Soaring costs and further delays to Hinkley could lower financial returns for EDF and result in consumers being ‘arm-twisted’ into paying even higher prices, Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has warned.
EDF, the French corporation building the Hinkley C nuclear power plant, originally projected a rate of return on the project of 9%. This has now been marked down to 8.5%, but further delays or unforeseen extra costs could see it go as low as 7%, a rate that would force EDF to seek better terms from the government. This would likely translate as extra costs for consumers and the UK taxpayer, Molly warns. She said:
“Hinkley threatens to enslave consumers and businesses just at a time when they could and should be liberated from the clutches of large energy providers. This calamitous project now looks likely to fail to deliver a single watt of electricity much before 2030. But before it does, consumers and tax payers may effectively be arm-twisted by EDF into paying even more for a project the National Audit Office has already described as expensive and risky.
“The government urgently needs a Plan B based on renewables – something I have championed ever since becoming an MEP. Community based renewable energy projects, which have transformed the energy landscape in Germany, hand power back to communities, providing not only cheaper electricity but also a financial reward for generating that electricity.
“We were told Hinkley was done and dusted. It isn’t; it’s at a fork in the road again. The choice before us is energy generation in the hands of the many or the few; corporate control of our electricity generation, or electricity generated by consumers and communities themselves. It’s obvious which path we should follow – we just need the government to have the foresight and political will to ditch Hinkley and give power back to the people.”