Exeter could be 100% powered by renewables

A Green MEP is to claim the city of Exeter can be powered completely by renewable energy this week.

Dr Molly Scott Cato will quote a report at a public meeting on 16 October, which will say the region could be totally self-sufficient in energy and that a renewable energy revolution could create 122,000 new jobs.

Dr Scott Cato will be joined at the meeting by a panel of experts on local community energy schemes, including Exeter’s own Community Energy co-operative, ECOE. 

The report claims one third of energy needs could be met from marine and inshore estuarine tidal energy, with the remaining two thirds from onshore renewables.

It estimates the cost of delivering 100% renewable energy to the region would be around £60 billion, while the equivalent cost of delivering 100% of energy needs from nuclear would be around £83 billion. 

Speaking before the meeting, Dr Scott Cato said “Community renewable schemes are transforming the provision of energy in Germany and will help the country achieve its target of producing 80% of its electricity from renewables by 2050. 

“This transformation is occurring thanks to investments by small investors in small energy schemes, which are empowering local communities to generate their own renewable energy. 

“Renewables offer the opportunity to seize back control of our energy supply from giant, often foreign owned, corporations and global finance and hand it back to the people in the form of cooperatives and social enterprises. It is clear that renewable energy really does offer power to the people,” she added.

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