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Greenpeace Energy White Paper talk

On May 15th 2003, the Reading Greenpeace group hosted a talk on the Energy White Paper. Jane Griffiths MP (Reading East) and Jim Footner (Greenpeace UK) both gave presentations, and then the public asked questions. Below are my notes from the meeting.

Jane Griffiths, Kim Gold and Jim Footner

Jane Griffiths MP (Reading East), Kim Gold (chair) and Jim Footner (Greenpeace UK)


Jane Griffiths

Jim Footner

Jane Griffiths replies to Jim Footner

Questions

Q: Is biomass not also important, since thermal power stations burning biomass can provide a reliable output, unlike wind and solar which are intermittent?

JG: Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform provides a good opportunity for biomass, since farmers could diversify into the biomass industry

Q: Can Renewable Energy really provide 20% by 2020?

JF: Yes, and energy efficiency can close the gap, requiring the government to make moves on building methods, to achieve 'linked up policy'

Q: Why are there so many onshore developments if offshore (promoted by Greenpeace) is less controversial?

JG: Onshore is cheaper, and onshore supplies are the best in Europe, though they suffer from nimbyism

JF: Greenpeace do support onshore, though we have more offshore wind than onshore, more space offshore, and you can put bigger turbines offshore (10 miles out you can put turbines 1.5 times the height of the London Eye!), but payment is needed to upgrade the transmission network to deal with intermittent supplies

JG: This payment is covered in the White Paper

Q: If Germany, Italy and others are decomissioning their nuclear industries, why should we worry about EURATOM?

JF: Their decomissioning schemes are cunning ruses, with the processes scheduled to take up to fifty years; decomissioning also doesn't exclude them from pressuring the UK or EURATOM to favour them in the meantime

Q: Should we not also mention the terrorist threat posed by nuclear power stations?

JF: Yes! The UK has shambolic emergency planning procedures, which don't even mention terrorist threats, despite being written in 2002 (post September 11th). Though the cores are well protected, they are surrounded by temporary storage pods, which if hit by a munition smaller than a tank would spread radiation over a radius of 50 miles