According to the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) there are alternatives to the proposed £18billion project that are “cheaper, quicker and simpler”.
The latest report found a mixture of established technologies such as wind farms, interconnectors and gas-fired plants along with demand management that could save the UK around £1 billion per year.
The UK Government made a surprise announcement to delay its final decision on approval for the project until Autumn this year. This follows on from EDF, who is financing the majority of the project, giving the go ahead.
According to the report by the ECIU, the UK could being as much electricity to the grid as Hinkley Point would generate by building three interconnectors, or four new wind farms and reduce the average household bill by £10 - £20 a year.
Additionally the report also states that at least two fifths of the power generated by Hinkley Point could be negated by using energy more efficiently and cutting the amount of waste energy. Approximately 3.2GW of the nuclear plant’s peak demand could be supplied through demand side response or additional gas units and this could potentially save £16billion in infrastructure costs.
Paul Massara, former CEO of NWE Npower and currently the head of North Star Solar, has backed these report findings.
He believes that Hinkley Point is the “wrong solution” for the UK’s future energy needs.
“Whatever your view of nuclear power, what’s so striking is just how expensive, unwieldy and complex Hinkley C is. That the UK is even considering investing so much money in an unproven design based on outmoded technology is staggering enough.”
“But when energy markets are so clearly heading in an entirely different direction, it looks like madness to push ahead with Hinkley. Listen to any informed energy market insider and they will tell you that future grids will be smart, decentralised, flexible and dominated by a mix of renewable energy, demand side and energy efficiency measures and storage.”
“If that’s the case, then the question is very simple: what’s Hinkley for?”
If it goes ahead, Hinkley Point is expected to deliver 7% of the UK’s electricity.