REAL (Renewable Energy Alliance Lancashire)

Making a REAL difference with renewable energy The renewable energy sector has received a REAL boost from Lancashire residents, who are campaigning to replace fossil fuels with green energy.

Renewable Energy Alliance Lancashire (REAL) is a new group, created by local residents with the support of Friends of the Earth, that aims to support renewable energy schemes and opportunities in Lancashire and the neighbouring regions. The group has already supported a number of schemes including the successful application from LightSource, to build a solar farm at Staining Wood, off Preston New Road on the Fylde. It has also been instrumental in helping a number of local schools to capitalise on Friends of the Earth’s campaign, Run on Sun. The REAL approach has allowed several schools to take advantage of solar power installations at no cost, with all income streams being paid directly to the schools. In the space of a very short time, the growth of REAL has been quite phenomenal and varied, including support for many wind and solar farms, schools, community investment schemes, community engagement and public consultation, divestment from fossil fuels, engagement with local authorities and renewable energy suppliers. REAL works in the best interests of local communities and strives to enhance environments for future generations.

Jas Singh of REAL, said: “At a time when the government are intent on destroying the UK’s solar and wind energy sectors, it’s important that we make a stand and support the people’s choice of energy generation. Since announcing the 87% cut to feed-in-tariffs, proposed in the government’s consultation last month, the UK has lost at least four renewable energy companies and over 1200 jobs. “If we are to halt global warming and achieve energy security, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground and replace them with green healthy energy.” Just last week a new report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) concluded that low-carbon electricity from wind and solar farms will be cheaper than gas and effectively subsidy-free by 2020. The Government’s own official climate change advisor says that low-carbon supplies will be the most cost-effective way to fill the looming generation gap in the 2020s, as the UK’s ageing coal and nuclear plants retire.

Jas Singh said: “Opinion surveys show that the public at large support green energy. A recent survey in Lancashire shows that 91% of local residents support renewable energy with no objectors. REAL wants to capitalise on this support and help create a booming renewable energy sector and the creation of up to one million climate jobs in the UK.” (R.A.G)

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