Solar power could deliver the same energy as Hinkley Point C in “less than two years and at a comparable cost”, it has been claimed.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Mark Turner, Operations Director at Lightsource Renewable Energy said solar is better positioned than the yet to be built nuclear plant which is only scheduled to start generating electricity in 2023.
He made the claim as the UK Government agreed a strike price of £92.50/MWh with EDF Energy for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset.
Mr Turner acknowledged the benefits of Hinkley C in the long run but said solar could provide the new generation capacity needed to replace coal-fired stations in the shorter term. He urged David Cameron to “move away from debating green taxes” and discuss the deployment of sustainable energy technologies.
He said in the letter: “Announcements such as those you made will shake investor confidence in the important role the Government has to play in providing the modest and declining support that this nascent business sector receives until it becomes fully self-sufficient.”
He added although solar would not offer the “whole solution”, if it had proper support it could supply up to 10% of the UK’s energy mix within a couple of years “completely free from the vagaries of the global fossil fuel markets”.