Energy

Fossil fuels are finite – and polluting – resources.

In the case of oil and natural gas, the UK rate of production has peaked, with gas production falling 21% in 2011 alone. This means increased reliance on foreign imports via a volatile global market.

We all feel the pain, whether when filling up our cars, topping up the gas card or turning up the boiler for a hot shower. And the British economy is feeling the pain too: our current account deficit was £15.2 billion in Q1 of 2011, the highest ever; in no small part due to energy imports.

It’s not just bad here either: International competition for increasingly scarce resources is leading to increased conflict between nations.  Increasing prices in the domestic market lead to increasing levels of transport fuel poverty, heating fuel poverty, and food poverty in our society.

Declining availability of petrol and diesel fuel will have a serious effect on large swathes of domestic economic activity. Declining natural gas supplies will lead to electricity shortages unless a vigorous programme of diverse alternative sources of electricity generation is implemented.

To minimise the worst effects of Peak Oil on our economy and society, it is crucial that immediate steps are taken to reduce our dependence on oil and natural gas, through reducing our energy consumption, improved energy efficiency and development of renewable sources of energy.

We believe that a Green economy would reduce its demand for energy to a sustainable minimum, and obtain that energy from renewable sources. Energy would be generated, stored and distributed as close to the point of use as practicable, with maximum local control.

We believe Thanet has a chance to become a national leader in this sector and our members aim to push hard to secure investment in renewables production on the Isle, as well as R&D investment – creating jobs and a thriving research hub on the Isle.

But energy should be in the hands of those using it and we would like to see Green councillors working with local groups to initiate and support co-operative and community-owned renewable energy producers.

We believe that in the long term working to make the Isle of Thanet energy-independent through widespread and diversified renewables adoption would provide a powerful showcase to the rest of the country and help in making Thanet a leader in adaptation of future energy sources.

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