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Renewable energy must play a part in tackling the climate crisis

9th May 2021

We must choose an appropriate mix of renewable energy technologies.

The decisions we make to mitigate climate change will have a lasting effect on the countryside. There is an increasing body of scientific and public opinion that we must reduce and eventually cease the use of fossil fuels.

Alongside measures to address energy conservation and demand, CPRE believes we must choose an appropriate mix of renewable energy technologies and deploy them in a way, which safeguards the countryside and protects valued landscapes.

Onshore wind and solar will undoubtedly play a role in any mix but questions remain over where it should be located.

Most agree that renewable energy is our only future. But landscape which generations have valued can so easily be destroyed. This is why our first suggestion is to retrofit solar on all existing industrial buildings and brownfield sites. This move avoids intruding on and using perfectly good arable land.

New regulation should ensure that all new industrial buildings are fitted with solar panels – and new houses likewise. We do believe that wind and solar are good but only if they are put in the correct place. Community installations of renewables where all households benefit are also bound to be more appealing than one land owner reaping all the profit.

Control of climate change will only be achievable through government leadership and green investment. As voters, the public must keep the pressure on government for real change that will deliver reductions in CO2 emissions. New policy direction with the correct incentives is the only way to encourage change throughout society. We all need to appraise the way we live and understand our personal consumption is a cause of climate change. To reverse current trends, we must consider how any small changes we can make as individuals are an important part of the solution.

Many groups are starting to benefit from community energy:

A report from the Committee on Climate Change recommends increasing the network of hedgerows:

Wind turbine at Devereux Wootton
Wind turbine at Devereux Wootton Jonathan Billinger