Why building HPC is essential to secure the UK’s energy future
The points below outline why a new nuclear power station – Hinkley Point C – is a vital part of the solution to the UK’s electricity needs:
1. Keeping the UK’s lights on
The UK urgently needs new investment in energy infrastructure to replace old and polluting electricity generation sources. Since 2010 26 power stations have closed, which equates to 20% of the UK’s generation capacity. By 2030 a further 35% of existing generation capacity will close down and decisive action must be taken now.
Once constructed, Hinkley Point C will provide 7% of the UK’s electricity for 60 years whenever it is needed, during winter and summer, day and night.
2. A good deal for UK taxpayers and consumers
The electricity produced by Hinkley Point C will be competitive with other forms of generation, including gas, when it is compared – as it should be – with gas generation projects starting in the mid-2020s. Consumer electricity bills will be cheaper in 2030 with new nuclear in the mix, compared to a low carbon mix without it.
EDF Energy and its partners will shoulder all the construction costs associated with building Hinkley Point C. This is vital at a time when the UK Government is seeking to reduce the deficit by cutting down on public sector borrowing.
3. Achieving environmental targets
The UK has a legally binding emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050 vs. levels recorded in 1990 and developing additional baseload low carbon generation capacity is essential if these targets are to be met in an affordable way.
Nuclear power is the only proven large scale low carbon baseload option. Having a reliable low carbon base for our energy is increasingly important in a system including intermittent low carbon generation technologies such as solar, onshore and offshore wind and gas generation to provide the balance.
4. The project is ready to succeed
Our plans for Hinkley Point C benefit from the experience of construction at Flamanville and Taishan. Construction planning has been made more efficient by involving our contractors at an early stage, and by using innovative 4D modelling. We have also ensured a stable design from an early stage in the project – we know what we will build before we begin. The design is approved by the UK regulator and no alternative reactor designs have yet achieved this.
The EDF Hinkley Point C team brings together experience, skills and project management capabilities gained from other successful large UK infrastructure projects, as well as international experience in nuclear new build.
5. Revitalising the UK nuclear industry
The Hinkley Point C project will provide 25,000 employment opportunities in the UK, including at least 1,000 apprenticeships, and over 60% of the project’s construction value is predicted to come from British companies.
Subsequent projects will also benefit from the expertise gained from the construction of Hinkley Point C. Developments of the supply chain, the skills base and the planning and regulatory precedents are all significant benefits which should not be underestimated.