Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 21 July 2016


Many people do not believe that man-made climate change is real and current changes are simply due to one of the regular and natural cycles that have long impacted our planet.

But I do not know many who do not think that we should do our utmost to be good stewards of Planet Earth, our only planet.

The onwards pursuit of renewable energy is a huge part of that good stewardship. The percentage of green energy pulsating through our national grid is rising steadily and nears 20%. This is one reason why the gas-fired power station at Langage, built amongst great controversy not so long ago, is only running at 50% capacity. The future surely belongs to a commercially viable harnessing of wave and tide movement, a project already well under way, rather than reliance upon fossil fuel power or more large-scale onshore wind turbines and solar farms.

The United Kingdom was a slow starter on green energy compared to Scandinavian countries and Germany, but we are catching up fast. We now have to capture the astonishing energy of the seas that surround us – one great long term advantage of being an island.

The future of green energy might be micro rather than commercial scale. More solar panels on rooves, better home insulation and energy conservation, small-scale schemes that power your own needs without reference to the grid. I admire the people, often scorned, who have led the way on energy conservation and production.

There is also a new kid on the block: the ability to invest in the local production of green energy on a community wide basis. Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) is an award winning community benefit society with over 1500 members that exists to promote the local ownership of renewable energy schemes and to help people who are struggling to make best use of their energy resources. They have been going a few years, have a strong relationship with Plymouth Council and can be found at

This is both an opportunity to invest a few shekels in a worthwhile way or to get help if needed. The internet has made community schemes like this so much easier to organise. Like the internal combustion engine, the internet has massive downsides: for example: instant access to pornography, grooming kids and organising criminal activity

But also untold benefits. Co-ordinating community projects, seeking public engagement in worthwhile activities, is one of them. Why not give PEC a look?

posted by Gary @ 09:31