Representatives from the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) and the Vienna-based Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe (CNFE) presented the findings of its recently commissioned European energy study to members of the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee this week.
The Vienna Ombuds-Office for Environmental Protection report, ‘Renewable Energy versus Nuclear Power – Comparing Financial Support’, analysed the comparative costs of renewable energy and nuclear power, in the light of the huge subsidy required to develop a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset. (1)
This report concluded that, under the same budgetary conditions, it is almost always possible to generate more electricity from renewable sources than from nuclear power. It also concludes that generating electricity from a variety of renewable sources is more economical than using nuclear power right up to 2050 and beyond. Across the EU, end consumers can save up to 37% on their electricity costs, and some member states up to 74%.
The report notes that in the UK there would be a 2% saving under current static conditions, and up to an 8.4% saving if the Government provided more favourable dynamic conditions for renewable energy. In order to achieve these goals the report argues that it is vital that Governments act quickly, but with care, to create the infrastructure and regulatory framework this requires, or to adapt that which already exists.
The meeting with members of the Environmental Audit Committee allowed for wide-ranging discussion of this report. It also allowed for some discussion on why the Austrian Government is making a legal challenge to the European Commission’s approval of the state aid package for Hinkley Point C between the UK Government and EDF Energy.
NFLA Chair Councillor Mark Hackett said:
I was delighted to accept the invitation by the Environmental Audit Committee to explain the detail of Vienna’s well-researched and documented report which shows renewable energy to be a more cost-effective and plentiful energy source than nuclear power, given dynamic support from the government. The NFLA benefits greatly from its alliance with the Vienna-led Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe network and it fully appreciates the quality of this report. NFLA also welcomes the Austrian Government’s decision to legally challenge the European Commission’s state aid approval of Hinkley Point C and it will co-operate further with CNFE to support its work challenging both for the need and the supposed energy benefits of this controversial development.”
For more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary on 00 44 (0)161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) Vienna Ombuds-Office for Environmental Protection, ‘Renewable Energy versus Nuclear Power – Comparing Financial Support’, December 2014:
Summary – http://www.wua-wien.at/images/stories/publikationen/renewable-energy-versus-nuclear-power-summary.pdf
Full report – http://www.wua-wien.at/images/stories/publikationen/renewable-energy-versus-nuclear-power.pdf