The South West’s Green MEP has said the agreement by David Cameron and his G7 partners to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century represents a huge economic opportunity for the South West. Molly Scott Cato has called on the region’s MPs, many of whom are newly elected, to back her call for a renewable energy revolution in the region. Dr Scott Cato has said that the South West can become totally self-sufficient in energy, generated entirely from renewable sources, within a generation. While she welcomes the G7 announcement, she believes it lacks ambition. She said:

“To address the dangers posed by climate change and take advantage of the economic potential offered by renewable energy technologies we need to seize the moment with a sense of urgency. We can transform the South West and generate 100% of our energy needs from renewables within the next 20-30 years. This could generate 122,000 new quality jobs and boost the regional economy by over £4bn a year. All that is lacking is the political will.”

Shortly before the general election Molly Scott Cato launched a detailed report on how the South West can produce 100% of its energy needs from renewables and the huge economic opportunities this would create. The study identifies that a mix of renewable energy resources – which do not include new nuclear at Hinkley – could, in combination with energy saving, better-quality homes and improved methods of storage, address concerns about baseload and peaks in demand. The report identifies the potential to exploit as yet untapped resources, particularly tidal power, geothermal and offshore wind. Molly Scott Cato concluded:

“The economic opportunities offered through transforming our energy generation seem to be recognised by many other countries. We are in danger of being left behind and missing out. I urge MPs across the region to back our calls for a renewable energy revolution.”

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