EK Chairman Sakari Tamminen: Government’s decision on nuclear energy falls short
On 21 April 2010 Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen, who is responsible for nuclear energy issues, presented the Finnish Government’s stand regarding the number of permits that would be granted for constructing new nuclear power plants.
The Government agrees in principle to the awarding of two permits. Three companies had applied for permission to build new nuclear power plants. The Government will present its opinion to Parliament in the coming weeks.
The Confederation of Finnish Industries EK is satisfied with the positive decisions made by the Finnish Government regarding nuclear energy, but unfortunately permission was not granted this time to all applicants. The availability of electricity competitively is a basic requirement for investments, economic growth, employment and wellbeing.
“The primary purpose of nuclear energy is to safeguard the supply of sufficient and competitively priced electricity for both industry and all of society well into the future. Unfortunately sufficient attention has not been paid to this aspect in recent debates, which have focused instead mainly on various forms of subsidising renewable energy,” comments EK Chairman Sakari Tamminen.
Tamminen points out that the construction of nuclear power plants is privately funded and does not require subsidies from government or energy consumers. Nuclear energy allows vast amounts of electricity to be generated without any carbon emissions. It could therefore satisfy the growing demand for electricity, replace end-of-life power plants and reduce Finland’s dependence on energy imports. The construction of new nuclear power plants should therefore not be restricted.
“All low-emission and no-emission energy forms are needed to combat climate change. However, increasing the use of renewable energy should be done in a cost-effective and market-based way that does not needlessly increase energy bills for consumers.”
“Hopefully Parliament will discuss and approve the new nuclear power plant projects as soon as possible. Plans for these projects could thus progress to the next stage.”