The statement comes as the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) gave the massive 3.26 GW project the green light, in an effort to get the government’s ambitious 16GW new nuclear programme of the ground.
“The project should not proceed on the grounds it is unfair to consumers, will lock the UK into high priced nuclear for decades to come, and will displace investment in renewables,” Greenpeace said in a briefing released on Monday.
One likely consequence of the government caving to EDF’s demands is that the eight other nuclear projects in the new nuclear programme will feel more confident about striking a similar deal. “If EDF succeeds in setting a relatively high strike price, this would certainly encourage other investors to look at new nuclear in the UK again and encourage them to ask for a similar strike price,” Claudia Belahmidi, analyst at IHS told Renewable Energy Focus.
IHS’ analysis does not support the notion that nuclear would replace subsidy for renewables completely, but Belahmidi admitted that funds are limited. “Given the intermittency and limited scaling options for renewables, expensive support for nuclear will certainly divert some funds away from wind and solar projects,” she said.
Analysis: Could nuclear displace UK renewables investment?