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28th Jun, 2022

Sustainable Living

Evesham Editorial 20th Jun, 2022

Mike Parker, Chairman of SeSaME, writes…

In 2020 planning rules allowed 14 new houses built in our village heated by Liquid Petroleum Gas. Inexplicable given known climate emergency threats.

Amazingly another project is before planning in 2022, which presented strategically could see more LPG heated houses, whilst demolishing a wheat field.

A poisoned chalice hard to swallow, with wheat losses and gas dependency exacerbated by pillaged Ukraine.

So how to start meeting our energy needs for today’s world?

Oil and gas homes account for around 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Seven years ago District Council housing, with our village’s involvement, were successfully identifying insulation for domestic property with grants, and facilitating boiler retrofits.

Then central funding stopped.

We need guaranteed ring fenced District level government refit funding and local ownership for a minimum of 10 years, creating annual assessments of identified local need, stopping any oil or gas new builds. Investment in infinite, onshore renewable energy, including wind.

The structure is there, except for guaranteed local long term funding. Preventing heat loss lowers bills. Householders could begin seeing reduced costs from year one.

What’s being offered is more for tomorrow’s world.

£210m is promised by 2050 for eight small Rolls Royce 2.5 acre reactor sites, plus Hinkley Point under construction. Each site positioned accessible to a square kilometre Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), 200 to1000 metres underground, intended to also provide a sustainable solution for other, decades old, radioactive waste stored short term around the UK.

A major Government nuclear energy expansion, aided by expanding some off-shore wind.

Nuclear radioactivity has a finite radiotoxic lifetime, needing security for about 1,000-10,000 years. The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) identifies roughly 230 years supply of uranium resources, with extraction improvements possibly doubling this estimate over time. It’s understood new group Great British Nuclear will streamline, remove duplication over, planning and licensing rules for nuclear power stations.

Nuclear power is clearly too slow, too expensive, too controversial, too vulnerable to terrorism, unsustainable and terrible timing as an effective response to the climate emergency.

Worst of all it’s our children’s children who will be supping from this particular poisoned chalice.

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