world's environmental problems sometimes look
overwhelming, but some of them can be addressed
by local - level initiatives. The idea was enshrined
in the 'Local Agenda 21' process that emerged
from the first United Nations Earth Summit in
Rio in 1992. Local councils were asked to work
with local organisations to develop plans for
local - level sustainable development.
of the Local Agenda 21 projects tend to be 'demonstration'
projects designed with an educational or public
service element. And some are quite small.
may seem a long way off from small community PV
or hydro projects to solving the world's energy
problems but 'thinking globally and acting locally'
is one way forward. It can provide the impetus
for larger projects. It also helps local people
to have a say and to begin to tackle problems
directly. It can also help create jobs locally
and strengthen the local economy.
potential is vast. For example farmers can use
some of their land for growing energy crops -
and this could be a major source not only of energy
but also of employment.
virtue of local involvement with planning and
developing local projects is that local people
can have more of a say in how technology is developed
and over which technology is developed.
what is meant by the term sustainable development
- projects which are both environmentally and
socially acceptable. In the end it all comes down
to the question of what sort of society and what
sort of future we want. Clean, safe and renewable
sources of power exist.
the UK we are beginning to see renewables becoming
an everyday part of our way of generating power.
Bill Richmond is Renewables Manager for TXU Energis:
"think local people can have an impact not
only on the electricity they buy but also supporting
projects as they come forward and we are seeing
some movement towards community owned projects.
If we look at Bay Wind in Cumbria the community
has a significant stake in their own wind farm."