We might not have much of a coherent energy policy, but we do at least have the honour of breaking the record for the most expensive object ever built. According to Peter Atherton of Liberum Capital, speaking at the Spectator Energy Forum, the cost of Hinkley C nuclear power station, Britain’s first nuclear power plant in 30 years, to be built in Somerset by French power giant EDF, is now up to £24 billion. ‘I’ve looked online to see if there was a more expensive object ever built but I couldn’t find one’ says Atherton. ‘The most expensive bridge was something like £6 billion and the most expensive building something like £5 billion.’ The cost of the electricity to the British consumer will be 64 per cent more than that of a French nuclear power station. EDF will be guaranteed a strike price of £92.50 per megawatt, uprated with the Consumer Prices Index every year for the next 35 years.
It begins to make wind and solar power look attractive. But maybe that was the point.