Renewable investment needed as UK faces blackouts for first time since 1970s - Mick Bates AM

2009 Medi 1 10:07 AM

Government projections show that energy demand will exceed supply fromthe national grid within eight years, leaving the UK facing the prospectof widespread power cuts for the first time since the 1970s. ShadowMinister for the Environment and Sustainability, Mick Bates AM, iscalling for the UK Government to face up to the consequences of itsinaction over the past decades and find real solutions to bridge thisenergy gap.

The projections, contained in the appendix to the Government's LowCarbon Transition Plan, forecast that the shortage of supplies will hitthe equivalent of many as 16 million families for at least one hourduring the year.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Mick Bates AM stated:

"For too long the Government has been complacent and dithered anddelayed over action into research and development of alternative formsof energy. Now it must face up to the consequences of this inaction andfind real solutions to this energy crisis, which could see the UK facingblackouts within the next few years.

"The distraction of nuclear power has seriously threatened our futureenergy security. The Government has failed to provide seriousinvestment in renewable energy, cushioned by oil and gas reserves andhoping that nuclear would be the answer to bridge the future energy gap.Yet the Government has admitted that there is unlikely to be much in theway of new nuclear electricity on stream before 2020 - and the majorityof the UK's existing nuclear power stations are due for decommissioninglong before then.

"The real solutions to the energy gap and climate change are availablenow - energy efficiency, cleaner use of fossil fuels, renewable energyand state of the art decentralised power stations. This combination hasthe potential to deliver reliable, quick and cheap low carbon energy.They are also safe and globally applicable, unlike nuclear.

"We need swift progress to harness the vast power of the Severn Estuaryand the removal of the planning barriers which hold up the developmentof renewable energy across the country. If this action and investmenthad taken place a decade ago, we would already have the energyinfrastructure and capacity in place to secure our energy supply for thefuture."

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