Plaid Cymru group leader Colin Mann has welcomed all-party backing for a notice of motion promoting the development local power generation by communities in Caerphilly County.
Members voted 44-0 with the leaders of Plaid Cymru, Labour and the Independent group supporting the motion.
Councillor Colin Mann said: “There is much to be gained by generating energy as close as possible to where it is being used. A case in point is installing PV Solar panels on the roof of a building where the power will be used.
“When electricity is generated in a massive power station many miles from the consumer much of the power is lost before it reaches its destination. I have read estimates that as little as 30% of the original energy generated at times can actually reach the consumer.”
He added: “This motion looks at the obstacles faced by Community and Council generation schemes. The enormous costs of starting up and running such schemes either stop them before they actually start or contribute to failure if they do start. If passed in Westminster, the motion will make it much easier for communities to help themselves. More than 250 MPs already support the Local Electricity Bill are supporting the initiative. It will be a very big step in the right direction.
“The motion does also recognise action that this authority has taken in the past towards various sustainability goals. I’ve been involved in this from the start – such things as solar panels and substantially reducing the cost of printing - together with later initiatives such as electric vehicles. Much has been done but there is still a long way to go.”
The motion stated:
We the undersigned Elected Members request that Caerphilly County Borough Council:
- Acknowledges the efforts that this Council has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy.
- that very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so,
- that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier's operation would create significant opportunities for local companies, community groups and councils to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, if they wished, and
- that revenues received by such local companies, community groups or councils that chose to become local renewable electricity providers could be used to help improve the local economy, local services and facilities and to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.
- Notes that the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee, as a result of its 2021 Technological Innovations and Climate Change inquiry, recommended that a Right to Local Supply for local energy suppliers be established to address this.
- Accordingly resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of 264 MPs and which, if made law, would establish a Right to Local Supply which would promote local renewable electricity supply by making the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate to the size of the supply company; and
- Further resolves to
- inform the local media of this decision.
- write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill, and
- write to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, Power for People, (at Camden Collective, 5-7 Buck Street, London NW1 8NJ or [email protected]) expressing its support.