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Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


Date: Monday 23 January 2006

Nuclear, renewables and coal needed in balanced energy policy - UNISON

UNISON, Scotland's largest energy union today welcomed the announcement by the UK government of an Energy Review, but said there was a danger of a debate centred only on nuclear energy.

Scottish Organiser Dave Watson said: "This review has to be about more than a narrow debate about nuclear energy. It is primarily about security of supply. Closing our existing nuclear and coal plants will leave a huge energy gap that will not be filled by renewables alone. The folly of relying on overseas gas supplies has been highlighted by recent price rises and political instability. This means we must look again at clean coal as an important part of the solution."

UNISONScotland will be arguing for a Scottish Energy Strategy based on balanced electricity generation from a number of sources when they respond to the review. This should minimise volatility and ensure security of supply. The key elements include:

* Increased support for renewable technologies whilst recognising the limits of existing proven technology and the opposition to developments - often from some of the same groups that claim to advocate renewable energy.

* Equivalent government support for clean coal technologies to enable Scotland to maintain current levels of flexible coal fired generation.

* A continuing role for nuclear power whilst reducing our dependence on this source in Scotland, subject to resolving the waste management issues.

* Stronger energy efficiency measures coupled with a co-ordinated attack on fuel poverty.

* A planned Scottish energy industry free from the chaos of the so-called competitive market.

Dave Watson went on "The review must also develop a better managed and planned long term energy strategy that breaks out of the short termism that bedevils the competitive market." ENDS

Note for Editors: UNISONScotland's Energy Strategy is available on their website - www.unison-scotland.org.uk/energy


For Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser) 0845 355 0845(w) 07958 122 409(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)