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CBI demands wind power cutbacks in favour of nuclear reactors

The Confederation of British Industry is lobbying the government to cut back its plans for expanding wind power, arguing that it would be better to focus on building more nuclear reactors so the UK does not have to fall back on volatile and carbon intensive gas supplies. The business group will today unveil a report called Decision Time in a bid to dramatically change the UK's energy policy.

The Confederation of British Industry is lobbying the government to cut back its plans for expanding wind power, arguing that it would be better to focus on building more nuclear reactors so the UK does not have to fall back on volatile and carbon intensive gas supplies.

The business group will today unveil a report called Decision Time in a bid to dramatically change the UK's energy policy, warning that the current approach is making energy security harder to achieve and jeopardising the UK's ability to meet climate change targets.

The CBI warns that the current strategy from the government is incentivising greater investments in wind power, which will result in too little money going into other forms of low carbon energy such as nuclear and cleaner forms of coal.

CBI deputy director general John Cridland said: "The action we take in the next two to five years will determine where we are in 2030."

He added: "We want to get to the right place in 2030 so we need to avoid getting to the wrong place earlier.

"It is the government's ambitious target on wind, which we think is not going to be achieved cost-effectively, that... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Confederation of British Industry is lobbying the government to cut back its plans for expanding wind power, arguing that it would be better to focus on building more nuclear reactors so the UK does not have to fall back on volatile and carbon intensive gas supplies.

The business group will today unveil a report called Decision Time in a bid to dramatically change the UK's energy policy, warning that the current approach is making energy security harder to achieve and jeopardising the UK's ability to meet climate change targets.

The CBI warns that the current strategy from the government is incentivising greater investments in wind power, which will result in too little money going into other forms of low carbon energy such as nuclear and cleaner forms of coal.

CBI deputy director general John Cridland said: "The action we take in the next two to five years will determine where we are in 2030."

He added: "We want to get to the right place in 2030 so we need to avoid getting to the wrong place earlier.

"It is the government's ambitious target on wind, which we think is not going to be achieved cost-effectively, that will crowd out investment in other low-carbon sources that have a part to play in the mix. We mention nuclear, it is only one.

"At the end of the day, if we are left not achieving that mix, the one default, the one choice then, will be gas."

He unveiled the proposals just days before the UK Government is due to publish a white paper setting out how Britain will source its energy in the coming years.

The CBI's plans would see the UK construct 10 to 15 more reactors, which it says can be situated on the sites of existing nuclear plants.

It wants nuclear energy to comprise 34% of electricity generation by 2030, up from the 20% it anticipates from government plans.

The government believes that wind power should make up at least one third of electricity generation by 2020 but the CBI is sceptical about how achievable this is. It wants wind power to make up 20% of the mix.

It calculates that under current plans, gas would end up accounting for 36% of the UK's electricity generation.

It says that under its proposals, which it dubs the "Balanced Pathway", this would be cut to 16%.

The company also argues that government plans will see low-carbon sources account for 64% of generation, while its plans would lead to 83%.

The Committee on Climate Change, an independent body that advises the government on environmental issues, has set a target that would see the share of generation from low-carbon technologies increase from 26% in 2006 to 78%.

The CBI has said it is particularly concerned that gas use is restricted because, with domestic supplies dwindling, more will have to be imported, putting pressure on gas storage facilities, leaving companies and generators exposed to volatile prices and raising questions about the security of supplies.

Cridland said: "Over the past seven years we have been through two energy reviews, two energy white papers and eight energy ministers.

"Over the past seven years I believe we have used up our margin for error. The government must prioritise."

The CBI is calling on the government to speed up the planning process and outline funding arrangements for carbon capture and storage, which it said it wants dramatically expanded, although some generators have raised concerns that the technology is unproven.

It is also demanding accelerated investment in the national grid and improved energy efficiency in the electricity, heating and transport sectors.

The CBI's other proposals include the establishment of a government task force to consider whether to introduce further carbon pricing mechanisms in addition to carbon credits. It also wants action taken to mitigate the impact of price rises on energy intensive sectors.

It said it is particularly concerned that the government firm up its plans so that energy companies don't decide to invest their money in overseas projects instead.

The CBI estimates that electricity networks require an investment of £15bn to £19bn to replace the 45% of ageing generation capacity that is expected to be retired by 2020.

The Scottish Government has already said it will oppose the building of any new nuclear facilities north of the border.


Source: http://www.theherald.co.uk/...

JUL 12 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21141-cbi-demands-wind-power-cutbacks-in-favour-of-nuclear-reactors
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