Molly has warmly welcomed the start of drilling in Cornwall to develop the UK’s first geothermal electricity plant. Two years ago, Molly launched a report looking at the potential for renewable energy resources in the South West. This revealed that Cornwall could produce 161% of its total future energy needs, with 17% of its renewable energy potentially being generated by hot rock geothermal . The report found that a large-scale push to exploit the region’s renewable energy potential could create almost 17,000 new jobs in Cornwall and add around £659m a year to the local economy.
Molly Scott Cato said:
“The beginning of hot rock geothermal energy gives me a warm glow. This is fantastic news for Cornwall. With its rich mix of renewable energy resources, the region has the potential to be the hub of a future Western Powerhouse in renewable energy generation. This could be a major export for Cornwall, creating thousands of new jobs and boosting the local economy.”
Over half the funding for the project has come from the European Regional Development Fund; a source of money that will dry up if the UK leaves the EU. Molly Scott Cato said:
“This is just one of many exciting and important projects in Cornwall funded by the EU. All this is at risk if the Brexiteers succeed in dragging us out of Europe.
“I am delighted that the latest large-scale survey of opinion in Cornwall shows a sharp decline in support for leaving the EU and that the region is now evenly split between leave and remain. More and more people are seeing beyond the lies and false promises and realising the realities for Cornwall of leaving the EU. The people of Cornwall deserve a People’s Vote at the end of the Brexit negotiation process, with a choice between the deal of offer or a chance to remain in the EU.”
 Full report here. Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, Page 11 onwards.