NAO's Simon Bittlestone Presents on the Value-For-Money of Hinkley Point C

Photo of Simon Bittlestone presenting

On February 27 2019, the National Audit Office’s Simon Bittlestone, spoke at the Centre about the value for money of the UK government’s deal to support the construction of Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear power station to be built in the UK for over 20 years. Simon started the presentation by overviewing its construction, which was fully launched in 2016. As he has been managing the National Audit Office’s value-for-money study of the deal, Simon provided an insightful analysis from a cost-benefit perspective on the deal by going through the NAO’s assessment of different economic tests that the government performed when evaluating the deal. Predicating upon that, he further explained the NAO’s decision to recommend that the government considers alternative models to finance new power stations in the future.

Simon not only focused his presentation on understanding the different aspects of Hinkley Point C itself, but he also positioned that knowledge within the current technological and socio-political context. The second half of his presentation assessed the risks and changes that have been emerging since the government’s decision. He engaged the audience with the current challenges as well as opportunities for the government regarding the development of the energy industry.

Simon manages value-for-money studies of government spending, specializing in energy, at the National Audit Office. In 2017, he managed the NAO’s value-for-money study on the government’s deal for Hinkley Point C. In 2018, Simon was internally seconded to work on the NAO’s Brexit programme and managed the report assessing the government’s estimate of the cost of the financial settlement.