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WWF - Energy NPSs do not promote sustainable energy

WWF yesterday expressed concern that the Government's Energy National Policy Statements (NPSs) do not promote the delivery of sustainable energy infrastructure.

The purpose of the planning system must be to achieve sustainable development. WWF is not convinced that the Energy NPSs seek to achieve this goal, as establishing an urgent need for all energy infrastructures simply reinforces the market-led approach and are a very short term solution.
The NPSs do not provide any meaningful attempt to find long term solutions to deliver a more sustainable energy infrastructure, whilst addressing important issues such as climate change and environmental conservation.
This short-termism and focus on gas an nuclear suggest that the Government seems to be taking the view that all the planning system is there to do is to give consent to what it and the market decide need to be built.
WWF also highlighted concern over the Government’s determination to back new-build nuclear rather than renewable energy.
Commenting for WWF-UK, Nick Molho, Head of Energy Policy, said: "It's disappointing to see the Government going ahead with its decision to build a substantial amount of new nuclear power stations. The UK seems to be developing its energy policy in a complete vacuum, ignoring the decisions of major economies such as Germany and Italy to turn away from this risky technology and focus instead on the massive potential of renewable energy.
"Relying on new nuclear projects is not only expensive, as the never-ending cost escalation of the latest French and Finnish nuclear projects demonstrate (the construction costs of the latter having doubled from €3bn to €6bn); it is also going to be of little benefit to the UK economy. 
“The Committee on Climate Change's recent report on innovation showed that the UK could become a leader in manufacturing renewable technologies, thus creating a substantial number of new jobs in the UK, which is a far more attractive proposition than relying on imports of nuclear technologies from abroad.
"If the Government wants to decarbonise the UK power sector in a way that is environmentally sustainable, cost-efficient and generates strong economic growth, then renewable energy and energy efficiency have to be the twin priorities of the upcoming Energy White Paper."
Notes to editors
1. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published it’s Energy National Policy Statements (NPSs) yesterday: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn2011_053/pn2011_053.aspx
For further information, please contact:
George Smeeton, tel: 01483 412 388, mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk

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