Renewable Energy

Clean energy is a vital component of tackling climate change. We need to de-carbonise the supply while also reducing demand.

The good news is that wind power and solar PV make up an ever larger portion of our energy production, with a steep decline in coal. At times, this seems to be despite the UK government’s efforts, particularly the abrupt cutting of the Feed-in-Tarriff for solar, which should have been gradually phased out so that this sector could continue to thrive and create green jobs. After all, the the fossil fuel industry has traditionally benefitted from massive subsidies and this remains the case in many instances while the government is also throwing huge amounts of taxpayers’ money at nuclear as well (c.f. the Hinckley Point debacle, where the price guarantees will hit consumer bills for many decades).

This is an area beset by hype and spin, mainly from the oil and gas companies. The Green Party strategy on energy is clear: Our aim is to eliminate fuel poverty and address the climate crisis by investing in our thriving energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

Affordable and renewable electricity will be generated, stored and distributed as close to users as possible, with maximum local control. Instead of shackling our nation with expensive new nuclear power and environmentally reckless shale gas (aka fracking), we will control energy bills and create more jobs by investing in warm and efficient homes, energy storage and smart grids and in renewable energy supply, owned by public, private and community enterprises. We will ensure energy resilience by investing in energy efficiency, energy storage, diverse renewable energy generation and by expanding our international grid interconnectors.

With regards renewables, wind farms and solar farms should be evaluated on a case by case basis, with careful planning rules as with any other development. There are many potential factors, including the quality of the land for the proposed site, the environmental impact, the involvement and, ideally, ownership of the local community, and the ethics and constitution of the developer.

Renewables do not burden future generations with hazardous waste, do not endanger water suppliers (as with fracking), are efficient (contrary to some of the lobbying), are an excellent potential source of new, clean jobs, are far better for the climate than their fossil fuel equivalents, and do not destroy the habitat.

Locally, the loss of jobs when Dungeness power station is decommissioned will exacerbate the existing need for jobs and regeneration on Romney Marsh. This means there is a very strong case for investment to allow the area to become a part of the new green economy.