Thursday, 23 July 2015

Why elephantine Hinkley Point C project should be abandonned

Letter submitted to The Guardian on 23 July :
I agree with much of your first comment on climate change (“Greening the economy : the price worth paying,” 23 July)
However, I would like to expand upon the observation you make at the foot of the leader, where you correctly assert “just like fracking and nuclear, greening the energy supply needs intervention.”

The question is:  what is a reasonably sensible subsidy to provide energy  technologies, especially those that generate electricity?

Your energy editor reports in the same edition of the paper (“Government to cut solar power subsidies saving customers 50 pence per year”) that the discontinuation of solar subsides will save customers a trivial amount off their annual energy bills, but will simultaneously devastate a fast growing, but still young, sustainable energy sector.

This is stupidly shortsighted from the Chancellor George Osborne, whose slash and burn strategy is being implmented by an impotent and reluctant energy and climate change department, who seems to have forgotten their climate change responsibilities

The chancellor’s father in-law, Lord Howell of Guildford, who in 1979, as Margaret Thatcher’s first energy secretary , announced a programme of ten nuclear reactors , of which only one, Sizewell B was ever built, had the following to say in the debate on the new Energy Bill in the Lords on 22 July:

“By far the biggest obligation, or future burden, on consumers and households is the Hinkley Point C nuclear project. I am very pro-nuclear and pro its low-carbon contribution but this must be one of the worst deals ever for British households and British industry. Furthermore, the component suppliers to EDF are in trouble, costs keep rising, no reactor of this kind has ever been completed successfully, those that are being built are years behind and workers at the site have been laid off, so personally I would shed no tears at all if the elephantine Hinkley Point C project were abandonned”(Lords Hansard, 22 July 2015 : Column 1129

Mr Osborne could do worse than seek the wise counsel from Lord Howell over Sunday lunch sometime soon. over  Hinkley Point C ’s absurdly huge subsidies and massive future  costs to taxpayers and bill payers.

And the newly constituted parliamentary energy and climate change select committee should investigate this funding situation as its first priority

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