Molly Scott Cato took her major new report on the potential for renewable energy in the South West to a packed Town Hall in Glastonbury in July. The report, The power to Transform the South West demonstrates how renewables alone can meet more than 100% of the region’s energy needs, with Somerset alone able to generate 152% of its needs.
Molly Scott Cato, the Green MEP for the South West said:
“The South West has the greatest potential for renewable energy anywhere in England and Wales and the sector can provide thousands of jobs. We have the ability to provide electricity cleanly, safely and at lower costs than nuclear. Add to that the opportunity for renewables to be owned not by giant foreign corporations and global finance but by local people in the form of cooperatives and social enterprises, and it’s clear that it is renewable energy that really offers power to the people.”
The mayor of Glastonbury, Denise Michell, welcomed everyone to the event at the Town Hall and the deputy mayor, Jon Cousins, chaired a panel discussion with Molly; Andrew Clarke, author of the report; Sonya Bedford, Head of Renewable Energy for Stephens Scown Solicitors, and Tom Hathway, co-ordinator for South West Young Greens.
Before the panel discussion on the report and the potential for renewable energy in Somerset and across the region, Molly was shown around the Red Brick Building, a project which has transformed a derelict building into affordable workspaces for micro businesses & social enterprises. She also met with members of Avalon Community Energy (ACE), a community owned renewable energy co-operative which supplies green energy to the local community. Molly said:
“We are currently witnessing the deliberate destruction of an industry in which the West Country has a huge competitive advantage. Renewables are being systematically undermined by a government dominated by the interests of London, finance and fossil fuels. I came to office pledging to put people before profit and to show how our fantastic natural resources and skilful people can be utilized sustainably for the benefit of all. The Power to Transform report shows how we can do just that.”