1 May 2008
Nuclear power would ‘hi-jack renewables’
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West today warned the Governments decision to back new nuclear power stations risked hi-jacking prospects for new renewable projects.
Speaking in the House of Commons during Environment Questions, Mr Barrett called on the Government to do more to encourage investment in renewables and to end the subsidies that the nuclear industry receives.
John Barrett said:
“Even the Government’s own advisors have said that investment in new nuclear power plants could harm the development of renewable alternatives.
“If the Government is serious about renewable alternatives we need to make investment in renewables a viable prospect for investors. By throwing their weight behind new nuclear power stations the Government has effectively skewed the market in favour of nuclear power.
“The nuclear industry has already received huge government subsidies with the clean up bill for the last generation of power stations alone now standing at £75bn and rising.
“If renewables had received even a fraction of the support given to nuclear then we would be far closer to meeting our own renewable targets and a new generation of nuclear power stations would be exposed as utterly unnecessary.
“It is time for the Government to remove the featherbedding of the nuclear industry and introduce genuine incentives for investment in renewables. Without this, the Government risks hi-jacking the renewable industry while it is still in its infancy.”
The Government’s Performance and Innovation Unit have said that “A sustained programme of investment in currently proposed nuclear power plants could adversely affect the development of smaller scale technologies.”