In a letter published by the Mid Sussex Times, UKIP Mid Sussex chairman Chris French replied to Liberal Democrat, Robert Eggleston’s suggestion that the “UKIP correspondent”, Mr French, was: “hardly correct….to state that this Government is increasingly reliant upon intermittent and unreliable energy sources.”
Mr French wrote: “Unfortunately for Mr Eggleston, the facts of the matter confirm that I am indeed quite correct. As much as 30 per cent of our reliable UK generating capacity will close down by 2020. Meantime the Government imagines it can replace this capacity with expensive, intermittent and unreliable wind and other renewable power.”
Mr French went on to say that Britain is required by the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive to close all its efficient coal-fired power stations, even though they have years of useful life left. He said these power stations provide reliable, competitive energy and are capable of using British coal. This EU Directive alone threatens the closure of more than 20 per cent of UK generating capacity, he continued.
He added: “Some 24 coal-fired power stations are expected to close by 2015; 36 by 2020. By the same time 12 of our 17 nuclear power stations will have reached the end of their working lives. Meanwhile the EU, courtesy of its 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, is demanding that 15 per cent (up from 3 per cent) of the UK’s total energy consumption should come from renewables by 2020.
Mr French claimed that: UKIP is not opposed in principle to renewables. Hydroelectricity, for example, is predictable, controllable and economic. But UKIP is against the widespread use of wind and solar, which offer an unpredictable and intermittent trickle of very expensive electricity, requiring 100 per cent back-up from conventional power stations, so therefore no net CO2 savings. These renewables undermine economic competitiveness, damage our economy and threaten security of our energy supply.”