The plans for the London Array, originally proposed in 2001 and which have stood in jeopardy for the last few years have finally been approved thanks to new funding secured by the UK government in last month’s Budget.
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Major energy companies E-on and EDF are putting pressure on the government regarding renewable energy development. They say that unless the government reduces the amount of projects and funding planned for wind farms and wind energy generation, they may be forced to rethink plans to invest in a new round of nuclear power plants.
Greenpeace have long been concerned about the relationship between nuclear and renewable technologies, and as reported in the Guardian, head of the energy solutions unit at Greenpeace, Nathan Argent, commented that Greenpeace has
“always said that nuclear power will undermine renewable energy and will damage the UK’s efforts to tackle climate change – now EDF agrees.”
Greenpeace opposes nuclear power, stating that it is not the solution to climate change. They also bring attention to the “incompetent at best” methods of nuclear waste disposal for years.
In an era where most of the population is well aware of what happened at Chernobyl, and those that didn’t live through it have seen films and photographs and heard stories of what has been left behind, perhaps there is a cautionary tale here that the people at the top of the energy companies are conveniently ignoring. It’s all too easy to gloss over the mistakes and accidents of the past as if they didn’t happen, and with a rationale that they have the solution to dwindling reserves of fossil fuels, and arguments that when run at capacity, nuclear is safe, and with no CO2 produced when energy is generated from it, no wonder the governments turn their heads.
Let’s hope future projects for renewable energy don’t end up being another casualty of consumerism, because let’s face it, if people needed less energy, renewables alone might have a chance to show their worth.