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Watson Calls for Surge on Renewable Energy Investment

May 27, 2011 10:09 AM

South West MEP and Climate Parliament Chairman Graham Watson has this week used a major summit on climate change to outline plans for the South West to be a continental leader in renewable energy.

In an open letter to EU Commission President Jose Manuel Borroso, ahead of the Climate Parliament conference inBrussels, Watson has outlined his plan to allocate 5% of the EU budget towards renewable energy investment.

At the forefront of the proposals, backed up by 150 leading MEPs and MPs including Chippenham MP Duncan Hames, Torbay MP Adrian Sanders and St Ives MP Andew George, is a European wide Supergrid that would aim to harness renewable energy sources all year round and boost the South West economy.

Watson commented: 'A European Supergrid, connected through high voltage cables in theNorth Sea, would be good news for the region's economy as well as consumers. By spreading our bets between renewable energy stations across Europe, we can use theCornwallwave hub and South West Solar and Wind farms when the weather allows it and then use Nordic hydro power when it doesn't. There will be a huge incentive for businesses to invest in renewable energy projects in the South West when the surplus energy can be sold anywhere in Europe.'

'Of course I know that the subject of the EU budget is likely to raise a few eyebrows. However we are talking about the biggest challenges facing the next generation; climate change and securing our future energy. By investing public money into renewables, we can encourage private investment that is ten fold, creating thousands of jobs and bring energy prices down as a more efficient and less wasteful system is created.'

ENDS

Note to Editors

Graham Watson will be available for interview between 11.00 and 13.00 on Friday 27 May.

Watson previously wrote to President Barroso in December 2010 about the urgent need to devote a larger percentage of the EU budget to renewable energy. It was signed by more than 150 MEPs and national MPs.

The Climate Parliament (www.climateparl.net) is a non-governmental organisation that aims to bring together legislators, experts and citizens from around the world to generate solutions to the problems presented by climate change and our overreliance on fossil-based fuel.

It currently has a database extending to 20,000 legislators and has, since 2007, conducted 20 international parliamentary committee hearings.

The Climate Parliament Forum is taking at the European Parliament on 26 and 27 May. It has been attended by some 49 national MPs from 21 countries around the world, more than 20 MEPs from 5 different political groups, and leaders from industry, government and NGOs. It is the largest event yet hosted by the organisation, which ordinarily uses the medium of the internet to connect its members.