A new campaign Action for Renewables was launched today, bringing together senior business leaders, trade unionists, non-governmental organisations and grass roots activists to call for Britain to generate more clean, green energy from renewable sources such as wind, wave and tidal power. The campaign begins as new research reveals that the UK is far behind key European competitors in the number of wind turbines per 100 km2, including Denmark and the Netherlands.
As part of the campaign, RenewableUK, the countrys biggest renewable energy trade association, has invited the TV presenter Bill Oddie to make his own independent film documentary looking at innovative green projects around Britain, using hydro, wind and marine energy to reduce our carbon emissions. This was due to be screened for the first time at the Curzon Cinema Soho at 6pm on June 15, Global Wind Day.
As Bill Oddie says in the film: Renewable energy has to be the way forward. Its safe, it doesnt run out, and it creates jobs - as well as saving the planet. Whats the choice? Unreliable sources of energy and the horrors of climate change.
RenewableUK is working with a variety of environmental organisations such as Greenpeace and the Green Alliance, trade union bodies including the TUC and Unite, as well as business leaders right across the energy industry.
Frances OGrady, TUC Deputy General Secretary, said: A bigger renewables sector will not only help to reduce our carbon footprints, but by generating thousands of new jobs it could support a new sustainable economic growth model for the UK.
But a move towards renewable energy will not happen of its own accord so campaigns such as Action for Renewables are vital to push it up the economic agenda.
Britains renewable energy industry has reached a pivotal moment. This summer, the government is making far-reaching decisions which will determine the state of the industry for decades to come. These measures include the Road Map outlining the future of renewable energy from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, as well as the Energy Bill, the Localism Bill, Electricity Market Reform, and a the ongoing review of financial incentives to provide much-needed support for green energy projects, which will create thousands of jobs.
Peter Lloyd, managing director of Mabey Bridge, based in Chepstow, said: We have invested £38m of our own money into our wind turbine manufacturing facility because renewable energy is the future. The traditional alternatives such as fossil fuels are not sustainable on any level.
We know the broader public support green energy. Those with objections at local level to wind turbines must consider whether they would rather see a power station or a wind farm go up. The choice is a stark and simple one.
Adam Bell, Renewable UKs National Campaigns Coordinator, said: Survey after survey has shown a strong majority of the public in favour of the expansion of renewable energy and yet, at the local level, its becoming increasingly difficult to get the go-ahead, even for community-led projects.
Action for Renewables is intended to give grassroots campaigners for renewable energy the tools, training and information they need to make a difference. Only by working together with this supportive majority can we hope to achieve the transition to greener sources of energy.