Council reveals ‘living lab’ plans

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Cornwall could become a “living laboratory” for the Government’s plans to develop green energy.

Cornwall Council has approached the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change with a proposal to create the region as a renewable energy ‘observatory’.

The Council hopes that that Cornwall’s natural resources could help drive jobs and a low carbon economy in the Duchy.

Tim German, renewable energy and partnerships manager for Cornwall Council’s Green Cornwall Programme explained: “Cornwall is a living laboratory for renewable energy. It is extremely well placed as a Low Carbon Observatory as it ticks all of the renewable energy boxes.

“For example, Cornwall has the highest levels of solar irradiation in the whole of mainland UK for solar power technologies; it is known to have the best capability for power generated from the hot rocks to be found beneath its land. The Council has already granted planning permissions for two Geothermal plants to operate in Cornwall.

“We also have some of the best wind speeds, excellent opportunities for biomass & anaerobic digestion, and we are surrounded by seas perfect for wave energy generation and some tidal technology.”

The Council has been in discussions with the Government, following a letter sent last month by the Council leader Alec Robertson to the energy minister Greg Barker MP offering to investigate how they can deliver complementary ‘greenest ever’ objectives.

Julian German, Cornwall Council cabinet member for the environment, added: “We have a large skills and knowledge base in Cornwall within renewable energy and technology related businesses and universities.

“Coupled with our geographical positioning, Cornwall is unique. We have met with the Secretary of State at DECC, Chris Huhne MP, and introduced him to the wide range of local renewable energy business opportunities we have here. Cornish based renewable energy businesses have joined us in requesting that the Government consider Cornwall as an Observatory for its own ambitions and as a test-bed for the delivery of the Government’s objectives.”

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