Select Committee on Environmental Audit Written Evidence

Memorandum by the Open University Energy & Environment Research Unit



1.1  The Open University Energy and Environment Research Unit (EERU)

  The Energy and Environment Research Unit was set up in 1986 and is based in the Faculty of Technology at The Open University. The Unit undertakes research on the sustainable generation and use of energy. It also presents a course T206 Energy for a Sustainable Future within the Open University's undergraduate programme and supports a range of post-graduate research work. Further details of EERU and its activities can be found on its Web site:

1.2  Contents of Memorandum of Evidence from EERU

  Our Memorandum of Evidence to the Committee is in two parts:

  Part A, "Nuclear's Inherent Insecurities", is an extensive submission in which we describe in detail our concerns about the security implications of the UK nuclear power programme and its proposed expansion.

  Part B, "Non-Nuclear Sustainable Energy Futures: What Can the UK Learn from Germany?", describes the rapid progress being made in Germany in deploying renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. It suggests that the UK could learn a great deal from the German example.

  Members of the Committee will be aware that the political situation in Germany is currently in a state of flux. Nevertheless, we believe that Germany continues to be highly-relevant as an example of what can be achieved by a Government determined to implement renewable and sustainable energy policies with vigour. Moreover, it seems unlikely that any new German Government will implement policies that would seriously jeopardize the future of its highly-successful renewable energy industry, which in 2003 had a turnover of 10 billion Euros and employed 120,000 people.

1.3  Authors and Acknowledgements

  Part A is authored by Dr David Lowry, a visiting research fellow in EERU; part B is authored by Godfrey Boyle, Director of EERU. The authors acknowledge helpful comments received during the preparation of their memoranda from Professor David Elliott.

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