South West Greens are blaming political posturing over so-called 'green levies' on energy bills for the loss of the Atlantic Array, a world-leading project to build a large off-shore wind farm in the Bristol Channel. RWE, the company which planned to develop the scheme, have announced they are to abandon the project which could have created up to 220 permanent local jobs and generated enough renewable energy for up to 900,000 homes.
National Green Party finance speaker and South West Green Party lead candidate for next May's European Elections, Molly Scott Cato, said:
"Under pressure from the Big Six energy companies to protect their profits, the Prime Minister has hinted that fiscal incentives for renewable energy will be dropped in the autumn statement. It is not surprising that RWE has responded to this uncertainty by reversing its decision to invest in the Atlantic Array. Their decision is a disaster for our climate change targets and for green jobs in the South West."
The Green Party has long argued that the transition to sustainable sources of electricity generation will require significant levels of public investment and that this cannot be achieved while generation is left in a malfunctioning market.
Ricky Knight, a North Devon Green Party Councillor, who has campaigned strongly for the Atlantic Array project over the last two years said:
"The loss of this multi-billion pound investment into the North Devon economy, to the benefit of the whole South West, is a great disappointment. We need this government to show political leadership and create a stable and level playing field for investment, research and development in renewable technologies. We need clear indications that the country will undergo a rapid and sustained transition to renewable energy generation, supported by clear and consistent fiscal incentives. Investing public money into renewables would support the creation of thousands of green jobs and I suspect that as the energy crisis looms ever nearer, this scheme will return with renewed interest."
Further details see Guardian: Energy firm RWE npower axes £4bn UK windfarm amid political uncertainty: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/26/renewable-energy-rwe-drops-uk-turbine-project
Molly Scott Cato is the lead European candidate for the Green Party in the South West. She is an internationally renowned green economist and is the Green Party National Finance Speaker http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/euros2014starthere/molly-scott-cato.html
Ricky Knight is a Barnstaple town councillor and was the Green Party's lead candidate for the South West 2009 European Election. He was also parliamentary candidate for Bristol West in 2010. As a long-timer campaigner for renewable energy in North Devon, Ricky has given several radio and TV interviews on the Atlantic Array and the Green Party’s policies on energy. Please contact him for an interview. http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/euros2014starthere/ricky-knight.html