Concerns over energy security good news for renewables

A desire to insulate the UK from the turbulent energy markets of a fossil fuel starved future could drive growth of renewable, and nuclear, energy production in the country.

A report unveiled on Wednesday by Malcolm Wicks MP, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on International Energy, stresses the importance of moving away from a reliance on imported energy.

The report, Energy Security: a national challenge in a changing world charts Britain’s history of energy use and increasing dependence on imports.

It claims that domestic energy supply must be a national priority as Britain makes the transition to a low carbon economy.

Mr Wicks said: “Energy reserves are concentrated in some of the most unstable parts of the world.

“That’s an issue of national security. There is no crisis but we can never be complacent.

“As we move out of recession, the global grab for energy will resume in earnest, consumption is predicted to rise, and with it prices.

“Complete energy independence is an unrealistic goal but there is much we can do to insulate ourselves from the risks, in large part by driving our climate policies even further, quicker.

“We must be far smarter with the energy we use and invest in home grown energy sources, such as new nuclear and renewables without delay.”

While energy efficiency and renewables are flagged up as important, other suggestions in the report may raise a few eyebrows in the environmental sector.

It says that Government should consider aiming for nuclear to meet 35-40% of the country’s energy needs by 2030 and should keep the UK at the forefront of the development and demonstration of carbon capture and storage technology for fossil-fuelled power stations.

Sam Bond

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