At its latest seminar the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) supported calls for a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency and for local government to work together to promote the benefits of decentralised energy. Amongst the speakers were Alan Simpson, Sustainable Economics Advisor to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell; and Dr Steve Schofield, international expert on the development of defence diversification projects. Alan Simpson provided international examples of the decentralised energy revolution occurring in places as diverse as Germany, California and Denmark. Smart energy solutions, renewable energy battery storage and new thinking in local government have led to dramatic change in these places. In turn, local communities have taken much greater control of their local energy needs and aided a reduction in harmful carbon emissions. Simpson argued such a revolution in thinking is urgently needed in the UK and called on local authorities to be dynamic in their energy strategies, working with supportive community energy groups to facilitate positive change. Cross-party support for such measures is available and needs to be garnered to counter the highly negative changes in recent funding cuts for local energy initiatives. The seminar also encouraged local authorities to facilitate, where practical and possible to do so, community energy initiatives. The Greater Manchester Community Renewables scheme was profiled in the seminar. Alongside dynamic schemes like the Edinburgh Solar Community Cooperative, they could help to deliver localised energy solutions. NFLA calls for cross-party support and cross-departmental work at the local level to realise ways to promote renewable energy, microgeneration and energy efficiency.
NFLA 28th June 2016 read more »