WWF Scotland has warned against the “madness” of pursuing nuclear power rather than investing in renewable technologies.
The UK Government has outlined plans to reform the electricity market, with the nuclear option likely to be explored.
However, WWF Scotland, which has its headquarters in Dunkeld, insists there is “no need” for nuclear power, which would be “a huge backward step.”
Dr Sam Gardner, climate change policy officer with WWF Scotland, said, “The electricity market reform exercise must put the right framework in place to secure Scotland’s renewable potential and meet the Scottish Government’s strong commitment to a decarbonised power sector by 2030,” he said.
“Scotland, and indeed the UK, has no need for nuclear power.
“It would be a huge step backwards if this market reform exercise offers a public subsidy to such a mature, expensive and unsustainable technology as nuclear power, at the expense of securing the lasting benefits from a renewable energy industry.
“Any incentive scheme that emerges from this review must ensure that Scotland retains the option to offer targeted support to emerging renewable technologies, particularly wave and tidal power that have such potential off Scotland’s coasts.”
Dr Gardner said Scotland could easily produce all its energy from renewable sources, and is particularly sceptical of any proposals which could lead to buying energy from abroad.
“With our huge indigenous potential in wind, wave and tidal power, Scotland would be mad to install French nuclear reactors and fuel them with Australian uranium,” Dr Gardner said. “However, that is exactly where these new government proposals could take us. Research published by WWF Scotland and other NGOs clearly shows that Scotland has no need for new coal or gas power stations and that by 2030 100% of Scotland’s electricity generation should come from renewables.”
Resources should, he said, be concentrated on reducing consumption.