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Keeping the lights on


Today's report on energy security by Malcolm Wicks helps put our thinking on energy policy back into balance. It also lays bare the challenge and opportunity for this region.

Addressing climate change is, undoubtedly, essential - but we need to do that without letting the lights go out. That means finding alternatives to depleting fuel sources and ensuring the UK is not left vulnerable through reliance on unstable foreign reserves. Mr Wicks' recommendations include strong support for nuclear power and the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

The North East has a crucial role to play in both. Support for continued nuclear generation is strong among businesses in Hartlepool and the town must be given a part to play in the industry's future. Meanwhile, exciting CCS proposals are being developed in both the Tees Valley and Northumberland, which we must ensure come to fruition.

Add to that our growing expertise in other energy technologies, notably wind power, and it becomes clear that solving this issue is not just vital for North East businesses - North East businesses are vital for solving this issue.