Tuesday, 14 July 2009

CBI energy report - Greenpeace response

In a report released yesterday the CBI has called call for the contribution from wind power to be reduced in favour of nuclear energy as means of decarbonising the electricity sector.

Commenting on the CBI report, Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said:

"The CBI claims to represent the interests of British industry, but by calling for wind power's contribution to our renewable energy targets to be reduced it's actually doing its members a great disservice."

He continued:

"Nuclear power is less effective than wind power at tackling climate change, while investment in renewables would create much needed British jobs in one of the few growth sectors in the global economy. Here in the UK we have one of the best renewable energy resources anywhere in the world and a manufacturing sector champing at the bit to capture the lead in marine technologies like offshore wind and tidal power."

The government's business advisory group - set up to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy - concluded in a report last week that by meeting its renewable energy targets the UK would create 250,000 jobs and generate revenue of £70bn from wind and wave technology by 2050. The report also added that by 2020 the UK could become a world leader in offshore wind, capturing 45 per cent of the global offshore wind power industry.

Instead of working to realise this much needed boost to the UK economy, Greenpeace believes the CBI has prioritised representing members like EDF which are interested only in pushing a new generation of nuclear reactors in the UK, which will do little to deliver a secure, indigenous, globally replicable solution to the problems of climate change and energy security while creating jobs. The record of the nuclear industry in delivering cheap, reliable energy is poor (construction of a new Finnish reactor - touted as a example of how nuclear can deliver - is now three years behind schedule after three years of construction, and substantially over budget).

Sauven added:

"The existing bill for nuclear waste already stretches beyond £100bn, but that hasn't stopped EDF already calling for renewable energy to be constrained because it has the potential to render new nuclear stations even more uneconomic. The company can't even deliver its only new reactor construction, at Flammenville in northern France, on time or on budget. It's a shame that the Confederation of British Industry is lobbying furiously for a French state-owned energy giant instead of UK-based renewables companies."

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