A better way for the EU to spend a spare €10bn


Financial Times, 17 August 2016:

I for one would be delighted if the UK were locked out of the EU-funded Galileo Satellite Navigation system (“Space sector brought back down to earth”, August 15). It is headquartered in Prague with ground operations in Munich and Fucino, so the UK is only a bit player in the project anyway, and our membership of the European Space Agency is not affected by Brexit one way or the other.

In any event, the whole Galileo concept is a European vanity project designed to make us independent of the current US-controlled Global Positioning System that is free at the point of use for people using their iPhones. The US system also offers enhanced capabilities for those who possess the necessary commercial or military codes. This is why the French decided to reinvent the wheel, but they also wanted French to be the lingua franca and that didn’t work out too well either.

If the EU has €10bn to spare it would be better spent on a pan-European high-voltage DC supergrid that can iron out supplies from different sources of renewable energy across the continent. As the UK has 40 per cent of Europe’s available wind resource, plus most of the tidal power, there is no way that we will be excluded from that!

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Chair, Help Rescue the Planet,
Stoke Poges, Bucks, UK

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