Scrapping Hinkley Point would save taxpayers £1bn a year, according to a new report

Mark Sands
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British Government Signs A Deal For New Nuclear Power Plant
Theresa May paused the Hinkley Point project last month, with a decision due in September. (Source: Getty)

Axing plans for two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point could save UK taxpayers £1bn a year, according to a new report.

Prime Minister Theresa May slammed the brakes on the project last month, despite the board of French energy giant EDF approving construction.

And ahead of a final verdict from Downing Street next month, a think tank has deemed the project “not essential”, and estimated that scrapping construction could result in substantial savings for taxpayers.

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The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) reported that a mix of policies and existing technologies could instead generate the additional 3.2 gigawatts of capacity that the new Hinkley Point reactors are expected to provide.

Potential measures include additional offshore windfarms and gas-fired power stations, as well as more interconnectors to allow energy to be imported from abroad - with the combination of measures projected to equate to an annual saving of £1bn.

“Using tried and tested technologies, Britain can meet all its targets and at a lower cost,” ECIU director Richard Black said.

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An EDF spokeswoman responded by noting that wind, gas, interconnection and other energy measures should all play a future in the UK's energy mix alongside nuclear power.

"We must get the engineering and the economics right. The scenarios outlined in the ECIU report are not credible alternatives to Hinkley Point C. HPC’s cost is competitive with other large-scale low carbon technologies," they added.

"It will generate electricity steadily even on foggy and still winter days across northern Europe. It will play a crucial role as part of a future, flexible energy system.”

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