9 Aug 2010

Could Stroud cut Council Tax to nil?

From today local Councils can sell renewable energy to the grid (See Guardian here). The Local Government Association has also published a report predicting that council-owned wind turbines and solar panels on town halls could produce anything up to £100m a year.

At last - well done Chris Huhne for getting this through so quick. Now it is for Councils to act. Greens have for years argued we should be looking to produce renewable energy - see many of my previous blogs on this topic - now at last it has been made very much easier. Indeed instead of talking cuts locally (See my blog here) could we be looking to invest in renewables so that in the end they produce enough energy to cover the cost of local services? Could we get to the point where Stroud produces enough wind, solar and other energy to cut the Council Tax that far?

We need to act fast. Sadly the current UN climate talks in Bonn have moved backward rather than forward toward a hoped-for deal later this year - it seems ultra slow progress is being made on pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions and add more proposals to the working document. It is a pity that Russia and Pakistan don't signal enough of a warning on climate change to us all.

However read today also that three regional clusters of offshore wind energy sites around Scotland would create more than 5,000 jobs and generate £300 million a year (see here). Good stuff but we need to get on and build them!

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