Labour will not renegotiate the contract with the French-owned EDFEnergy that will deliver Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation despite concerns over the price paid for the electricity it will produce, the shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint, has said.
Flint said a future Labour government would not revisit the contract to build the £16bn Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset despite criticism over the so-called “strike price” for electricity produced at the plant.
Britain will pay £92.50 per MW hour for electricity produced at the plant. Flint said this was still cheaper than other forms of renewable energy.
She said the powerful public accounts committee in the Commons would “look at the details” of the deal to build the power station, which will begin operating in 2023. She added that Labour’s reforms to the energy market would provide clarity in future negotiations.
Asked on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show if Labour would revisit the deal, Flint said: “No. We’re supporting the contract because we believe in the long run that actually it’s important, we hope that actually this is the first of many new nuclear builds and actually as we go forward the cost will come down.
“But it’s important to recognise that when you look at the unit cost of electricity generated by nuclear it actually works out cheaper than other forms of renewable energy.”
She went on: “It’s not, I think, helpful for governments coming in, if you like, to say ‘we’re going to renegotiate all contracts’. I don’t think that’s right.
“Down the road, obviously, the public accounts committee will look at the details of this, but I do believe nuclear is right and I do think it’s important to get the price right.
“Actually, going back to our reforms, an electricity pool will actually give governments of the future, hopefully a Labour one, much clearer ideas about what the reference price should be.”
Source: The Guardian