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Microgeneration: Power to the People

A special renewable energy exhibition will be held in Winkleigh Village Hall from 11-5 on Saturday, with the aim of exploring alternative ways in which rural communities, as well as individuals, can tackle the problem of renewable energy production - without resort to large scale commercial schemes or nuclear power.

The event, which is to be hosted by Torridge and West Devon’s MP, Geoffrey Cox, in conjunction with the Devon Association for Renewable Energy, comes in response to the overwhelming opposition of local residents to proposals to site a large scale commercial schemes on their doorstep.

In particular, the venue for Saturday’s exhibition, Winkleigh, has been chosen because of the community’s struggle to prevent the largest biomass power station in Europe from being constructed on the edge of their village in which residents were pitted against the developers, and government bodies, such as the Regional Development Agency. Mr Cox hopes that the event will help to create a positive consensus in support of micro-generation and decentralised energy technologies as a solution to the energy problem and give local communities the opportunity making a practical contribution.

Manufacturers throughout the South West have responded to the MP’s invitation to exhibit at the event. Among the technologies on display will be biodiesel, hydropower, heat pumps, solar and small scale wind, biomass and anaerobic digestion systems and guests will include representatives of the Department of Trade and Industry and members of the board and senior executives of the South West Regional Development Agency.

Speaking today Geoffrey Cox emphasised that the event is not intended to be political or a debate on climate change, but an opportunity to bring local people together to examine the alternative sources of energy generation which would guarantee security of supply and help reduce carbon emissions.

Geoffrey Cox said:
“Many local residents were dismayed at the prospect of having energy generation schemes of this size and scale forced upon them by companies seeking to capitalise on the huge sums of public money available and the Government’s incoherent policies. Yet they expressed a strong desire to find ways of making a practical contribution to tackling climate change.

We now have a unique opportunity to harness the interest this has created by engaging and empowering individuals and communities and by offering them positive options to generate their own clean energy.”

He added:
“I hope that the day will be very informative, I am certainly looking forward to learning more about the options that are available and I would encourage anyone who may be curious to join us and see what the alternatives for them, and their community, might be.”

25th July 2006

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Promoted by Mark Slater on behalf of Torridge & West Devon Conservatives both at Bridge House Fore Street Okehampton Devon EX20 1DL