18 February 2016
Green MEP for the South West, Molly Scott Cato, has called for an urgent review of energy policy in the wake of today’s announcement that four aging nuclear reactors are to have their lives extended. She says this is more evidence that EDF’s plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley may be either abandoned or further delayed, creating a serious energy gap for the government. Molly said:
“We know what Plan B looks like and we know it will create thousands more skilled and sustainable jobs than aging nuclear reactors or nuclear new build ever can. Plan B is a full scale commitment to a range of renewable energy technologies and efficiency savings and the investments that can bring this about. It is time for Osborne to end his ideological obsession with nuclear and stop kow-towing to the Chinese to lever in cash for the City. Renewables can provide 100% of our energy needs in the South West, a transformation that could create 122,000 jobs across the region and add over £4bn a year to the regional economy.”
Ricky Knight spokesperson for the Green Party in North Devon added
"The decades-long saga of Hinkley C is proving to have as long a half-life as the waste it will generate. I sat through the drawn-out public inquiry in the late 1980s and have followed its fractious development ever since.
This saga has now reached a tragic, farcical denouement: no private investor wants to touch it, as they know that nuclear power is now a huge white elephant; yet this government, in hock to the nuclear lobby and desperate to avoid acknowledging the other elephant in the room - the massive potential for renewable energy in the SW and UK - is frozen in the headlights of Chinese money, even as their economy grinds to a halt and EDF itself is facing bankruptcy.
This issue is of significant importance to North Devonians. It us hugely unpopular, it will be hugely expensive, it will inevitably be subject to protracted delays and as such of no use for plugging the oft-threatened 'energy-gap' - and it is no longer even necessary. Scrap it!"