Azara Blog: MPs write yet another report on energy

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Date published: 2006/04/16

The BBC says:

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has accused a group of MPs of "over-egging" the risk of electricity shortages.

The Commons Environmental Audit Committee had warned the UK cannot wait for a new generation of nuclear power stations and needed gas-fired stations.

A government energy review this year is expected to request more nuclear power.

Mr Wicks, who leads the review, said no decision had been taken but the extra cost of cleaner energy like nuclear was a price to pay for saving the planet.

Speaking on BBC's Radio Five Live, he said there were concerns about what do with nuclear waste and the threat of terror attacks on nuclear stations.

But he added: "I think in favour of nuclear - despite what the Lib Dems say - is the scientific evidence that nuclear is a cleaner form of energy.

"It helps us with climate change, but we've got to look at the economics, and then we've got to weigh all these things before we make our recommendation to the prime minister and the government."

Earlier the committee said the UK faced a "generation gap" which nuclear power could not bridge.

The first nuclear power plants would not come online until 2017, and the proposed network would not be generating at full capacity until as late as 2030.

It said an "extensive" programme of gas-powered stations needed to be set up, and that cleaner stations would not necessarily mean more carbon emissions.

The committee also claimed it was "scandalous" that not enough research was being carried out into alternative technologies such as carbon capture, which could limit the emissions from fossil fuels.

It said renewable energy sources could provide 20% the UK's electricity by the year 2020.

Nothing new here, with the same old tired lines being repeated. As everybody knows, it is not just nuclear that has problems, gas also does (carbon emissions and lack of security of supply), as do all forms of energy generation. The current UK government certainly seems to be lax when it comes to future energy generation, and this could come back to haunt us in a decade or two.

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