Low-carbon energy strategies

The British government is considering replacing at least some of their aging nuclear plants with new ones. Since Finland is the only EU country in which a nuclear plant is under construction at the moment, the Finnish experience is being used as an argument by both sides of the British nuclear debate. From a Finnish perspective, some of argumentation is a bit curious. For example, John Sauven, director of Greenpeace UK, wrote in the Guardian:

[T]he move appears to be undermining alternative low-carbon energy strategies. After falling in 2001 and 2002, Finland's carbon emissions are now rising. Measures, promised in a 2001 climate report, such as energy taxation, have not been implemented. According to Finland's former environment minister Satu Hassi MEP, once the decision was made to build the new reactor, the country lost interest in alternative energy sources.
I'm not sure where Sauven gets his data on carbon emissions. According to Statistics Finland, carbon dioxide emissions increased in 2000-2003, but dropped in 2003-2005 to end roughly at the 2000 level. The decision to build a new nuclear plant was made in January 2002 and the building permit was issued in February 2005.

Satu Hassi (Green League) resigned as minister over the decision to build that new reactor, so it isn't surprising that she is still fundamentally opposed to it. I have to say, for a country that has lost interest in alternative energy sources, our politicians spent a lot of time going on about the topic during the election campaign.

No comments: