The UK can achieve its energy and climate targets even if the proposed new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C is not built, according to a new report.

The study, issued on Friday 26 August by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), suggested that the UK could bring as much electricity to the grid by building as few as four big windfarms or three additional interconnectors, and that it could negate the need for at least two-fifths of Hinkley’s electricity by cutting waste. Hinkley’s 3.2GW of peak demand could, the report said, be supplied through interconnection, additional gas plants generating only at peak times, or adjusting usage through Demand Side Response. Replacing all Hinkley’s peak-time output with gas-fired units would save £16bn in infrastructure costs.

Paul Massara, CEO North Star Solar and former CEO of RWE npower, commented: “Whatever your view of nuclear power, what’s so striking is just how expensive, unwieldy and complex Hinkley C is. That the UK is even considering investing so much money in an unproven design based on outmoded technology is staggering enough”.

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