Molly says the announcement by new chancellor Philip Hammond that Hinkley must still go ahead shows the new Tory government are simply repeating mistakes of old. The announcement comes just a day after the National Audit Office proclaimed renewables as a cheaper option due to its falling costs undermining the competitiveness of nuclear. Also last week The Department for Energy and Climate Change estimated that the cost of keeping its promise to EDF, the state-owned French company due to build the nuclear reactor, would now be £37bn over the life of the project. Molly Scott Cato said:
“Perhaps I should be gracious, and give Mr Hammond breathing space to come to his senses. But to make such an announcement on Hinkley just hours after such a damning report shows a worrying propensity for new ministers to fail to learn from the mistakes of the past. Hammond repeated the tired refrain of needing Hinkley to fill the energy gap. But we know that renewables can come on stream faster and cheaper than nuclear.
“The National Audit Office has confirmed what as Greens we have been saying for what feels like an eternity: we urgently need a Plan B based on the South West’s huge renewable energy resources, which has the potential to provide more than 100% of the region’s energy needs and create thousands of new jobs. Sadly, it seems political backing for a genuine energy transition away from dangerous and costly nuclear towards community owned renewables is still on hold.”