Monday, 19 August 1991

Energy Campaign Update Summer 1991


The primary focus of the Energy Campaign (Malcolm!) is currently working with the Energy Working Group of the Environment Forum. The aims of the Working Group are, however, in some respects similar to those of national Friends of the Earth, whose current aim is to "Get Renewables Going".

The UK is well endowed with renewable energy resources, wind, waves, wastes, and even sunlight, yet it has hardly begun to make use of these. Currently only two per cent of electricity is generated from renewable energy.

The Government's record on support for renewable energy sources is deplorable; funding for Research and development of Renewables in 1990-91 was around £20M (for Nuclear it was nearly £120M). In early August, however, the Government is to announce the creation of an important new review of
renewable energy. The Energy Campaign wants to ensure that this review takes the necessary steps to change the current position and to make the future renewable.

National FoE has been asked to make a presentation to the Review Committee, chaired by the minister responsible for renewable energy, Colin Moynihan. It is important that he receives an indication of the strength of public support for Renewables. The best way to achieve this is to get our own MPs to write to
the Minister (this normally produces, in response, a personal letter from the Minister as opposed to an anonymous letter from a civil servant). We would therefore like MPs to receive as many statements of support as possible, and are asking members to write to their MP outlining the following points:

  • There is an urgent need to establish renewable technologies in the UK because of their overall benefits compared to using fossil fuels or nuclear power. Additionally renewable energy sources are indigenous, relatively safe, and offer potential for export markets.
  • The UK has some of the best potential for developing renewables in Europe, with large potential for developing wind, wave, solar and tidal power, hydroelectricity and energy from biofuels [including agricultural and forestry residues, the organic component of municipal refuse, rotting vegetables  pig slurry and a host of other wastes].
  • Ask your MP what s/he is doing to promote renewable energy.
  • Most importantly, urge him/her to ask the Minister what the Government is doing to promote renewables and at the same time to convey to the Minister your own support for renewables.

For more information about the Energy Campaign, please feel free to (try to!) contact Malcolm Crawford:
768555 ext. 5577 (work, most of the time...) 325498 (home, occasionally ! )