DOES the government need a ‘Plan B’ for Hinkley C? 
The Green Party’s MEP for the South West Dr Molly Scott Cato certainly thinks so.

Following news last week that French energy firm EDF reported a 68 per cent fall in profits and is planning to extend the life of four of its other UK nuclear power stations, Dr Scott Cato thinks now is the time to focus on renewables.
The Final Investment Decision had been expected this month but there is still no word from EDF.

Dr Scott Cato believes the nation should invest in renewables as an alternative to nuclear, and has commissioned a report over the viability of producing 100 per cent of the region’s energy this way.

The report, called ‘The Power to Transform the South West’, was produced by The Resilience Centre and states that going down the renewable energy route would create 122,000 jobs across the region.

Dr Cato said: “Plan B is a full-scale commitment to a range of renewable energy technologies and efficiency savings and the investments that can bring this about. 

“It is time for George Osborne to end his ideological obsession with nuclear and stop kowtowing to the Chinese to lever in cash for the city.”

The report suggests that Somerset has the potential to use tidal, biomass, solar and wind energy and says that political will is the single biggest constraining barrier to renewables.

It also says the cost of delivering 100 per cent of renewable energy to the South West would be £60 billion and the equivalent cost of nuclear is around £83 billion. 

MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset Ian Liddell-Grainger said the idea of scrapping Hinkley and needing a Plan B was an insult to the people who have worked so hard over the past nine years to get the project this far.

“I have to disagree with Dr Scott Cato’s claim that George Osborne is backing Hinkley to bring in cash for the City, it has nothing to do with that,” Mr Liddell-Grainger said. 

“I think this idea for a ‘Plan B’ is completely mad, a lot of people have been working extremely hard to try and get Hinkley C moving and I am very confident it will go ahead soon.”

UKIP has said in its election manifesto that “Britain is sleepwalking into an energy crisis”. 

They believe that subsidies for wind turbines and solar photovoltaic arrays should be halted and renewable energy should only be encouraged “where it can deliver electricity at competitive prices”. 

The party also said green levies should also be cut while more nuclear power stations are needed to supply energy over the next few years.