This is Abraj Al Bait Towers in Mecca. It has everything you could possibly want from a luxury development – heliports, huge shopping mall, five-star hotel, and a prayer room that can accommodate 10,000 people.
It has the biggest clock ever made, its four faces 46 metres across – see those gold pillars either side of the clock face? Each one of them is taller than the Westminster clock tower. The building overlooks the Grand Mosque and when the call to prayer is sounded from the main spire, it can be heard seven kilometres away.
At a cost of £9 billion, it has the honour of the being the world’s most expensive building.
This is what the proposed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point would look like:
For the cost of this power station you could build Mecca’s clock tower twice over, and then host the 2012 Olympics again with the change.
At £24.5 billion it will take the record for the most expensive building in the world by a country mile, and that’s the minimum price tag if all goes well. EDF admit the final tally could be as high as £34 billion if there are complications. Not that the costs stop when construction finishes and it’s switched on – the government has pledged a minimum price of £89.50 for 35 years, a subsidy that will amount to around £1 billion a year.
It’s a deal so terrible that even those who have been campaigning for new nuclear power stations don’t want it. When campaigners have asked to see the energy modelling the government have used to base their decisions on, they’ve been told it’s secret and Freedom of Information requests have been denied.
Yesterday the government renewed their commitment to Hinkley Point C and announced further guarantees in order to entice China to invest.
This is the same government that has been systematically dismantling renewable energy subsidies in order to secure “lower bills for hardworking British bill payers”.
Does not compute.