Every week the Central Somerset Gazette put a question to all prospective Parliamentary candidates. Below is the response from Jon Cousins.
Question: How do we keep the lights on?
During the 70s power-cuts, did anyone consider long-term energy security? At the time, the problem was thought to be strikes, coal, OPEC and oil. North Sea Oil wasn’t about to save us; it peaked in 1999 and is expected to fall to one-third of its peak by 2020. It is simply not sustainable. Despite this, the UK has become a net importer of crude for the first time in decades.
Now the focus is on fracking; the hard-to-reach, controversial ‘unconventional oil’, and building power-stations run by plutonium and uranium. But what about pollution, emissions and dangerous waste? What happens when finite resources run out?
We can generate power without the need for ‘fuel’ or waste. The Greens would keep the lights on by simply investing in renewable energy – using sunlight, wind, tides, biomass, even geothermal heat to power our lives, thus creating sustainable energy and employment. No fuel! No waste! Clean and safe!
Could it work? Well, at least 30 nations already use renewable energy contributing more than 20% of supply and in 2012 40.3% of Scotland’s electricity was renewable! Renewable energy technologies are rapidly advancing and I believe where there’s a will, there is a way. How about you?
Jon Cousins is one of Glastonbury’s Green Town Councillors, Chair of Glastonbury Town Hall, and Prospective Green MP for Wells. A seasoned community activist, organiser, and green campaigner, he currently works with the co-operative movement in the UK and Europe.