In a new hard-hitting report South West Green Party claim UK politicians at all levels are failing to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the transition to a renewable energy future.
The report, South West: Energy Region , to be launched on 13th February, claims that mixed messages from national government are undermining the economic opportunities offered by this sector which has massive potential for the South West economy. The report says that the region is already a national leader in renewable electricity generation but could be expanding more rapidly. Fracking and nuclear power are dismissed in the report as dangerous distractions from the need to invest rapidly in renewable generation.
Dr Molly Scott Cato, lead Green Party European candidate in the South West, said:
“The damaging winter storms have proved just how vulnerable the South West is to the consequences of a changing climate and a transition to renewable energy is exactly what is needed to tackle climate change. Thankfully, the dynamism and foresighted approach of many people and businesses in the South West means that we are already responding in a positive way and are leading the country in renewable energy generation. It is a shame the government does not share this enthusiasm for renewable energy, preferring instead to champion damaging fracking and dangerous nuclear.”
The report draws inspiration from the impressive speed of the energy transition in Germany, where the government has completely abandoned nuclear and set itself the ambitious goal of doubling the renewable electricity generation to 35% by 2020 and achieving 80% renewable electricity generation by 2050.
Dr Scott Cato concluded:
“The rapid transition in Germany is being achieved as a result of public and community ownership of renewables, including a fivefold increase in the number of renewable energy co-operatives between 2007 (101) and 2011 (586) . We want to see the UK government supporting such ‘power to the people’ in the form of a long-term, high-rate feed-in tariff for all renewables, but with a higher rate for community-owned installations.”
South West Green Party will launch the South West: Energy Region report at City Hall in Bristol on Thursday .
 The South West: Energy Region: An appeal for political commitment to ensure both economic and environmental benefit by Molly Scott Cato, Finance Speaker for the Green Party and Councillor Gus Hoyt, Deputy Mayor for the Environment, Bristol City Council.
 The German Energiewende (Energy transition) website: http://energytransition.de/2012/10/key-findings/
 Please contact Molly Scott Cato firstname.lastname@example.org for full details.