UNION

Govt leak says UK 'needs 12 more Hinkley Points'

Printable PDF
30 Jul 2019
Press Office

Press Office

GMB, the energy union, has responded to a leaked Government report that the UK needs up to a dozen more nuclear power stations to meet decarbonisation targets.

Up to 40 gigawatts of non-intermittent low carbon power stations could be needed in 2050 to reduce Britain’s emissions to “net zero” ministers believe, and the proposed “regulated asset base” (RAB) model would see consumers pay for the plants on their bills during construction. [1]

GMB has identified five key points to ensure decarbonisation targets are met while the UK's power needs are secured. [2]

In the UK, every one in 5.6 days on average is a low wind day (65 days in total a year) when the output of the installed and connected wind turbines in the UK produce less than 10% of their installed and connected capacity for more than half of the day. For 341 days in the year, solar output is below 10% of installed capacity for more than half of the day. [3]

offshore

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said:

“With anything up to another 12 Hinkley Point C’s needed on Government calculations, the debate within parliament and with the public over how these will be built, and who will pay for them, is desperately overdue.

“Crucial, however, is the Government’s recognition of the scale of reliable power Britain needs to achieve decarbonisation if we are to keep our economy powered and our homes lit and warm. 

“The Regulated Asset Base (RAB) funding model is an acceptable way of assessing the proper return on capital put in by pension funds, insurance companies and other funding institutions to new alternative energy sources, but when GMB replies to the consultation we will call for a carefully differentiated approach to who pays. 

“It has to be recognised that there are additional costs for zero carbon nuclear energy. These arise from the absolute necessity for safe operations compared to other carbon emitting power stations and greater regulatory requirements.

“The engineering is of a different standard and rightly so. The chances of cost overruns to deliver these standards are real and must be paid for. 

“All these should be accurately assessed and the costs to investors to meet these standards should bepaid for from a progressive general taxation system – as should additional costs arising from phasing out traditional carbon energy sources.”

Related news

 
Join more than 600,000 people and become a GMB member today
Join Us!