The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today a report which shows some of the types of alternative energy solutions the UK Government could support as an alternative to the building of new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point. (1)
The Government is currently reviewing the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear development – one of the largest, most expensive and complicated nuclear sites of the modern nuclear age. National and specialist media as diverse as The Times, The Guardian, Bloomberg, The Economist and many others have been sharply critical of the project and a number of them have called for it to be cancelled. NFLA agrees with them. As a recent example, a poll of over 1,000 members of the Institute of Directors, previously supportive of Hinkley Point C, finds just 9% of them were in strong agreement that the Hinkley Point nuclear plant would make Britain more economically competitive, and fewer than one-in-five were of the opinion that the nuclear option would make the country more ‘strategically secure’. Instead, there was much stronger support for solar energy, offshore wind and to a lesser extent, tidal energy. (2)
Whilst much of the media may have criticised the Hinkley Point deal, there has not been as much analysis of what could replace the reactors and the electricity it may generate. NFLA is contributing to that debate by publishing a report by two commissioned experts – its Policy Advisor Pete Roche and the energy policy expert Professor Keith Barnham – which show dramatic evidence of the growth and potential of a number of renewable technologies.
Pete Roche argues that district heating schemes, together with energy storage solutions, could help to deal with the intermittency issues associated with renewables, and in addition provide a valuable way to tackle fuel poverty. (3) Councils around the country are developing such schemes and they advocate more support from the UK Government and Devolved Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Roche’s analysis also calls on renewed support for biogas alternatives where district heating is not an option.
In addition, NFLA reissues the research produced for it by Professor Keith Barnham of the dramatic growth of renewable energy in recent years. This has been needlessly placed under genuine threat by Government cuts to financial support for solar, wind and other renewable solutions. The report puts forward six ways that renewable energy can still grow despite such retrograde cuts. Professor Barnham has just returned from a visit to the United States and looked at a number of promising new initiatives in renewable electricity, as well as discussing sustained progress on the ultimate renewable challenge: developing a solar fuel that could eventually replace gasoline in cars, trucks, buses, trains and aircraft. (4)
Pete Roche and Keith Barnham will be presenting their analysis on such clean and sustainable energy alternatives to Hinkley Point C at a NFLA seminar in Manchester Town Hall on the 30th September. (5)
NFLA Chair Councillor Ernie Galsworthy added:
During the almost decade long debate over the Hinkley Point C development NFLA has been saying that it is the wrong answer to our low carbon energy needs. It is pleasing to see the mass and specialist media finally beginning to contemplate such a view at long last. With this and other reports, NFLA show again the many alternatives to new nuclear that can provide energy security, reduce fuel poverty and literally bring renewable power to the people. I call on the Government’s review to encompass such reports and move policy away from new nuclear and fossil fuels and towards a renewable energy revolution moving ahead in much of the industrialised and developing world.”
For more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 0161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) The report is attached with this media release and can be found on the homepage of the NFLA website http://www.nuclearpolicy.info
(2) PV Magazine, 19th August 2016 http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/solar-wins-strong-backing-from-uks-business-chiefs–poll-shows_100025849/#ixzz4HwjNYXVM
(3) Originally published by Greenpeace’s Energy Desk – http://energydesk.greenpeace.org/2016/08/22/district-heating-green-gas-hinkley/
(4) Keith Barnham, ‘Goodbye gasoline, we can Get if From The Sun’, The Ecologist, 21st July 2016 http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/Blogs/2987925/goodbye_gasoline_we_can_get_it_from_the_sun.html
(5) NFLA SC / English Forum seminar, ‘The decentralised, renewable alternatives to Hinkley C and new nuclear’, Manchester Town Hall, 1.30pm – 3.00pm, 30th September 2016. Contact the NFLA Secretary to register attendance.