Green Party ignoring nuclear alternative
Sir, – The Green Party’s call for a 7 per cent annual reduction in emissions is in line with the Paris climate agreement and should be supported, but not in the manner it proposes for electricity, the cause of a fifth of our emissions.
Its stipulation that the only acceptable method for action on electricity is renewables is reckless.
While failure to decarbonise is not an option, nobody knows for sure whether an exclusively renewables plan can be fully implemented technically.
Although operating costs may reduce because the fuel is often free, the capital cost of achieving even 70 per cent electricity from renewables is estimated at well over €23 billion – and who knows what it will cost to achieve the proposed 100 per cent?
This would appear to present a massive risk for our economy and society on a policy that is based more on ideology than pragmatism.
As the problem with electricity is the fossil-fuelled power stations, future generations may well ask why did we not simply replace these stations with equivalent-sized modern nuclear units?
This would solve the problem without conducting a gargantuan experiment whose local impacts will be resisted in every corner of Ireland.
Small nuclear units that will be available in 2025 at much reduced prices could be located at existing power stations around the country using existing infrastructure – saving time, money and emissions.
When carbon storage is developed, we can then go emissions negative. – Yours, etc,