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

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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.

 

Unprecedented support for local wind farms

Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-operative (HREC) reaches an impressive 2,000 signature milestone almost 2 months ahead of target.

Members and supporters of HREC, a Co-operative for local renewable energy generation in Hampshire, have been proving that Hampshire residents want to see more renewable energy in the county.

Over the past few months teams of volunteers have spent time in Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover surveying the local population and the response has been resounding.  More than 2,000 Hampshire people have said ‘Yes’ to the proposed new wind farm at Bullington Cross by sending a letter or email of support to their local council.

stall photo                  TVBC150412-4601  

As well as street canvassing the HREC team has successfully used social media and direct mail to encourage local people to add their signatures to the campaign of support for the wind farm at Bullington Cross.

Martin Heath, HREC Director, comments: “This is an excellent effort. National statistics tell us that 70% of the UK population positively support wind farms and only 12% object to them. We’re really pleased that the people of Hampshire follow this national trend. It’s great to see such high levels of continued and sustained support for the proposed Bullington Cross Wind Farm and we’re seeing more supporters joining every day.”

HREC was set up to create a range of renewable energy generation facilities throughout Hampshire. These facilities will be co-operatively run for community benefit. The Co-op also provides a valuable resource for all aspects of renewable energy.  HREC plans to own 10% of the 14 turbine Bullington Cross Wind Farm under its community ownership scheme.  The planning committee decision for this wind farm application is anticipated to happen this June

“We’re continuing our campaign efforts over the next 6 weeks as it’s imperative for the future of community owned renewable energy in Hampshire that the public have the opportunity to voice their opinions. We’ve provided an easy on-line mechanism for local people to add their support to the campaign. This and the dedication of our volunteers has been key to our success.” continues Mr Heath.

The Hampshire Renewable Energy Co-op Team will be at The South Downs Green Fair on Sunday 11th May, and also at the Highclere Game & Country Fair, May 25th & 26th. Full campaign events schedule can be found on the HREC website www.hampshire-energy.coop

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