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Bloomberg claims that budget for Hinkley Point C could generate far more electricity if spent on gas or renewables

06 September 2016

This chart from Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that spending the £18 billion budget allotted for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station on other methods of generation would produce far more electricity. Spending the money on gas-fired power stations would result in the production of 25 gigawatts (GW), rather than the 3.2 GW the Somerset nuclear site would generate.

Renewables would also be more cost-efficient, Bloomberg says,  with solar generating a maximum theoretical capacity of 22 GW, onshore wind 15 GW and offshore wind 5.5 GW for the same outlay, although here, actual electricity production would depend on the consistency of sunshine and wind.

The prospects of the Hinkley Point project going ahead have diminished significantly since Theresa May replaced David Cameron as UK prime minister in July, Bloomberg says. Hours after French energy group EDF gave the project a green light, May’s government said it needed time to reconsider.

Senior figures in the French government have repeatedly sought reassurances from their UK counterparts that the project will proceed, but have so far failed to get any firm commitment.

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