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New nuclear power plan could add to energy bills for next 35 years

Critics say strike price has been set too high

Critics believe the set strike price is too high

The Hinkley C nuclear plant, operated by French energy company EDF, could add to energy bills for the next 35 years, after the government set a high strike price.

It was announced earlier this week that the price will be set at £92.50 per megawatt hour of electricity produced at the plant for 35 years, but many have criticised the model, due to come in to play in 2023.

Strike price ‘too high’

The main worry that has been aired as a result of the strike price announcement is that it is simply too high. The agreed figure is twice the level of today’s wholesale market price.

Greenpeace UK’s John Sauven delivered a damning verdict on the plant, telling the Express that it fails every test with regards to economic values, environmental impact and the effect it will have on consumers.

He added: “It will lock a generation into higher energy bills via a strike price that’s nearly double the current price of electricity, and it will distort energy policy by displacing newer, cleaner, technologies that are dropping in price.”

It is believed that the strike price could see energy bills rise time and again for 35 years, with worries that energy bills could as much as double.

Dr Paul Dorfman, of the Energy Institute at University College London, said that the government had essentially added another levy onto customers’ bills, stating that it will cost householders a collective £1 billion per year.

Ministers defend prices

However, ministers have stepped in to defend the prices agreed for the Hinkley C site, saying that the nuclear plant will see bills drop by £77 overall by 2030.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the plant, which will eventually deliver 7% of the UK’s electricity needs, will be essential if Brits want to make sure the lights don’t go out.

This has been a fear recently, with both the government and the National Grid trying to alleviate worries, while admitting that there is always a risk, particularly as the UK likely to be pushed to the limit in 2014.

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