RSC contributes to critical UK review of future energy sources
21 April 2006
If you require clarification or expansion of any of the issues raised below we would be pleased to respond. The RSC believes that the chemical sciences can, and must, play a significant role, whichever path the country takes in its search for secure, affordable and clean energy for this millennium and beyond.
Jeff Hardy, RSC Energy Forum Manager said: "Issues for the world and for Britain itself do not get much bigger than this. Tough decisions on the long-term future of UK energy have to be taken soon and everyone is going to have to play a role in reducing our energy demand. The RSC has thrown itself into the task of preparing its views and we are pleased to be able to offer our corporate opinions to be considered by the Government before it makes its choice."
UK energy policy must promote a diverse energy mix and avoid over reliance upon a single energy source.
A clear and co-ordinated energy policy is vital. The policy should:
a. be long-term;
b. not unfairly bias specific technologies but instead provide a level economic playing field for all clean energy technologies; and
c. perhaps best be made by an independent, cross-party energy commission rather than the Government of the day.
Technology will not provide a short-term solution to meet Government carbon emission reduction targets; reducing energy demand is the only way to achieve these targets. The critical sectors to concentrate upon are domestic living and transportation.
With sufficient support, the chemicals sciences will be critical in developing clean energy technologies in the medium and the long-term. Technologies will include solar power, fuel cells, hydrogen as a fuel, safe nuclear waste management, carbon capture and storage, energy storage and energy efficient lighting. These technologies will reduce our reliance upon imported energy sources and reduce UK carbon emissions.
The RSC believes a UK geological repository for nuclear waste is vital and once the recommendations of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) are made the Government must act quickly to ensure the run down in skills is addressed and that facilities and finances are put in place. This must happen before any firm decision to build new nuclear power stations is taken.
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Contact and Further Information
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