Swinson expects few surprises from Blair in Energy Review

Ahead of the publication of the Government’s energy review, expected tomorrow, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Jo Swinson MP has revealed that, due to the pre-empting of the review by the Prime Minister, she expects to find few surprises in the proposals.

Ms Swinson commented:

“I would be astonished if Tony Blair’s dogged pro-nuclear stance changes when the Government publishes its energy review, despite widespread criticism. He has been highly complacent about pre-empting the energy review, to the extent that few surprises can be expected.

“Nuclear is an inadequate solution, in that it brings with it a host of unwelcome side-effects. As well as the huge burden to future taxpayers, which will run into the tens of billions of pounds, there is the unresolved issue of how to store toxic waste, the environmental cost of a radiation leak and the soft target presented to terrorists.

Speaking on the need to promote energy efficiency and renewables, Jo Swinson said:

“We need responsible political leadership to give real direction to the energy efficiency agenda. As revealed by the Institute for Public Policy Research on Saturday, almost four times more energy could be saved through efficiency over the next two decades than could be generated by replacing all the UK’s nuclear reactors. It is staggering that so little political weight is being put behind efficiency drives from Westminster.

“Microgeneration and renewables must also be at the heart of energy policy. Scotland’s enormous renewable energy generating potential is now widely recognised, but there is a real risk that investing in new nuclear will seriously undermine confidence in renewable technologies.

“Such investment would also commit the UK to a centralised national grid design, stifling the growth of localised microgeneration projects and missing a golden opportunity to modernise the way we generate and transport energy.

“The fact is, Scotland doesn’t need to subscribe to Tony Blair’s nuclear agenda. The Scottish Executive has the final say over new nuclear power stations in Scotland. It is clear that there is no demand for new nuclear power stations in Scotland and that the Executive has no appetite to build any.”

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