the summer breaks and the Labour and LibDem leadership contests to systematically dismantle the work done in previous Parliaments to create a green economy – no warning, no consultation.

With such a lack of opposition, they used this period to introduce policies that were not in their manifesto including:

  1. Cutting subsidies for small scale solar, wind and even hydro (homes, schools and communities) by an average of 80%
  2. Dropping the zero carbon homes plan – completely: which would have ensured that all new dwellings from 2016 would be carbon neutral. 
  1. Cancelling the green deal : which enabled homeowners to take out loans to implement energy efficient home improvements covering insulation, heating and boilers, glazing and microgeneration (generating your own energy), which would then be paid back through their energy bills.

All this means companies who install these projects are now stuck – and investment in Green Energy has stopped.

All of these cuts to support for green measures seriously threatens the UK’s ability to meet its declared carbon targets.

Would you like to help keep Britain’s clean energy flowing? It’s time to act with our friends at 10:10 and 38 Degrees

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