'Need to consider energy alternatives'
By Cornish Guardian | Friday, August 03, 2012, 08:00
CORNWALL spends £1.4 billion a year on oil and gas, with only a tiny amount staying within the community, so it is time to look at the alternatives.
GREEN LEARNING: At the Be Green stall at the show are Gillian Carter, senior project manager for Be Green; Ron Muckleston, Be Green energy adviser; Ellie Inglis-Woolcock, senior development officer, Cornwall Council; and Gemma Blackler, sustainability energy project officer at Cornwall Council). Below: Cornish Guardian reporter Colin Gregory tries out the Renault Twizy at Delabole.
ENERGY SHOW: Pete Pierce with great granddaughter Angel Campbell, enjoying spinning the blades of the turbine.
Cornwall Renewable Energy Show 2012 at Delabole. Picture taken at the former Gaia Centre , Delabole on Friday July 27th 2012. Pictured is Robert Rush of Camelford, who tried out the Renault Twizy Electric Car available from Eco-Drive , based at the Pool Innovation Centre. Picture David Flower
Cornish Guardian Reporter Colin Gregory tries out the Renault Twizy at Delabole.
That was the message from this year's Cornwall Renewable Energy Show at the former Gaia Centre at Delabole on Thursday and Friday, which included exhibitions on a range of renewable energy technologies including wind, solar, biomass and hydro.
With more than 70 exhibitors, as well as an opportunity to test-drive a range of electric cars and tour the adjoining wind farm, the show aimed to raise awareness of the broad range of renewable energy resources available in Cornwall and the variety of technologies available for generating electricity and heat.
This was the third year that Cornwall Council has run the show, and Julian German, Cabinet member for climate change, said that in that time the county had almost doubled its renewable energy capacity.
"There's still more to do to decrease our dependance on imported carbon-intensive energy," he said.
However, efforts to increase renewable energy have come under criticism as well as praise in recent weeks, with opposition being voiced against schemes for two big solar parks between Week St Mary and Canworthy Water, in a triangle bounded by Bude, Launceston and Camelford.
Adrian Lea, Cornwall Council's planning delivery manager, said there was a huge interest in solar and wind proposals in Cornwall.
"It is becoming more viable as the price of oil and gas increases while the price of renewables decreases. The price of solar panels has more than halved in two years.
"Cornwall spends £1.4 billion a year on oil and gas, and only 3.4 per cent of that stays within the economy. Oil and gas prices can only go one way, so if you have alternatives you have to explore them."
Visitors were able to try out electric cars: a Renault Twizy and Renault Kangoo from Dales of Scorrier, a Peugeot Ion from Hawkins of St Dennis and a Nissan Leaf from West End Motors, Bodmin.