The deal struck by China yesterday to invest in a nuclear plant at Hinkley Point could add £33 to the UK’s average household bill.
That’s according to environmental charity Greenpeace.
Its UK Chief Scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “There’s no end in sight for the nuclear industry’s dependence on billion-pound handouts whilst the renewable sector is on the verge of going subsidy free. Backing the former and punishing the latter makes no economic sense whatsoever.”
Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary Lisa Nandy agreed, she said: “There are real fears about what this deal will mean for family budgets and for our national security too.
“Hinkley Point C is likely to be the most expensive power station ever built anywhere and it is largely families and business who are picking up the tab.”
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) welcomed the government’s commitment to low carbon energy production but urged it to “reveal the overall energy strategy”.
Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the REA said the industry and the public are “concerned and unclear” about the future of renewables, many of which are “roaring towards the point in which they need no subsidy at all”.
However the deal has been applauded by the World Nuclear Association. Director General Agneta Rising said: “Globally, it is clear we need to accelerate our deployment of low carbon generation.”
She said nuclear power provides “the stable foundation to support other climate-friendly technologies”.
Alan Raymant, Chief Operating Officer of Horizon Nuclear Power added the news “marks a major step forward for nuclear new build in the UK” .
He said: “Nuclear power has a vital role to play in helping meet the country’s energy needs and environmental goals and this sends a firm signal that new build is moving ahead in the UK.”