Social Democrat/Green plan to phase out nuclear power by 2021 were dropped by Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats last September. The nuclear reactor meltdown and leakage of radioactive materials in Japan has forced a government U-turn with Angela Merkel stating that future power supplies had to be "safe, reliable and economically viable"
Germany has encouraging alternatives to the status quo in terms of not only energy generation but also recycling, whilst British governments fiddle around at the edges recycling bottles and tin cans Germany supported construction of facilities for paper, cardboard, plastics etc. The British government’s conservative bureaucracy authorised a few wind farms as a fig leaf to ‘‘green’’ energy. Germany and France have promoted solar photo-voltaic panels on houses, office blocks and factories.
Former Left-Labour MP Alan Simpson who was renewable energy adviser to the last Labour government, estimates that this development alone has created an industry for Germany that boasts almost 400,000 new jobs, an annual turnover of €30 billion and a 15 per cent share of the global renewables market. He further calculates that placing solar photo-voltaic panels on the south-facing roofs of British housing could meet 30 per cent of Britain's energy needs.
Scottish CND and the Scottish TUC have already carried out initial research into alternative priorities for skilled engineers engaged on the Trident nuclear submarine fleet, suggesting that cancellation of this white elephant and transfer of personnel and resources to production of tidal power projects would bring employment and financial benefits.