The South West is leading England in both installing renewable generation capacity and in innovation in this exciting and forward-looking economic sector. To continue this leadership and create the jobs and economic opportunities our region needs, entrepreneurs need clear signals from government that they are supportive of renewable energy at the UK and European level.
The South West has some leading companies in this sector – including Ecotricity and Good Energy – but also some examples of communities who have set up their own generating capacity and are now benefiting from producing electricity themselves. This form of Power to the People offers great opportunities for people to escape from the exploitation of energy companies while also creating greater value for their local communities.
Renewables not nuclear
The decision by the EU Commission to give permission for new-build nuclear at Hinkley Point, and supporting the government in forcing UK citizens to pay twice the market price for their electricity for 35 years is totally scandalous. None of the arguments for nuclear stack up. It is far more expensive than renewables and creates fewer jobs. It also does nothing to fill the energy gap: Hinkley is not predicted to produce any electricity before 2023; renewable generation could be installed much more quickly.
Five of the six counties including the South West region have the potential to produce gas through the controversial process known as fracking. Greens are opposed to this process because it threatens local environments and because it will divert us from the course we need to be taking towards a low-carbon future.
Response to Theresa May's speech on the environment - 11 January 2018
Westcountry welcomes mining but we should shun fracking - 27 October 2016
Devonport: From Trident jobs to green employment - 16 November 2016
Renewable energy: a study of the government's recent performance - 26 February 2016
Controlling Carbon - 21 October 2015
The Power to Transform the South West - 17 April 2015
Letter to Commission: UK grid capacity - 2 July 2015
Letter to Commissioner Vestager re: Hinkley - 11 March 2015
Response to latest IPCC report - 4 November 2014
Hinkley letters - 17 October 2014
EU nuclear deal will hit renewables - 8 October 2014