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Environment, energy and economy

A series of questions to ponder. Is there a positive connection between environmental, economic and energy issues? Is it possible for all them to be equally prioritised? HOT’s Zelly Restorick explores and envisions a future where energy production supports the financial position of Hastings and St Leonards.

Could Hastings and St Leonards produce their own energy and become self-sufficient and selling excess energy back to the National Grid, thereby contributing to their environmental thoughtfulness and awareness and simultaneously boosting the local economy?

Do we live in an ideal place for renewables, i.e. solar, wind, tidal?

Both towns’ finances are currently being cut at a rapid rate every year; alternative forms of income urgently need to be sought. By producing and storing and selling our own energy, could we somehow help to make the accounts balance?

Energy wisdom

I think a lot about energy – and different sources of energy – and how we can use energy wisely. Our MP, Amber Rudd, is currently Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, so we are surely ideally suited to be pioneering role-model towns for the UK and beyond? Showing that we care and are using our resources wisely.

The idea of renewables is fascinating. Creator-given power and energy: the sun, the wind, the sea: plentiful around here. One of our USPs! And they’re freely available for all of us, if their power can be harnessed. Are we ideally suited to produce our own energy – and to sell what we don’t need back to the National Grid? Could we be a beacon of the South Coast in terms of energy efficiency and production and distribution?

A crazy idea or a visionary one?! Possible? Feasible? Practical? What do you think? I’d really be interested to hear.

Here’s a recent quote from one HOT reader, Jim in Hastings: “We should be diverting the local investment into fossil fuels into direct investment in local energy production, especially wind and solar. This was Naomi Klein’s position.

“It would give us back control over our own energy supplies, and the resilience to deal with external shocks, like wars, environmental disasters, price gouging by corporations or foreign governments.”

Sustainable solutions

It’s clear that things are changing globally, as well as locally – and there’s no use us playing the King Canute role. Climate change is happening, however, much of it is human-generated – and current energy sources are not sustainable, not at our current levels of usage. Government council funding is being cut, cut and cut some more. Alternative, sustainable solutions need to be explored.

Here’s one of mine.

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Posted 12:50 Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016 In: Energy Wise

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