Construction on Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has only recently begun, however it has already been announced that costs will increase by around £1.5 billion, with a potential for a 15 month delay for completion at site. Hinkley Point C has caused much controversy over the last 10 years, and as such the news is quite unwelcome. Originally, the power station was to be powering the UK by this upcoming Christmas, however after recent announcements, power generation will not be taking place for another 10 years.
The developer EDF are in the process of constructing two other nuclear stations in France and Finland, which have also experienced severe alterations to budgets and time frames. The inconvenience caused by delays must be tackled immediately. Despite the previous power generation date being 2025, the UK must now arrange for alternative power sources to make up the lack of nuclear from Hinkley Point C until 2027 which is the new power generation date. Gas and coal are the most likely types of power to be generating while Hinkley Point is unavailable, as renewable sources are generally intermittent and unreliable. This could also have a negative impact on the Government aim to close all coal power stations in the UK by 2025.
The cost aspect of Hinkley Point C has caused most controversy in recent years, as the projected wholesale cost from power generated is estimated around twice as much as average UK power costs, at around £90/MW. While construction has only just begun and revisions have been announced, it is more than likely that over the years the costs are set to increase.
Ultimately, industry experts opposed the nuclear station being implemented in the UK to begin with. The increasing costs to construct and then run the station will no doubt be passed back onto consumers, despite EDF officials stating this wouldn’t happen.
Sources: the Guardian, the Telegraph, BBC News, Reuters