New Sizewell nuclear plant ‘could see energy bills rise several pounds’

EDF’s Nuclear Development Director, Julia Pyke, outlined how a new financing scheme for the project could save final costs by requiring an upfront payment from consumers

The Big Zero report

A new nuclear power station at Sizewell in Suffolk could mean consumer energy bills go up by several pounds.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this morning, EDF’s Nuclear Development Director, Julia Pyke said new nuclear is necessary to provide enough power to electrify heat and transport while stopping burning fossil fuels – she argued renewables can’t do this alone due to their intermittency.

She suggested copying the design of Hinkley Point C would help attract reliable investment and said this could help lower costs from around £20 billion to £16 billion.

Additionally, EDF says a “small payment” from billpayers during construction would be able to significantly reduce the final costs of energy by allowing developers to borrow against the guaranteed stream of income.

The BBC has reported that the cost added on to each energy bill would be likely to total around £6.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Treasury are expected to shortly issue a consultation document on the new scheme.

EDF’s pressurised-water reactor at Hinkley Point C in Somerset has a controversial strike price of £92.50 per megawatt-hour, roughly twice the current market rate.

The French energy giant says the closed reactor at the Hunterston B power plant will only be restarted if safe.

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