Monday, 30 June 2008

Why Are We Waiting For The Lights To Go Out?

It's now only a matter of time until lights start going out across Scotland because of electricity shortages.

With many of our ageing fossil fuel and nuclear power stations nearing the end of their working lives and scheduled for decommission our government continues to procrastinate over how to replace their output. For me, it is governments job to ensure Scotland and the UK are energy self-sufficient in the unpredictable world we live in today.

So what, you may ask, is our Labour government and SNP Scottish Executive's solution? Renewables, renewables, renewables is the mantra from Westminster and Holyrood, even though everyone knows this simply will not fulfil our energy requirements given the unpredictability of output from the wind turbines that are being thrown up all over our countryside.

You only need to ask the residents of Eaglesham about the effectiveness of wind turbines to know that when the wind is not blowing hard enough they don't turn, when it blows too hard they don't turn, when the wind blows from the wrong direction they don't turn and often for no apparent reason they simply don't turn.

With the UK needing to import gas, coal and oil to fuel many of our existing power stations and given our international obligations to reduce CO2 emissions the only solution to bridging our electricity energy gap while meeting these targets is nuclear. Business knows it, science knows it and ordinary people who study the issue know it.

Over the past week Business Insider have been running an online poll posing the question, "Will Scotland face an energy crisis if it doesn't build new nuclear power stations?". As I write this blog, 95% of respondents have to date replied 'YES', clearly demonstrating the concern of Scotland's business community that our failure to go nuclear before now almost certainly means an energy crisis looms for Scotland in the relatively near future.

It simply is not good enough for government to delay any further. British Energy, BNFL and any other interested electricity generator must be allowed to get on with providing Scotland and the rest of the UK with new modern nuclear power stations capable of providing us with energy security well into the 21st Century!

When the lights start going out it will be too late to start planning a sustainable energy policy. The nuclear option is the only sensible option for Scotland and the UK.

I am a great believer that if something is foreseeable it is avoidable. That is why I say let's get on with the inevitable and start building nuclear power stations! We must act now in the interest of our long-term economic prosperity and in doing so will ensure future generations don't accuse us of lacking foresight!

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