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Discussion and analysis of the latest economic issues.

By Sean O'Grady, Economics Editor of The Independent.

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Formulating the right energy policy

Posted by Sean O'Grady
  • Monday, 13 July 2009 at 12:15 pm
Plenty of lobbying in the run up to the Renewables White Paper on Wednesday, including a plea from the CBI’s Director-General Richard Lambert, to remember that wind power is actually quite expensive to develop. They say that nuclear and even clean coal might be better options financially. They are probably right on that, and a diverse range of energy sources is good for security of supply, choice and encouraging a lively energy "eco-system".

But the CBI need to be reminded of a few things too - Three Mile island, Chernobyl, Windscale accidents to name but a few mishaps - all very expensive to clear up, as are all our decommissioned sites, and all costly to a clean environment. Besides, economies of scale and technological advances can transform the economics of energy supply, as Tony Blair's "Technology for a Low Carbon Future" report (part of his Breaking the Climate Deadlock initiative) reminds us. If we invested in renewables what we have invested in nuclear over a half-century, we really would have clean, and near-free, energy by now.
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