Green Party backs community energy

The Green Party has published a new report, showcasing community energy projects in England.

The report, Taking Back The Power: Community Energy in the South East, comes a week after the Government announced it is axing tax relief for community energy projects. 

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, MEP Keith Taylor and deputy leader Amelia Womack will visit several community energy projects in Sussex to help launch the report.

“It clearly shows that across the South East – and indeed the UK – communities have the passion, willingness and know-how to achieve amazing things by taking power into their own hands and creating people-powered, clean energy,” said Mr Taylor.

“I am appalled by the government’s seeming determinedness to stop this inspiring work in its tracks. Their latest attack on renewables via cuts to the Feed-In-Tariff not only threatens the UK’s chances of meeting our EU renewables targets, but it further undermines David Cameron’s credibility in the run-up to the COP 21 climate talks in Paris.

“Every one of the Government’s own polls says British people want to see more clean power. I urge the Government to listen to the electorate - reverse these damaging cuts and support the potential of clean, people-powered energy.”

Tonight (5 November), Mr Taylor will host a public meeting in Brighton with Green MP Caroline Lucas, Millie Darling of renewable energy campaigners 10:10, and Kayla Ente, CEO of community energy cooperative BHESCo. 

The meeting will launch Taylor’s report and address government plans to cut support for community energy schemes. 

“This report sets out the huge variety of benefits associated with community energy products – and the short-sightedness of government cuts to the sector. These projects create jobs, cut fuel costs and give local people a stake in their energy production,” said Ms Lucas.

“They are also playing a vital role in helping the UK to tackle climate change and end our reliance on fossil fuels. It is time our government stops undermining their efforts and gives them the support they need.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues