The Slovene government is about to decide on its national energy strategy for 2011-2030, but instead of introducing innovative renewable energy production, the choice so far is between two bad options -- a new unit at the Sostanj lignite power plant or a new unit at the Krsko nuclear power plant, or both.
The new unit at Sostanj would be financed by public money -- by international financial institutions: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The unit would by itself swallow up almost all of Slovenia's carbon budget by 2050.
But Krsko is sited in a seismically active area, and together with all the usual problems of nuclear power -- waste storage, ballooning costs, dangers of uranium mining, etc. -- isn't a smart solution either.
Join us in asking the Slovene government to not use public money for dangerous and climate-damaging energy sources, but to seize the day and make its new energy programme an innovative and forward-looking plan to be proud of.
* The Slovene government has announced to open the public consultation in May, but hasn't done so yet. We will deliver all signatures as soon as the consultations begin - and give the Slovene government a pleasant surprise.
Dear members of the Government of Republic of Slovenia,
My attention has been drawn to the fact that Slovenia is currently revising its energy policy through the National Energy Programme for 2011- 2030. This moment will determine the outlook of Slovenia's energy sector for decades to come and is thus the best opportunity to steer Slovenia away from climate-damaging energy production and towards being part of the solution, by giving renewable energy and energy efficiency a kick-start.
[Your comments will be added here
Therefore, I would kindly ask you, the Government of Slovenia, to consider the following when deciding on the country's future energy policy:
1. Efficient use of energy and energy saving must take a leading role in the suite of measures, and obligatory objectives for energy efficiency must be adopted on the national level, as well as the EU level. Adequate measures and resources must be allocated to reach the objectives.
2. Full transition to renewable sources of energy must take place by 2050, which means that the National Energy Programme 2011-2030 must clearly identify the pathway to full deployment of renewables. It must also set clear sustainability criteria for renewables.
3. Distribution networks must be transformed into so-called smart grids in order to support wide use of renewables, but also to enable demand side management -- the use of smart appliances and transition to electric vehicles.
4. Transport policy stimulating a significant switch in transport trends must become a part of the energy policy. Comprehensive transport policy measures, such as increasing the share of public transport or rail cargo transport must be a part of energy plan.
5. The TES 6 lignite power plant project must be stopped because it would prevent the decarbonisation of Slovenia's energy sector and divert resources from energy efficiency and renewables. It also carries too many risks that the taxpayer will have to bear and are not needed in an age when we can employ other, more sustainable technologies.
6. Expansion of nuclear capacity in Slovenia must not constitute a part of the energy policy, particularly in the seismically active area of Krsko. What is needed is a plan for the full phase out of nuclear energy, long-term storage of radioactive waste (also highly radioactive waste) and safe decommissioning of the power plant.
I call on you to adopt an energy policy that will help us to terminate our addiction to wasteful energy use and destructive means of energy production. I am aware that it is not an easy step to take, yet it must be done, and it is more economical to make the right decisions now rather than later when further investments in coal or nuclear have already been made.