Do we have the energy?

I haven’t had time to read this carefully, but there is a bit more in it on energy efficiency than I expected from media reports – however, this is definitely an area of high priority.

This government’s, and this Prime Minister’s, infatuation with big projects (which often don’t happen) means that I would be very sceptical if we really do build 8 new nuclear reactors before 2050. I think we probably should have a few more as part of the mix but they aren’t cheap and they aren’t quick.

The RSPB’s Conservation Director, Katie-Jo Luxton (who I’m sure will have read the strategy more carefully than I), said this:

Today’s publication contains little to free the UK from its addiction to fossil fuels despite the Prime Minister’s foreword lauding the potential of renewable energy.  It also fails to set out how to bring down our overall energy demand – for example we need an urgent plan to make our homes and business more energy efficient, which will also help reduce energy bills.

We need to see more joined-up thinking and long-term planning from our Government. The Energy Strategy is a missed opportunity for our Government to not just address energy security but also live up to its commitments to tackle climate change. Yet again the Government has again dodged committing to a coherent spatial plan to map out both energy reduction and clean energy protection and do that in ways that are in harmony with nature, helping the Government deliver on its ambition to restoring our natural world within a generation.

We are already seeing the dangers of taking the quickest option with developers and planners overlooking the potential damage to wildlife and destruction of wild spaces on land and at sea. If our Government is serious about thinking about our future needs, then it must look what that future will look like while we still have time to change it.

We want the plans we make today to power not just our homes but nature’s recovery tomorrow, as if we get this wrong we could cause irrecoverable damage to wild places or see the loss of species already being pushed to the brink.

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2 Replies to “Do we have the energy?”

  1. The current science seems to be telling us that we don’t have the 20-30 years left to wait while we build new nuclear plants. Added to which is the enormous problems that we would be leaving for future generations, as if we haven’t already left them enough.
    Solar and wind may not be pretty (are nuclear plants?), but we are way past the aesthetics stage, anyway the visual problems are likely to lessen as technology improves. If we are to cover farmland with elephant grass to feed power stations that cause emissions, we may as well cover it with solar that doesn’t.
    Tidal, hydrogen and storage are all adding to the security mix and improving all the time.
    By the time taxpayers money has been wasted on completing the first new nuclear plant, it won’t be needed.
    Better surely that the billions are spent on renewables instead of pipe dreams and vanity projects.

  2. Neither nuclear or hydrogen are actually anything like green and there is a considerable body of data suggesting if concentrate on wind, tidal and solar we do not need them.

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