After a brief spell of hope, the controversial Hinkley Point nuclear power station has been given the green light.
The £18 billion project is being financed by the French and the Chinese, with plans for new power stations to be based on Chinese designs as part of the deal.
According to the BBC, the Chinese agreed to take a stake in Hinkley and at Sizewell in Suffolk on the understanding that the UK government would approve a Chinese-led and designed project at Bradwell in Essex, which has raised questions over national security.
“This is what being painted into a corner feels like”, David Elmes, Head of the Global Energy Research Network at Warwick Business School, said.
“After a surprise delay by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, the UK Government’s confirmation of the deal to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point locks UK bill payers into an expensive source of energy for decades to come.
“The UK’s climate change commitments make it tough to provide electricity reliably at low emissions, but this deal was started a decade ago when we hoped the companies involved could deliver it on time and at a reasonable cost. The price UK bill payers are committing to through the government is now double and the start date has slipped at least 8 years.
“The choices the UK has for the supply and use of energy have changed considerably since this deal was first conceived.
“The ability of governments, companies and financiers to commit to such huge projects has also faded. While those involved will be hugely relieved; we need a serious discussion of cost effective opportunities that offer as much or a greater contribution to the UK economy so we’re not boxed in to such a decision again.”