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GREEN BRITAIN DAY PROMPTS CALL FOR GREEN CORNWALL PLAN

July 9, 2009 4:45 PM

Ahead of Green Britain Day tomorrow, Cornwall's Liberal Democrat MPs are calling on the Government to help Cornwall develop a strategy to become the UK's centre for renewable energy technologies.

The MPs hope that by bringing together local and national agencies, a detailed strategy to turn Cornwall into a "Green Peninsula" can be developed by the time construction begins on Wave Hub renewable energy project next spring.

Green Britain Day, which is backed by the Eden Project, marks the beginning of a nationwide campaign to turn Britain into an example of good practice in the fight against climate change by the time of the Olympics in 2012.

The MPs believe that Cornwall is uniquely placed to become the first part of the UK to be truly self sufficient in renewable energy production and have written to Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband MP calling for Government support to make such a plan a reality.

Cornwall already has a high level of onshore wind generation capacity and was the first place in the country to establish a wind farm. Many local businesses already operate at the cutting edge of renewable technology including those developing ground source heat exchange pumps (which harness geothermal energy) and new wave and tidal power systems. The county is also home to a university department working to develop renewable technology locally.

Commenting, Julia Goldsworthy said:

"Cornwall has a long and proud heritage of innovation that put us at the cutting edge of the industrial revolution. Now climate change is the biggest threat we all face, those same skills & expertise must be put to good use.

"As a county we are already leading the way in developing renewable energy resources - the logical next step should be a plan to make Cornwall self sufficient in meeting our energy needs."

Andrew George, MP for St Ives, added:

"I first championed calls for Cornwall to become a "Green Peninsula" in 1997. Although good progress has been made over the last 12 years, now is the time to step up a couple of gears and accelerate the pace of progress."