Sizewell C ‘too expensive’, says Liberal Democrat leader and former energy secretary
PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:25 27 September 2020
Building Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast will be “too expensive”, former energy secretary Ed Davey has said.
Speaking on the BBC’s Politics East, the new Liberal Democrat leader said that investment should be made into renewable energy instead of nuclear power.
He argued that the economic case for nuclear power, including Sizewell C, is “not there anymore” due to the falling costs in offshore wind farms.
However, despite Sizewell C’s £20billion price tag, developer EDF Energy says the project will provide huge benefits to the county.
The French state-owned energy giant has said the project, which is an exact replica of the Hinkley Point C power plant in Somerset, will bring 7,500 jobs to the region at the height of construction work.
It also says it will be cheaper due to the fact it is a replica of the Hinkley power station, which is currently being built.
Mr Davey, who was energy minister when the Hinkley Point plant was approved, said: “What I would say going forward, and this applies to Sizewell, is I think the problem with nuclear is that it’s just too expensive.
“When we were going ahead with the Hinkley Point C, it was cheaper than offshore wind.
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“But now the cost of offshore wind has fallen dramatically and renewables are cheaper than nuclear.
“We can build them locally and we don’t need Chinese investment.
“Let’s tap into this energy source that we control, that is clean, green and that creates green jobs in the region.”
Over the past few months, Sizwell C is beginning to pick up pace.
However, it is still expected to be 18 months until a final planning decision will be made.
If the plans are permitted it is then expected that the project will take a decade to build.
An EDF spokesman said: “Sizewell C offers Suffolk long-term, well-paid jobs and access to skills and training in the growing energy sector.
“We are working hard to ensure those benefits can reach some of the most deprived areas of the county.
“During eight years of public consultation we have updated our plans following feedback and we continue to listen and work to make the most of Sizewell C for the region and ensure that the benefits far outweigh any impacts.”
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