Article

Keeping Britain's lights burning

This strategy should encompass a full range of power supplies, including making full use of this region's remaining coal stocks. Such an approach would negate the risk of fuel shortages if, for example, wind power and other politically-favourable renewable energy sources fail to produce sufficient electricity to meet public demand.

THE extent of the Government's policy void on how to secure Britain's future energy requirements has, once again, been exposed by the publication of a top-level report that cautions against the creation of a new generation of nuclear plants.

It remains to be seen whether Tony Blair will take heed of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee. The Prime Minister is thought to favour the use of nuclear power to cut Britain's carbon dioxide emissions, a contributor to global warming.

And, given that the Government's chief scientist warned last week that far more needs to be done to mitigate against the threat now posed by climate change, it seems unlikely that the nuclear option will be totally discarded, given the need for the country not to become totally dependent upon foreign imports.

Yet, such decisions need to be taken swiftly if Britain is to avoid the international embarrassment of widespread electricity blackouts. Nuclear power plants, by their very nature, take many years to construct. And, with a quarter of existing plants due to be decommissioned by 2016, the need for a comprehensive new strategy is becoming paramount.

This strategy should encompass a full range of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
THE extent of the Government's policy void on how to secure Britain's future energy requirements has, once again, been exposed by the publication of a top-level report that cautions against the creation of a new generation of nuclear plants.

It remains to be seen whether Tony Blair will take heed of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee. The Prime Minister is thought to favour the use of nuclear power to cut Britain's carbon dioxide emissions, a contributor to global warming.

And, given that the Government's chief scientist warned last week that far more needs to be done to mitigate against the threat now posed by climate change, it seems unlikely that the nuclear option will be totally discarded, given the need for the country not to become totally dependent upon foreign imports.

Yet, such decisions need to be taken swiftly if Britain is to avoid the international embarrassment of widespread electricity blackouts. Nuclear power plants, by their very nature, take many years to construct. And, with a quarter of existing plants due to be decommissioned by 2016, the need for a comprehensive new strategy is becoming paramount.

This strategy should encompass a full range of power supplies, including making full use of this region's remaining coal stocks. Such an approach would negate the risk of fuel shortages if, for example, wind power and other politically-favourable renewable energy sources fail to produce sufficient electricity to meet public demand. But, furthermore, it would provide this country with a level of protection should a country like Russia choose, once again, to withhold its gas supplies with little warning; a move that caused so much anxiety over the New Year.

Given how MPs have lambasted the lack of progress made in the past three years, Mr Blair must now provide a clear political lead if the lights are to continue burning brightly across Britain.


Source: http://www.yorkshiretoday.c...

APR 17 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2192-keeping-britain-s-lights-burning
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