New nuclear power plants 'essential' to avoid energy shortfall
It concluded that renewable sources of green energy would be unable to generate enough electricity to meet the expected shortfall resulting from the closure of existing nuclear power plants. Power stations would be unable to supply 20 per cent of peak demand in 10 years' time.
John Loughhead, executive director of the UK Energy Research Centre and lead author of the study, said that cutting emissions of greenhouse gases from gas and coal-fired power stations was driving the need for fresh sources of energy.
"If the UK is to continue on its path of reducing atmospheric emissions, then it will need probably to maintain some nuclear capability," Dr Loughhead said.
"Renewable sources of energy will play a growing role in the future, but... many of them still have a higher cost base and are going to need continued support both in development and deployment."
Nuclear power generates about 20 per cent of Britain's electricity but many existing power stations are near the end of their lives and there are no plans to replace them following a moratorium on new plants.
The Government is in the midst of an energy review and Tony Blair has signalled that he may approve the building of new nuclear power stations to help to meet Britain's target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
"If we envisage what life will be like without those nuclear power stations, and if you look at the development of the other generating technologies and our current demand growth patterns, the sums don't add up," Dr Loughhead said.
The latest study comes out of a conference on energy organised by the British Geological Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Can our trees be saved from big timber, rampant disease and global warming?
Like a lamb to the slaughter: Environmentalist attacks 'ecological disaster' of sheep-rearing at hill farmers' meeting – and is met with stony silence
Python eats croc: when two (or more) species go to war - the 12 most amazing animal battles ever recorded
The 10 best folding bikes
10 best hiking boots
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Dear 'The Sun', breast cancer isn't sexy
- 4 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 5 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...