Simon Jenkins: When David Cameron departed Downing Street, he left three white elephants grazing the Whitehall grasslands. They had been awaiting their fate for years, kept going with fodder slipped them by their kindly keeper, George Osborne. Cameron never made up his mind what to do with them and so left them to his successor. Their names were Hinkley, HS2 and Heathrow. Last month she gave Hinkley, the sickest of the beasts, a loving hug. Hinkley Point C was always a blind alley in the vexed world of nuclear power generation, a giant reactor that has never worked and may never. Such is the financial state of its French builder, EDF, that doubt still consumes its future. When announced by the government last month, the reasons given for proceeding were entirely political. It would help the French, please the Chinese, create jobs. For taxpayers and consumers who must pay for it, it is a dreadful deal. But like all such projects, as economics deflates, politics inflates. We have been given a worrying insight into the performance of the prime minister’s policy team. As in decisions on obesity, grammar schools and immigrant registers, there is a sense that May’s staff are out of their depth, unable to scrutinise policies passing across their desks. It is always easier to take the quickest route to a headline. As a result, we are saddled with three of the worst and most extravagant projects inflicted on British taxpayers in a generation.
Guardian 13th Oct 2016 read more »
Energy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe believes the approval of Hinkley Point C signals “the start of a nuclear renaissance”. Speaking at an event this week, she said the decision is a vital demonstration to the rest of the world that the UK is open for business in the aftermath of Brexit. She told the audience the delayed and over-budget project remains a good deal for taxpayers and consumers and stressed the importance of the site in providing a secure baseload in case of intermittent renewable generation. She said: “There are other advantages to the deal. EDF expects around 64% of the value of construction to be spent in the UK and Hinkley will deliver 26,000 high quality jobs and apprenticeships for people in Somerset and across the UK.
Energy Live News 13th Oct 2016 read more »