Alan Simpson’s excellent article on the progressive transformative economy plan to deliver a sustainable energy and resource use future unveiled by John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn at the Labour Conference in Liverpool overlooked one great dinosaur in the room: the industrial unions’ support for nuclear power. An earlier fascinating feature by Nicolas Laguna pointed out how some senior Labour figures still hang onto support of new nuclear as a way to combat climate change. In between these two articles the GMB published a press release headed “Go Ahead With Sizewell arguing that “Starting with Sizewell C Britain needs at least five new very low carbon nuclear power stations if we are to meet our energy needs and reduce our dependency on foreign imports of power says GMB Union,” whilst hailing the “excellent progress” on Hinkley Point C (HPC), a dual reactor complex in north Somerset that is much delayed and vastly (several £billion) over cost. They then claim the costs of building Sizewell C (SZC) are expected to be up to 30% cheaper than HPC as it would largely be a replication of HPC. The lower risk from a ‘repeat project’ would lead to savings from the design and development and lower equipment qualification costs. Yet actual experience from HPC’s builder, Electricite de France (EDF Energy) demonstrates that, uniquely, EDF has a record of a ‘negative learning curve’ ie the more experience it has in building and operating reactors, the more expensive they become.
David Lowry’s Blog 7th Oct 2018 read more »
BBC Radio 4 presenter John Humphrys faced a barrage of criticism for a fiery interview with Labour shadow energy minister Barry Gardiner , who accused the presenter of pursuing a ‘foolish argument.’ The veteran radio presenter was criticised for his line of questioning, when he clashed with Mr Gardiner over how renewable energy is funded after also fumbling climate change statistics. A UN-backed report, released on Monday, stressed the dire need to restrict global temperatures to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, saying the world had just 11 years before changes would be irreversible. Mr Humphrys pressed the Labour front-bencher on the cost of his plans to increase the amount of renewable energy and limit emissions. When Mr Gardiner tried to point out that subsidies are paid for by energy firms and consumers, the BBC presenter said: “Well it’s always, in the end, public money because it’s subsidised isn’t it?” The Labour frontbencher replied: “Of course, that’s not true if you look at subsidies to fossil fuels…” to which Mr Humphrys asked: “You’re not suggesting that wind has not been subsidised massively over the years?” Mr Gardiner said: “What I am suggesting, if you look at the subsidies to fossil fuels, both nationally and globally, you will see they are far, far greater than the subsidies to renewables. Can I just say John, this is really a very foolish argument, to talk about subsidies and how much is going to cost.”
The iNews 8th Oct 2018 read more »
How could the UK be low carbon by 2050? Options, Choices, Actions – Updated 2018.
ETI 8th Oct 2018 read more »
The battle against climate change can do more than render other political divisions trivial: its solutions have long-term ramifications for all the other crises our vexed democracies are throwing up, from the cost-of-living crisis to inequality, from insecurity to conflict. All those ramifications are good: so yes, we should hurry, before it is too late. But more importantly, we should hurry, because what comes next will be better.
Guardian 8th Oct 2018 read more »