From Fukushima to Hinkley

From Fukushima to Hinkley

A special conference hosted by Green MEPs will this week seek to dismantle the case for Hinkley C nuclear power station and bring an end to the argument that nuclear is ever part of a sustainable energy future. The London conference will take place to coincide with the 4th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster and will reveal the findings of a soon to be released report commissioned by Molly Scott Cato MEP [1]. The report will say:

  • The South West has the potential to generate more than enough of its energy needs through renewables
  • Renewables would provide significant revenue by keeping money circulating in the local economy and through exporting surplus energy to the national grid
  • There is the potential for at least 80,000 new jobs in the renewables sector
  • Rapidly declining costs of renewables together with new energy storage technologies and local smart grids will ensure that renewables are highly competitive with other forms of energy generation and ultimately cheaper than nuclear  
  • Inadequate funding mechanisms and a lack of political will are holding back the renewables sector in the South West
  • Large scale divestment from fossil fuels and nuclear power and investing instead in renewables could rapidly create a low carbon resilient future for the South West.   

The report will make clear a new economic model is needed which encourages community ownership of energy and divestment from fossil fuels and nuclear. It will call for a mechanism to broker ethical investors with renewable energy initiatives that are seeking funding.

Molly Scott Cato said:

“If all the UK’s pension funds divested from fossil fuels and put their money into renewable energy technologies instead, we could see a rapid transition to a low carbon energy future.”  

The conference will bring together experts in the field of energy policy. There will be a chance to hear about the successful German energy transition programme [2] and learn the very latest on the legal challenge by Austria and Luxembourg against the EU decision to allow billions of pounds of subsidies for Hinkley C. Austrian MEP, Cluade Turmes, and Luxembourg MEP, Michel Reimon, are both attending the conference. Molly Scott Cato MEP concluded:

“Greens have always said that nuclear power is dangerous, expensive and will fail to deliver the energy we need in the timescale we need it. This conference, and the report we have commissioned, will demonstrate beyond a shadow of doubt that the South West has the greatest potential for renewable energy anywhere in England and Wales and the sector can provide thousands of jobs. We have the ability to provide electricity cleanly, safely and at lower costs than nuclear. Add to that the opportunity for renewables to be owned not by giant foreign corporations and global finance but by local people in the form of cooperatives and social enterprises, and it’s clear that it is renewable energy that really offers power to the people.”

 Notes

If you would like to attend the conference please contact Amanda Williams, Regional Liaison Officer to Molly Scott Cato: 07780 970621 dorwilts@mollymep.org.uk

[1] Report on Renewable Energy Capacity in South West and Capability of Renewable Energy to Meet Base Load has been commissioned by Molly Scott Cato MEP and is being researched and produced by The Resilience Centre in Gloucestershire. Andrew Clark, who is writing the report will speak to the conference.

[2] The German Energiewende is demonstrating how an economy can make the switch from nuclear and fossil energy to renewables and efficiency while empowering local communities to generate their own renewable energy. The share of renewable electricity in Germany has risen from 6% to nearly 25% in just ten years. On sunny and windy days, solar panels and wind turbines now increasingly supply up to half the country’s electricity demand.

 

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