"The future is local" says energy minister, Claire Perry

15 January 2019

There've been a couple of interesting pronoucements in the past few days from energy minister, Claire Perry

In an opinion piece in Energy Live, ‘From power stations to solar panels, the future is local’ (8 January 2019), she confirmed the government's support for communities who want to generate energy locally.

"The UK’s success in deploying low carbon generation is just the start of the transformation of our energy system," she writes, "with community energy a key cornerstone of government’s ambition for transition to a low-carbon, smart energy system. 

"I have been impressed with the community energy groups I have met across the UK who are working to ensure that communities take practical steps to take control of how they generate and use energy."

Perry cites the "increasing investment, such as the investment of £170m in smart systems innovation to ensure energy use is more flexible and efficient" and "£15m of funding for feasibility studies with community schemes already powering the equivalent of 67,000 homes in England and Wales."

Elsewhere, Unearthed, Greenpeace UK’s award-winning journalism project, reports (13 January 2018) that Perry has rejected fracking firm Cuadrilla's call to weaken earthquake rules that are currently restricting their operations.

Reporter Zach Boren claims that in a letter, obtained by Unearthed via freedom of information, "the UK’s energy minister has strongly reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the seismic activity standards that have frustrated attempts to frack for shale gas".

The letter, which is reproduced in full, says "The Government believes the current system is fit for purpose and has not intention of alterning it".

However, before anyone get's their ban-fracking hopes up, Perry also expresses the hope that "the [fracking] industry can thrive in the years ahead".