Energy expert is guest speaker

MP Andrew Selous
MP Andrew Selous

How we keep the lights on and save the planet is the subject of a public meeting chaired by Andrew Selous MP on Saturday, November 26.

It takes place between 10am and 11am at Leighton Middle School with the speaker Neil Witney, a senior policy advisor at the government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The meeting, organised by South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth with informal discussion and questions continuing until 12 noon, will also receive an update on “Community Energy Leighton Linslade” from Esther Clarke of Community Energy Leighton Linslade.

In July the UK parliament formally committed that UK electricity will be largely powered by low carbon sources in 14 years’ time – by 2030, through a mix of wind, solar, tidal nuclear, biomass etc., new developments in battery storage and the “Smart grid”.

It’s a big change as at present only 25.1% of electricity is from renewable, with 18.7% from nuclear, whereas fossil fuels make up over half with 37.8% from gas and 15.8% from coal. Many nuclear and coal power stations are set to close and 40% of our gas is imported.

Low Carbon Leighton Linslade was jointly set up by Christian Ecology Leighton Linslade and South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth so that people in Leighton Buzzard can take practical action locally and also link to the national picture and encourage both councils and national government to take practical action.

Victoria Harvey, of South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth, said: “We are so lucky to have Neil Witney as our speaker as there is so much practical expertise and indecent research on the effectiveness or new technologies and renewables done by the government departments and the independent committee on climate change that most people are unaware of.

“We have a real chance to create our own clean energy rather than relying on and paying for imported gas and coal that really damages our children’s future.

“This meeting is a real chance to hear an independent expert on the level of change we need to preserve our children’s future and how much the smart grid, battery storage, renewables, low carbon energy, energy efficiency can deliver in reality.”