Energy sector and Greens agree: it’s time for an energy transition

As a new nuclear power station at Hinkley looks increasingly uncertain, a Green MEP has joined calls for a German-style energy revolution for the South West and the rest of the UK. Dr Molly Scott Cato is calling for the billions being spent on nuclear to instead be invested in a renewable energy revolution.

Molly Scott Cato is making the demand as the chief executive of Energy UK, a trade Association for the UK energy industry, has said that the UK needs its own version of Germany’s “Energiewende” or energy transition. In Germany this has resulted in a massive shift away from nuclear towards energy-efficiency and renewables, where small scale and community owned energy schemes are leading the energy transformation.

Last year Molly released a report identifying how the South West could provide 100% of its energy needs from renewables and how this transition could create 144,000 new quality jobs in the region. She said:

“I am delighted that an influential body like Energy UK, representing over 80 suppliers and generators, has arrived at the conclusions we reached in our report on the potential for renewables in the South West. We are agreed on the critical need for investment and incentivisation that will allow new renewable technologies to flourish, modernise our grid and develop new methods of storing energy. Sadly, our government seems to be doing all it can to ensure the UK misses out on this energy revolution, spending billions on propping up the dinosaur energy industries of the past like nuclear and pushing for dangerous and destructive new fossil fuel extraction through fracking”.

Lawrence Slade, the chief executive of Energy UK, is highly critical of changes to energy policy, saying that the ‘policy chops and cuts and changes since May last year have drastically undermined confidence in the market’. Molly concluded:

“I agree with Mr Slade that we need our own energy transformation. It is time for the government to reverse the damaging policies that are standing in the way of this transformation. The renewables sector is ready for this revolution. Rather than constantly undermining the sector, it’s time the government gave them the policy framework to help them get on with it”.