Five reasons why Hinkley nuclear power station is not the golden goose
Hinkley Point is set to be the first new nuclear power station in years, and the most expensive object on earth. The nuclear industry and the government claim Hinkley is a good option if we want to “keep the lights on” – but is it really the golden goose they claim it to be?
Here we expose five popular myths about the nuclear plant.
1. The myth: we need Hinkley to meet our energy needs
Huge advances are being made in renewables, and a recent study revealed that around 80% of our energy needs could be met by renewable energy. Combined with a general decline in energy consumption, and advances in new technologies, green energy is a completely plausible solution. In short, Hinkley isn’t necessary to meet our energy needs.
2. The myth: we need Hinkley in order to meet UK targets for reducing emissions
It will be at least a decade before Hinkley will be producing energy, in which time we’ll be reliant on a largely fossil fuel based infrastructure. Renewables can be rolled out more quickly, cleanly and cheaply.
3. The myth: Hinkley is the cheaper option
The Government has agreed a very high fixed price per unit of electricity produced by Hinkley, so bill payers will not see any reductions. In fact bills will go up by at least £10 a year. Meanwhile, the cost of renewables continues to fall. North Sea generated wind power is already 30% lower than nuclear.
4. The myth: we need Hinkley because renewable energy only works when it’s windy/sunny
This year has seen a break-through in technologies that allow large scale roll-out of clean energy. Companies like Tesla are pioneering huge batteries that will revolutionise storage of renewables. The National Infrastructure Commission found that four Hinkleys worth of energy could be stored by 2030 by using smart technologies.
5. The myth: there is widespread support for Hinkley
Completely untrue. The detractors come from a wider range of sectors and backgrounds, including Legal & General, HSBC, the UN Economic and Security Council and a wide range of media and politicians. The anti-Hinkley stance also has scientific backing, including from the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex. Both the finance director and project director from EDF have resigned over Hinkley, and a YouGov poll revealed that public support from Hinkley has “collapsed”.