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Caroline Flint MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change addressing the Gwendraeth renewables group.

Last Wednesday on a visit to west Wales Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary, met members of the Gwendraeth Valley Energy Group and other people interested in developing renewable and community energy projects. Caroline stressed Labour’s commitment to decarbonising the power sector by 2030, and developing a range of renewable energies.

Nia Griffith MP explained,

“Too often the media just gives us sound bites from politicians. This was an opportunity for Caroline to respond in greater depth on issues such as the obstacles to community groups establishing energy schemes, like the lack of funding for initial research and development. Caroline explained that her Labour team will shortly be producing a green paper on community energy, and she would welcome further comment as we prepare and consult on that. ”

One of those who attended was John Myers, who has worked for the soil association.

Commenting on the session, he said,

“We were very impressed and reassured by Caroline’s knowledge of and attitude to renewables.  We went to the meeting prepared to plead for community and cooperative ownership of renewables as we feel that ownership is the main reason why people object to renewables, particularly wind turbines.  However, right from the start of the meeting Caroline was talking about this subject.

We think almost everyone at the meeting would have agreed that we need to promote renewables alongside a reduction in energy use to combat climate change.  The cost of renewable energy is falling rapidly as the cost of non-renewable energy rises, so it makes economic sense as well. If Labour wins the election next year, we hope that the Labour government will encourage renewables rather than try to obstruct their development as the present government does.”