The association of Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) has responded to the UK Government’s call for evidence on Professor Dieter Helm’s review of the UK energy market and the financial costs of energy to consumers and businesses.
The NFLA said the best way to keep costs as low as possible over the coming decades – while delivering carbon targets, ensuring security of supply, and seizing the economic opportunities of the low carbon transition – is to abandon the Hinkley Point C atom power station and scrap the new nuclear programme.
Instead, the NFLA call on the government to launch a much more comprehensive energy efficiency programme and expand its renewable energy ambitions.
The NFLA evidence states that cancelling Hinkley Point C now might incur a cancellation cost of around £2 billion, but that consumers could save around £50 billion.
Councillor David Blackburn, NFLA Vice-Chairman, explained: “The UK has the technology to match green power supply and demand at affordable cost without fossil fuels – by deploying the ‘smart grid’, using ‘green gas’ made from surplus power, and raising energy efficiency.
“Baseload is not helpful in balancing a variable energy supply – it simply leads to further overproduction of energy at times when renewables can meet demand on their own.
“Offshore wind is already approaching half the cost of nuclear power and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) predicts costs will drop a further 71% by 2040 and solar power is expected to be the cheapest source of energy (not just electricity) anywhere in the world by 2040.
“Removing the current ban on onshore wind <in England> could save consumers around £1 billion and cost-effective investments in domestic energy efficiency between now and 2035 could save around 140 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy and save an average of £270 per household per year at current energy prices. The investments would deliver net benefits worth £7.5 billion to the UK.
“If the Government continues with the nuclear programme then Ministers will have to explain to consumers why they are having to pay for expensive nuclear electricity when cheap renewables are being turned off.”
8 Jan 2018
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