Assuming that we are serious about developing green energy, does that mean increasingly covering Cornwall’s farmland in solar panels and wind turbines is a good idea, or are there alternatives?
Several years ago I was privileged to speak at a renewable energy conference at County Hall. The conclusion of the conference was that Cornwall has the potential to be energy self-sufficient. I was convinced of this then and I am now.
However, solar panels and wind turbines on farmland are not the solution. We must safeguard our farmland if just to increase food security in the UK. We must not compromise our ability to continue to produce good quality fresh food – if anything we should find new markets and increase productivity so that our farmers can enjoy a more certain future.
Wave energy is the key to producing sufficient renewable energy. In Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly we have some of the best coastline in the world for wave energy. With over 100 companies involved in wave energy we are already a world leader in the testing and developing of wave energy devices.
If we get this right we can expect to see many highly skilled Cornish jobs created, cheaper electricity in our homes and the opportunity to export this technology around the world. Wave and tidal energy offers a much more attractive alternative to wind turbines.