Letter: Energy for the future

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I WAS shocked by the comments made by John Battle to the Commons European Legislation Committee on the EU White Paper on Renewable Energy (report, 23 March).

The White Paper is a tempered and realistic assessment of the future potential of renewables, the types of programmes and investments needed to stimulate sustainable markets in Europe and for exports, and the wealth creation which will come of this investment.

The White Paper estimates that, for a net investment of around 95 billion ECU, up to 900,000 new jobs will be created; in 2010, 3 billion ECU in fuel costs will have been saved; reliance on imported fuels will be reduced by 17.5 per cent; carbon dioxide emissions will be cut by 402 million tonnes per year by 2010; and economic growth will be stimulated in deprived regions by the development of renewable energy industries.

Surely a government which came to power with a manifesto strongly supporting the growth of renewables, and with a Prime Minister who has internationally proclaimed Britain's support for renewable energy technologies, cannot take such a myopic stand. The rest of Europe will laugh, and British industry will again be left on the sidelines.

JENNY GREGORY

Chairperson

The Solar Energy Society

Oxford

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