Co-operating for a greener Hampshire

Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative (HREC) has taken a close look at how much renewable energy is generated in Hampshire and the contribution we all make to total energy use within the county. The results are nothing to be proud of!

Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative have produced a detailed report on the amount of energy used in Hampshire and how much of our energy demand is met by locally produced renewable energy. The results are disappointing. “Whilst the UK is close to meeting its targets for renewables; Hampshire is falling woefully behind” says Martin Heath a Director of HREC.

The UK has a legally binding target of producing 15% of all its energy from renewable sources by 2020.  Most other counties in the UK are doing their bit to help meet this target. As Martin says “We all have a responsibility to produce as much energy as possible from renewables – it’s cleaner, cheaper and better. On average the UK meets about 12% of its energy needs from renewables.  But the result in Hampshire is a very disappointing 1.8%”.

Andrew Thompson, Chair of HREC points out “Hampshire is doing OK in installing solar but is really falling behind in other technologies which is a great shame as we in Hampshire have some of the best renewable energy resources in the country”.

George Belfield one of the main authors of the report says “We looked extensively at every renewable energy site in the county; from that we calculated the amount of energy generated renewably for electricity, heat and transport.  From analysis of DECC statistics we were able to ascertain just how much energy is used by the people and business of Hampshire.   It is surprising that Hampshire uses so much; what is even more surprising that almost all our energy is brought in from outside the county. Most counties in the UK are stepping up and meeting their responsibilities for reducing the impact on our environment from burning fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, we in Hampshire are not”.

Martin Heath, comments: “Just 1.8% of the total energy we use in Hampshire comes from locally produced renewable energy.  Other parts of the UK are achieving 5 times this amount. Climate change is something that affects us all – we have to step up and take responsibility. We can’t expect other to do it for us.”

The full report is here

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors

1.    Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative has been established to speed up the transition from fossil fuel based energy towards generation using renewable sources – such as wind, power and biomass. We aim to establish a range of renewable energy generation facilities in the county, maximise co-operative and community ownership and the benefits deriving from such production. By co-ordinating information on renewable energy projects, we can provide a resource for education about all aspects of renewable energy. For further information about the group, please visit www.hampshire-energy.coop
2.    HREC commissioned a report from local energy experts to assess how much renewable energy is being produced in the county and how this compares with how much is being consumed within the county.

 

The end for Bullington Cross? Or just a pause?

Well after thousand of hours of effort by all of us we learnt today that EDF Energy Renewables are withdrawing their appeal against the planning refusal for Bullington Cross Wind Farm.  This is no real surprise given recent Government announcements; but still a great shame.

2,845 of us wrote/email/contacted the local planners, local Councillors and local MPs supporting the wind farm. Unfortunately we have been ignored – for now!  Thanks to all your efforts the wind farm become the most widely supported wind farm application ever.    A copy of HREC’s press release is attached. Press Release July 2015.   Please have a look at it and send it on to friends and colleagues. Our local authorities cannot ignore us for ever. Sooner or later they will have to accept the inevitability of renewable energy and the benefits it brings to us all.

HREC continues to grow and we have a number of other community renewable energy projects in the pipeline. Watch this space!!

Of course if you want to give your views to your local council/parliamentary representative please feel free to do so.

Let’s make some news

 

Make Headlines

Local news is one of the best ways of getting your voice heard and sharing your opinion with a large audience. It is a great tool to promote your ideas, and when your voice is part of a larger crowd of voices it becomes real news.

That’s why HREC are asking all our supporters to write in to your local newspaper. One letter about Bullington Cross might make it into the local comment pages, a whole barrage of letters makes headlines.

As always, you can find some inspiration below and details of who to write to.

So don’t wait, get writing and let’s make some headlines.

Tips and Advice

Keep it short- editors get hundreds of letters per week, all competing for valuable print space. Keeping things brief give you the best chance of being included.

Make it Persuasive- We all know several good reasons why community owned wind energy is necessary, pick one or two rather than trying to squeeze them all in.  If you need some inspiration we have included some of our best below.

Make it personal- There is an old adage in journalism; “facts tell, stories sell”. Journalists love the personal touch. Think why Bullington Cross is important to you and cover that.

12 Good Reasons

1. 70% of the UK population support wind farms.

2. 2,750 local people have written to Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover councils asking for community ownership of the Bullington Cross wind farm.

3. The benefits of wind farms far outweigh any costs. They reduce carbon emissions, do not produce pollution,  produce cheap renewable energy, generate local jobs, increase council revenues, and reduce our reliance on expensive dirty imported fossil fuels. 

4. Wind farms generated enough electricity to power 5 million homes last year

6. Wind farms are just as efficient as nuclear, gas, and coal fired power plants.

5. By the end of 2013 17% of UK electricity came from renewable resources.

6. Wind farms have a smaller impact on our landscape than coal, oil, gas or nuclear power plants.

7. We have to get our electricity from somewhere it makes sense that we make some of it ourselves

8. Hampshire spends £4 billion a year on fossil fuels to generate energy.  This is a drain on our local economy.  We can make energy renewably ourselves and save money. 

9. Community ownership means the benefits and profits from the wind farm accrue to local people ie US

10. A co-operative (Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-op) has been formed to buy a community stake in the wind farm.

11. The biggest danger facing our countryside is climate change.

12. A NO to wind farms = A YES for climate change.

 

If your letters get printed please do let us know so we can feature them here on our website. Thanks!

 

Photo Credit: DB Photographs