Monday, February 06, 2012

Call for more community windfarms as Tories attack subsidies

On Tuesday 7th February, 8.30am-12.30pm, there’ll be a ‘Do-Tank’ at HOST Universal in Soho [address below], to look at how a proposed share-issue in the 5MW Westmill solar farm could help re-ignite the energy debate both nationally and locally.

The initiative comes hot on the heels of calls from 101 Tory MPs over the weekend to slash Renewables Obligation subsidies for onshore windfarms.

Part of their reasoning is that many of these windfarms are owned by foreign firms.

Historically, the Renewables Obligation has severely hindered the development of community-owned windfarms, because of the costs and timescales that have been required of the system.

If there were more of these windfarms, as in Denmark and Germany, they would undoubtedly have more popular and local support.
The Westmill project is led by organic farmer and eco-repreneur Adam Twine, who has a track record in tackling climate change at a community level having initiated and delivered a cooperative-owned 6.5MW wind farm.

It is a highly relevant, timely and facilitated session, (with 15 years experience in developing narrative across social and environmental issues including Fair Trade, Renewable Energy and Climate Change), the session will be attended by 15-18 participants representing a 360 perspective renewables.

Guests cover Climate Science, Investment, developers, community entrepreneurs, media commentators and political interest and some, like Climate Scientist, Piers Forster who’s coming down from Leeds.

It is structured to provide valuable insights into how we bring this story alive for a wider audience and add further momentum to the community owned and generated energy concept.

Community energy funds announced

Meanwhile, Ed Davey, the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary,  Davey began his work in post today by joining Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on a visit to the Building Research Establishment’s Innovation Park near Watford, a testing site for energy efficient homes, where they are highlighting the value of green policies in stimulating jobs in the construction sector.
He also announced that a further 155 community energy projects are to receive a share of the £5.1 million of funding under Phase 2 of the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF).

Mr Davey said: “These grants are designed to nurture the ideas and enthusiasm of communities up and down the country who want to cut energy use, cut emissions and save money”.

The meeting is at: House Of Sound Thinking. 6-10 Lexington St, London W1F 0LB.

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