Swapping Hinkley Point power station for solar power would halve the cost to taxpayers, say experts. David Powell at the New Economics Foundation says Hinkley’s extra running expenses and the falling price of solar panels mean the nuclear plant will end up costing twice as much as solar, making it “perhaps the most expensive object on earth”. The Solar Trade Organisation has also said that Hinkley Point nuclear power station will cost double the amount solar power would. “Solar together with storage and flexibility would cost roughly half that of Hinkley Point over the 35 year lifetime”, it has said. Powell calculates that at current prices the £18bn nuclear plant would power around 1,890,000 homes, whilst the same investment in solar would serve almost double, at around 2,800,000. And the large subsidy required to run Hinkley point together with a predicted 10% yearly fall in the price of solar power would bring the nuclear plant to twice the cost of solar, he says. A paper from the Solar Trade Organisation, published in 2015, estimated investing in solar panels rather than the Hinkley would save consumers around £15bn, taking into account running costs over its lifetime. Powell says that if the money was spent instead on insulating homes it would result in a total energy bill saving of £261m, as well as acting as an economic stimulus, “and massive health benefits from reduced fuel poverty”.
Huffington Post 14th Sept 2016 read more »