A waste of en­ergy

Daily Mail - - Comment -

FOR decades, politi­cians have spec­tac­u­larly failed to pro­vide a long- term en­ergy strat­egy to avoid 1970s-style black­outs.

Un­able to grasp the net­tle to en­sure the coun­try’s lights stay on, suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have kicked the can down the road. Un­for­tu­nately, this gen­er­ates only frus­tra­tion, not heat and light (if it did, we would run a sur­plus!)

So it is deeply wor­ry­ing that work on a new £16bil­lion nu­clear power sta­tion in Wales has been sus­pended. This not only costs a de­prived re­gion 9,000 jobs, it leaves the Gov­ern­ment’s en­ergy pol­icy in tat­ters.

Nu­clear re­ac­tors gen­er­ate one-fifth of our elec­tric­ity. But half of ex­ist­ing plants will be ob­so­lete by 2025. With coal be­ing phased out, no new gas-fired sta­tions un­der way and frack­ing un­pop­u­lar, how on earth will they fill this vast en­ergy short­fall?

Dis­turbingly, it leaves us dan­ger­ously de­pen­dent on plants built by China, a to­tal­i­tar­ian regime with a long his­tory of in­dus­trial spy­ing, or gas from Russia, where thug­gish Vladimir Putin could turn off the tap at any mo­ment.

Min­is­ters can’t say they weren’t warned about the loom­ing cri­sis.

Fail­ure to get a grip risks leav­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions in the cold and dark.

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