Jo highlights urgency of energy debate as Hunterston nears end of life


Hunterston B is the first of a series of nuclear power stations being affected by the issue of decommissioning

 

o Swinson has called for a sense of urgency to be injected into the Scotland’s energy debate, following a visit to Hunterston B power station today.

Before taking a tour of the facility, Jo discussed issues surrounding nuclear energy with representatives from Hunterston B owners British Energy and Station Director Tom Ungi.

Jo said:

“Hunterston B, one of Scotland’s two nuclear power stations, is due to begin decommissioning in just five years’ time. By 2025 only one of the 8 UK nuclear power plants currently operated by British Energy will still be operational.

“Against the backdrop of this pressing timetable, the Government must urgently alter the course of its energy policy away from committing to a nuclear future, towards investment in renewables and promotion of energy efficiency.

“The Scottish Executive’s investment of £20 million over two years in renewables funding is very welcome – renewables must be commercially viable and attractive to investors for their full potential to be realised. Going down the nuclear road at this stage would divert vital investment away from renewables at a crucial point in their development.

“Political leadership on energy efficiency must also be injected with a similar sense of urgency. Until now the Government have offered warm words but precious little action to demonstrate that they have grasped this imperative.”

British Energy owns Scotland’s two operational nuclear power stations, Hunterston B and Torness. Dounreay is currently undergoing decommissioning, estimated to be completed by 2036. In addition, the six other nuclear power stations operated by British Energy are: Dungeness B, Hinkley Point B, Heysham 1, Heysham 2, Hartlepool and Sizewell B. The company also operates a coal-fired power station at Eggborough.

Unveiling funding for renewable energy in May this year, Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen announced details of:

• an allocated £20 million of renewable energy funding to be spent over the next two years

• an environmental study to help the development of off-shore wind projects

• specific financial support for biomass, hydrogen, marine and microrenewables

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