As Italy votes to join Germany and Switzerland in rejecting atomic power the UK’s fastest growing solar developer says it’s time for Britain to join the migration.
Italians comprehensively rejected a plan to build new nuclear reactors in this week referendum.
Germany and Switzerland have already announced that they will phase out nuclear over the next two decades. However, Britain and France are both planning for extensive expansion of nuclear capacity.
“It isn’t only the Fukushima factor,” said Lee Summers, director of EOS Energy – the UK’s fastest growing solar installer.
“There is a worldwide shift in attitudes towards nuclear generation. Climate change, safety, political security and the falling costs of renewable technologies are all affecting public opinion,” said Mr Summers.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had hoped to restart a nuclear building programme that Italy had abandoned in the 1980’s.
The referendum attracted a turnout of 57% (previous referenda have fallen below the 50% turnout necessary for the result to be valid) and a massive 94% of voters opposed the nuclear policy.
“Solar electricity generation will be cheaper than fossil fuel generation within the decade and will not pose any of the safety issues involved with nuclear reactors,” said Mr Summers.
“With huge costs being added to nuclear due to stringent future safety methods the Department of Energy should be planning for Britain’s low carbon future in a similar way to Germany.”
“By ditching nuclear early German and Italy are giving their industries a huge opportunity to dominate renewable technologies for the next twenty years,” he said.
EOS Energy has made a contribution to increasing general awareness of renewable energy by announced this month a £20-million scheme to put small solar arrays on private homes and community buildings that could otherwise not afford them.
The schemes funder will take the Government Feed-in-Tariff to finance the loan and the householder will harvest free electricity from the photovoltaic panels.
“We are merely trying to help people that can’t afford a PV system to protect themselves from the anticipated increases in electricity prices, and, of course, to encourage the use of renewable energy,” said Mr Summers.