The SNP has called on the Tories to end their ‘obsession’ with nuclear energy and focus on clean, renewable energy, in the drive to tackle climate change and bring soaring energy bills down.
It comes as a written response to a parliamentary question confirms further delays to the UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power station which reports suggest could cost the taxpayer up to £26 billion – opening four years later than scheduled.
The party’s Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate change, Alan Brown MP, said the delays added ‘insult to injury’ for consumers, after UK government Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, admitted recently that the construction of new nuclear plants would initially raise household energy bills.
Based on the contract awarded by the Westminster government to Hinkley Point C, the electricity that will be generated by that existing nuclear station will be priced at £92.50 per megawatt hour, for a 35-year contract whereas the electricity being generated from offshore wind is currently priced at £39.65 per megawatt hour on a 15-year concession.
Based on those figures, Hinkley Point C alone could add up to £40 a year to consumer bills, compared to wind power that could reduce bills by £8 a year.
Commenting, Alan Brown MP said:
“This latest admission shows that the Westminster government’s obsession with nuclear power will do absolutely nothing to help people cope with the spiralling Tory-made cost of living crisis.
“For months we’ve heard endless lectures and bleatings from the Tories on their nuclear obsession, yet every week we’re treated to new reports and estimates of the true cost of prioritising a massive shift towards nuclear.
“The latest reports simply add insult to injury for the consumers whose energy bills have skyrocketed in recent months and who were promised a great reprieve when the UK shifts its reliance to nuclear.
“It’s abundantly clear that nuclear will cost more, is costing more, and will send bills soaring even further – all while many people, particularly in Scotland, can see clean renewable energy being produced in their own backyards.
“Why the UK government hasn’t thought to learn lessons from Scotland, a country able to produce enough renewable energy to power itself three times over, is unbelievably daft and shows the Tories are not up to the task of fighting climate change and supporting ordinary people.”