THE Liberal Democrats in coalition Government since 2010 have stuck by their environmental credentials throughout and this is beginning to bear fruit.
The Energy Act, pushed through by Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey received Royal Assent at the end of last year.
This package of measures will support the creation of 200,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector including wind, solar and biomass plants.
This equates to around £40 billion of investment in renewable electricity by 2020, enough to supply 10 million homes.
The Act provides investors and industry with the confidence they need to invest in the energy sector.
It also places a legal obligation on British governments to ensure the UK’s energy generating capacity is maintained while at the same time reducing emissions.
In addition, a £3 million scheme providing loans for farmers to set up small anaerobic digestion plants in Cheshire was launched in October.
This allows them to apply for funding to develop a business case that could lead to £400,000 to fund up to 50 per cent of the overall costs if they decide to go ahead.
It is the size of the initial investment that has put many farmers off previously.
The plants turn waste such as slurry or manure into a bio fuels gas that is fed into the grid to generate electricity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The residue is a renewable source of bio-fertiliser that can be spread on their land, reducing use of the oil-based version.
Dr Peter Hirst Middlewich