9 September 2013
Lead Green Party candidate for next year’s European Elections, Molly Scott Cato, spoke at the Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth recently, as part of the Green Community Fair, outlining her views on reforming finance, boosting cooperatives and developing community energy schemes. In respect of the latter; Molly was interested to hear about the current phase of development of the Navitus Bay Wind Farm.
While making it clear that she fully supported the need for a dramatic increase in renewable energy production Molly outlined how she was particularly keen to hear how the developers will respond to requests from Friends of the Earth, the local Green Party and others for a specific community benefit from the project and commitment from them for long term funding for local projects. “It is disappointing that we have been left in a position where we are asking foreign multi-nationals to develop these facilities.
"We could learn a lot from Germany where many municipalities own and operate their own renewable energy generation, ensuring not only local control over supply and prices but the return of any profit directly to the community”.
Molly later discussed how she would be pursuing the opportunity for community ownership over the coming weeks but stressed that it is important for locals who support the idea of the wind farm to register their views with the developers and their local politicians, planners firstname.lastname@example.org and media outlets as there is a real risk that a vocal minority may appear to represent the majority view, based on analysis into public perceptions of wind power http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/apr/19/wind-power-poll-uk-public-favour