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Renewables are the way

by Jo Hayes on 1 May, 2015

My family and I lived for some years in a remote spot above Abberton Reservoir within sight of Bradwell power station a few miles away across the Blackwater Estuary. I had many occasions to reflect on its effects, above all when my father died suddenly and prematurely from leukaemia. I have ever since suspected his death may have been linked to ingestion of seawater when sailing on the Blackwater estuary.

I am opposed to new nuclear power for a number of reasons. In addition to long term safety, security, public health and environmental protection, I don’t think it makes any economic sense. it can never be viable without public subsidy, and I think it is a mistaken diversion of investment from renewable energy. We need to bridge the gap between fossil fuels and zero carbon, but not with nuclear.
Bradwell should not be a storage site. Storing nuclear waste so close to major population centres would be extremely unwise.

I have been interested in energy policy for a long time. As a member of the Lib Dems’ top policy committee and a member of the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) Council I successfully argued for a policy of a Europe-wide smart electricity grid to transmit renewably-generated electricity across Europe. A direct current grid system can transmit it up to 3,000 kilometres.

Among the many advantages to such a system, there is the geopolitical one of liberating us and the rest of Europe from dependency on the regimes, mostly pretty unpleasant, who control oil and gas supplies. It is the way to a strong and independent future.

In this constituency, my party came second in 2010. Labour cannot possibly win here, nor can the Greens, but I think I could. To defeat the Conservative, I hope all who want a zero carbon Britain by 2050 by the renewables route will unite in backing me.

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