The UK's renewables sector has nothing to fear from the government's energy review, says energy minister Malcolm Wicks. His reassurance came last month after the government launched its public consultation phase of the review, which gives no prominence to renewables. Wicks says questions about climate change and reliability of energy supplies guarantee renewables' place at the table. "The 2010 target remains. The 2020 aspiration remains. By that time I am confident that our children will be learning about the reality, not the promise, of bulk generation from renewables." But just one week later, Wicks made a similar argument in favour of nuclear power to an oil conference. According to a Reuters report, he feels that concerns about climate change and security of international energy supplies are boosting the case for a new generation of nuclear stations. "On the pro-nuclear side, it's a clean form of energy. And geopolitics would suggest that it might make sense for the UK to home-grow more energy," he said. Meantime, Wicks stresses the review is not about nuclear versus renewables. The future lies in a healthy mix of energy sources. "My eyes and ears are open to evidence on all technologies," he says. "I may be nuclear neutral but I am not renewables neutral. This sector needs to carry on engaging constructively and realistically during this consultation phase of the review. There is everything to play for."
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol