Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How is the UK energy review being recieved? Not Well!

The Sustainable Development Commission criticise the brining forward of Nuclear Power:

"Earlier in the year, the Commission published its detailed research on
the potential role of nuclear power in securing the UK Government's key energy
objectives. We came to the conclusion that UK does not need to replace its
existing nuclear power programme, and that the disadvantages associated with
nuclear power outweigh its advantages"


The world renowned Tyndall Centre are even more scathing, of the document as a whole not just the element of nuclear power:


“Today’s Energy Review has a highly disproportionate focus on electricity
supply as opposed to heat and transport – neglecting the other 82% of UK
energy use. It has the traditional over-emphasis on large, centralised and
big power supply using conventional engineering thinking. There is no real
action proposed to realise the substantial potential of alternative means of
generating low-carbon power, such as micro-generation of electricity at the
community-level and the widespread implementation of combined heat and
power.”

As for the headline of my previous post on this subject "Haven't I seen this energy system before?" the Tyndall Centre seem to entirely agree, the govornment have gone for a centeralised system with renewables tagged on this is a long way from the visionary approach we need so desperately.
“The energy review represents an outdated analytical approach in which
central electricity supply dominates, and is less visionary than the
Government’s extensive and expert-led 2003 Energy Review. By contrast, what
was needed was a systematic assessment of all energy sectors, both in terms
of supply and demand. Only when a balanced approach is taken can issues of
energy security and climate change be adequately addressed. This whole
system approach informs the Tyndall Centre’s Decarbonising the UK scenarios
published last year – that show comprehensive and integrated pathways to a
low carbon future for the UK.”

In 2003 Margarett Beckett the then Head of the department of the environment (DEFRA) stated.

"It would have been foolish to announce that we would embark on a new generation of nuclear power stations because that would have guaranteed that we would not make the necessary investment in both energy efficiency and renewables. That is why we are not going to build a new generation of nuclear power stations now."

Finally, the Carbon Trust believe that the govornment are going nuclear in order to cover up their own policy deficiencies. An imporved renewables obligation could effectively fill the gap that nuclear power is leaving in the energy supply market. (Via the Green Part Website)

New research by the Carbon Trust shows that the impending retirement of
old coal and nuclear power stations will open up a gap of at least 14GW
between supply and demand by 2015 – equivalent to almost a fifth of the UK’s
capacity requirement. The Trust believes renewable energy could make up the
balance but is being failed by the current system, 'the Renewables Obligation'.

Update

The Centre for Alternative Technologies, a well respected research and education organisation has just come out against the govornments direction and its lack of ambition.

CAT’s Development Director Paul Allen said: 'Claiming that nuclear power is
the way to fill the pending energy gap is a myth. Numerous reports have shown we can meet our climate change targets without new nuclear, but we must be smart about it.'The simple fact remains that using energy more efficiently is
absolutely essential and must form the cornerstone of any proposed solution. A
massive 'energy re-think' programme, such as super insulating every home in
Britain or re-localising food production will not only save us money in real
terms, it will strengthen local economies, create new products, create
employment and is considerably cheaper than simply generating extra energy. The nuclear industry has a track record of escalating costs, and underachievement of
its targets.

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