UK’s £7m solar budget ‘subsidies Hinkley Point for just two days’

The UK Government “is on the wrong side of history” as it is supporting nuclear and cutting subsidies for green energy. Frans Van Den Heuvel, CEO of Solarcentury told ELN […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government “is on the wrong side of history” as it is supporting nuclear and cutting subsidies for green energy.

Frans Van Den Heuvel, CEO of Solarcentury told ELN subsidising nuclear power will lead to increased energy bills for consumers.

The company claims the government’s proposed £7 million budget for solar is equivalent to subsidising Hinkley Point for just two days.

EDF Energy reached an agreement with China for a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset last week, with Chinese company China General Nuclear Power Corporation buying a 33.5% share.

It followed Chancellor George Osborne’s £2 billion commitment for the project last month.

Mr Heuvel said: “It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? We know already from the Contracts for Difference… that the offers made with solar are already lower than the strike price – the minimum guaranteed price for investors – than nuclear. 10 years from now imagine what the price will be for solar. It has been reduced by 50% in the last seven, eight years.”

 

He added: “The government is on the wrong side of history. They need to embrace, they need to adopt renewable energy. That’s the way to go forward.

“In 2023 or 2025, whatever time, Hinkley Point will start generating if it happens. The whole infrastructure for power generation will be changed and it won’t be cost competitive and the UK taxpayers will have to pay for all this bad, stranded investment. Solar and wind are the new base loads.”

Solarcentury also claims in housing programmes alone, it has already had £16 million of confirmed business cancelled “which equates to approximately 6,500 homes that won’t benefit from solar panels”.

It added the figure is “just a small part of a much larger pipeline of business that won’t happen if the cuts go ahead as planned”.

A number of solar companies, including Mark Group and Southern Solar, went into administration, with both firms blaming the government’s green policy changes.