Sunday, May 17, 2009
We have just passed the 3rd anniversary of Tony Blair reversing Labour policy & calling for more nuclear electricity. on 16th May 2006 he made what was considered a groundbreaking speech to the CBI saying
"The facts are stark. By 2025, if current policy is unchanged there will be a dramatic gap on our targets to reduce CO2 emissions, we will become heavily dependent on gas and at the same time move from being 80% to 90% self-reliant in gas to 80% to 90% dependent on foreign imports, mostly from the Middle East, and Africa and Russia.He was right. Indeed he was massively understating the shortages we face because of the closure of aging plants, the looming closure of about half our coal plants in 2015 when new EU emission rules come into force & massively overstating the possibilities of renewables doing anything useful or indeed of any "step change in energy efficiency". I also think he was overstating any danger from the catastrophic global warming we should all now be suffering from & understandably made no mention of the possibility that a looming recession would halt the increase in demand.
"These facts put the replacement of nuclear power stations, a big push on renewables and a step change on energy efficiency, engaging both business and consumers, back on the agenda with a vengeance. If we don't take these long-term decisions now we will be committing a serious dereliction of our duty to the future of this country."
So what could have been done. Well
Westinghouse claims its Advanced PWR reactor, the AP1000, will cost USD $1500-$1800 per KW for the first reactor and may fall to USD $1200 per KW for subsequent reactors(ie falling to £800 million for a standard 1,000 MW reactor). They also claim these will be ready for electricity production 3 years after first pouring concrete.
So had a free market been allowed to supply electricity unmolested by the endless bureaucratic delays of government we would just now be seeing new inexpensive electricity (France's is 1/4 of our price) coming on line. We would not be facing massive blackouts in a few years. We would not need a recession to reduce demand & stop minor blackouts. Od course with electricity at 1/4 price we would not see our remaining steel plants closing & would not have a recession - another triumph for the anti-profreess "environmentalists".
I said that Blair's speech was considered to be groundbreaking at the time yet today we seem barely closer to breaking any ground or pouring any concrete. Labour by acknowledging the necessity to act to prevent looming blackouts may have shown themselves slightly more responsible than the SNP & LudDims, whose wilful blindness is inexcusable, but they have also proven how incompetent they are & how destructive the entire edifice of overgovernment is.
And we continue to have 23,900 pensioners dying annually of fuel poverty yet they have wasted the last 3 years.
Maybe this will change, I certainly hope so.