Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Survey shows Europeans lukewarm on nuclear energy

World Reuters.co.in

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European citizens want their governments to focus on developing solar and wind power and are less enthusiastic about nuclear energy, according to a survey released on Tuesday.
The Eurobarometer poll showed 12 percent of those surveyed favoured developing the use of nuclear energy, while 48 percent supported solar and 31 percent backed wind power development.
Solar and wind are two forms of renewable energy that the European Union hopes will help reduce its dependence on imported fuels, alleviating concerns about the security of supplies.
Nuclear energy use is divisive in the 25-nation EU, with some countries phasing it out and others, such as France, relying heavily on it for their power needs.
The European Commission said the survey showed 47 percent of those asked wanted more energy decisions to be made at a European level, lending support to calls by EU and national leaders for a common energy policy within the bloc.
"This gives us encouragement to work on this policy," Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told a news conference.
EU heads of state and government are expected in March to discuss the outlines of such a policy, which could cover issues from boosting renewable sources to harnessing the bloc's combined negotiating power for talks with foreign suppliers.
The survey, covering almost 30,000 people, was carried out in the 25 EU member countries as well as acceding and candidate states from Oct. 11 to Nov. 15 last year.


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