Australia nuclear power – WA industry lobbies stuck in the past on energy thinking


WA industry lobbies stuck in the past on energy thinking

Media Release: Wednesday May 4th, 2011

Suggestions by the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chamber of Minerals and Energy that nuclear power should be part of WA’s energy supply by 2031 are unrealistic and outdated, the Australian Greens say.

“Those industry groups calling for nuclear power in their submissions this week to the WA Government’s Strategic Energy Initiative are failing to note the vast potential for sustainable economic prosperity in Western Australia based on renewable energy sources,” Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said.

“They also ignore the reality of what is happening around the world: every year for the last 15 years the growth in renewable energy’s capacity has outstripped the growth in nuclear capacity, and last year investment in renewable energy over-took investment in nuclear and fossil fuelled energy combined. In 2010 world-wide cumulative installed capacity from wind turbines, biomass, waste-to-energy and solar power surpassed installed nuclear capacity for the first time in history.

“The Rubicon has been crossed for nuclear power – it is a dying industry and there is no turning back. In the United States of America – the world’s largest economy – the share of renewables in new capacity additions boomed from two percent in 2004 to 55 percent in 2009, with no new nuclear capacity added in that time.

“Meanwhile, even before the March Fukushima disaster, investors and insurers in the US, for example, could not be coaxed to back nuclear power.

“And if the extremely low turn-out at a uranium industry summit in Perth a few weeks ago is any indication, what interest that did exist before Fukushima has mostly evaporated.

“‘Here in WA we are singularly blessed with solar, wind, wave and geothermal resources yet we continue to lag behind the rest of the world in their development, with less than 5% of our electricity sourced from renewables last year compared to 18% globally.

“So, since our industry lobbies seem to be stuck in outdated 70s-era thinking that nuclear power is the answer rather, I urge ordinary Western Australians to make their own submission to the WA Government’s energy initiative by Friday’s deadline,” said Senator Ludlam.

“Call the Office of Energy on 9420 5600 to find out how to make a submission or go to www.energy.wa.gov.au and follow the links.”

Media Contact: Giovanni Torre

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