I’ve decided to start posting the press releases in full. Nuclear power, no thanks!
Nick Harvey MP has today commented on the long awaited results of the Government’s energy review published this week. The Review concluded that nuclear power is economically viable and should play a role in UK energy policy.
Mr Harvey said:
“This move could have disastrous consequences for Great Britain. Not only has the focus on nuclear prevented the government from announcing urgently required investment into clean coal and renewable technologies, but we are also facing increasing threats from terrorist organisations for whom a nuclear power station would be an ideal target.
“Instead of wasting money on expensive nuclear technology we should be creating the right market in carbon, which would encourage private firms to invest, and raise the funds for essential government-sponsored Research and Development.
“Projects such as the Marine Current Turbines at Lynton and Lynmouth, where a tidal energy farm is now planned, is a shining example of how we might hope to meet our energy needs in the future with not just one but a whole basket of technologies.”
Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test today welcomed much of the Energy Review, published yesterday by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling, and in particular praised the commitment in the review to energy management and increased support for renewable energy sources.
But he also claimed that the Review has not made the case for nuclear power that had been claimed in some quarters. Indeed, Dr Whitehead cited three questions on nuclear power unanswered in the review:
“Firstly no new nuclear power stations will be online before 2020 according to the Review. This means that any gap in energy supplies will have to be made up before then and not by nuclear.
Secondly nuclear power stations will only be built by private companies if they are confident that they will get their money back. The mechanisms set up in the Review will not achieve that but might instead damage investment in other sources of energy.
Finally, there are strong mechanisms proposed in the Review to encourage energy efficiency and the take up of distributed generation. It is not clear why we need nuclear if these paths are rigorously pursued.”
Responding to the DTI Select Committee’s report into nuclear power, Liberal Democrat Shadow DTI Secretary, Edward Davey MP said
“Three years ago, there was a growing cross-party consensus around the 2003 energy white paper’s recommendations. This outlined a vision for a low carbon non-nuclear future.
“The Government has now surrendered to pressure from the pro-nuclear lobby. The country now faces a costly, ineffective and unpredictable approach to the future of our environment.”
Bath’s MP, Don Foster has spoken out against nuclear power following a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) which stated that almost four times more energy could be saved through energy efficiency measures over the next two decades than could be generated by replacing all the UK’s nuclear reactors.
Commenting, Don said:
“Nuclear is a tried, tested and failed technology with demonstrably higher costs than the renewable alternatives. This report’s recommendations to use less energy is yet another endorsement of the approach advocated by the Liberal Democrats. However, under Labour, energy use has been going up and up, year by year, with no sign of ending.
“The most sensible way to ensure security of supply and avoid astronomical expense is to use energy more efficiently. Apart from onshore wind farms, investment in energy efficiency is the most cost effective energy strategy.”
Miss Anne McIntosh, MP for the Vale of York, today welcomed proposals by the Government to make it easier for homes to install small-scale renewable energy, such as solar water heating or mini-wind turbines. The move by the Government to change planning rules comes after a Conservative campaign to push for more green energy and micro-generation.
Miss Anne McIntosh explained, “I welcome that the Government has responded to cross-party pressure to make it easier for homes in North Yorkshire and across the country to install renewable energy like solar panels or mini-wind turbines. Where the Government offers positive, constructive and reasonable policies, they will have my support.
“But the Government could do far more to promote green energy, rather than giving unfair subsidies to new nuclear power stations. Conservatives want to enhance our environment by seeking a long-term cross-party consensus on sustainable development and climate change – instead of short-term thinking or surrendering to vested interests. The modern, compassionate Conservative Party believes that quality of life matters just as much as quantity of money.”
Also this week, David Cameron has made a major speech calling for:
• A level playing field between renewable and other forms of energy generation.
• Encouraging local generators to sell any spare electricity they generate back to the National Grid.
• Improving and streamlining planning procedures for green energy.