Richard Branson and 100 other public figures call for renewable energy support

A letter signed by 101 public figures in the UK – including Sir Richard Branson – has been sent to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to promote the benefits of renewable energy in the budget due to be announced this Wednesday, the Guardian reported.

The letter is widely seen as a rebuff to another letter signed by 101 Members of Parliament who called for an end to support for wind energy.

The March budget is one of the “biggest opportunities to tackle climate change in the UK…we must ensure it encourages investment rather than create uncertainty and delay further serious investment in the renewable sectors. As a country, we need to be better prepared to deal with rising energy prices,” Branson said, reported in the Guardian.

The letter:

Dear David Cameron,
As entrepreneurs, investors, economists, scientists, engineers, energy providers, community builders and Members of Parliament, we are increasingly concerned about the lack of clarity around the future of government support for land based renewables, such as solar, wind and biogas.
In wind alone, the UK has more than 40% of Europe’s renewable energy resources – enough to power up our economy 3 to 4 times over, generate exports, and provide the tools for communities and entrepreneurs to do their job.
Bringing energy supply and demand together, a decentralised energy market can make real efficiencies in costs associated with our antiquated infrastructure and transmission loss, deliver savings for tax payers and provide frustrated investors with new opportunities.
In the on-going review of renewable energy support, we ask that the Government recognises the importance of simple and accessible Feed-in Tariff policies, to guarantee the broadest possible ownership of the UK’s next generation of energy infrastructure.
The new National Planning Policy Framework, in its current form, does not recognise the huge value of this approach that has been proven successful year-on-year by Germany, where community and large scale energy farms have delivered a 25% cost reduction, taking electricity bills down to 2008 levels.
A planning system that does recognise the value of a move to local energy is badly overdue and must be preferred to ripping up a system and leaving all sides uncertain.
We urge you to ensure that planning inspectors know that the future of the low carbon economy is at stake and our collective needs, both local and national, must be taken into account.
Yours sincerely,
Robin Smith Founder HOST Universal
Sir Richard Branson
Dr. Michael Stein CEO, Trillion Fund Ben Goldsmith Founding Partner, WHEB Group Neil O’Doherty Owner and Implementation Specialist, Eagle Peak Simon Roberts OBE Chief Executive, Centre for Sustainable Energy James Vaccaro Director, Triodos Bank
Dale Vince OBE
Caroline Lucas, MP Founder, Ecotricity
Leader of the Green Party
Howard Johns
Alan Simpson
Chair, Solar Trade Association
Architect of the Feed In Tariff
Juliet Davenport
Alan Whitehead
Founder CEO, Good Energy
Jeremy Leggett Founder, SolarCentury
Colin Challen Former MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Adam Twine
Climate Change Group Energy Farmer, Westmill
Peter Ainsworth Chris Hopkins
Founder Member Founder, Ploughcroft
Robertsbridge Group
Mike Zeidler Association of Sustainability Practitioners Nick Pyatt Director, Flow International Tamara Giltsoff Sustainable Business Strategy, Innovation & Venturing Trillion Fund Peter Holbrook CEO, Social Enterprise UK Helen Browning OBE Chief Executive, Soil Association Joel Benjamin Occupy LSX Energy, Equity and Environment Group Bill Dunster OBE Principle, The ZEDfactory Ltd Nicko Williamson Managing Director Climate Cars Ltd Dawn Muspratt Director The Renewable Power Exchange Robin Gifford Director, IEC Connect Ltd Keith Richardson Chair Community Renewable Energy John Elkington Co-founder & Executive Chairman Volans Dr Doug Parr Chief Scientist, Greenpeace Steve Trent Executive Director Environmental Justice Foundation Barbara Hammond Chair, Low Carbon Hub Wendy Twist Director, Low Carbon Hub David Hampton The Carbon Coach Duncan Law Chair, TTB (Transition Town Brixton) Alan Bailey Hon MSc Chairman Low Carbon South West CIC Ramsay Dunning Independent Renewables & Environment Robin Smith Founder, HOST Universal Robin Nicholson CBE Senior Partner Edward Cullinan Architects Andrew MacLellan Director, ENER-G plc Professor Piers Forster Professor of Physical Climate Change, Leeds University Adrian Smith Senior Researcher, SPRU (Science & Technology Policy Research) University of Sussex Peter Reason Professor Emeritus School of Management Bath University Dr Lucy Gilliam, BSc Phd MIBiol FRSA Environmental Consultant & New Dawn Trader Professor Gordon Walker Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University Nick Storer, FRSA Chief Executive, Envirolink Nick Reeves OBE Executive Director Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management Sunand Prasad PPRIBA Senior Partner Penoyre & Prasad LLP Philip Mossop CEO, Carbon Guerrilla Andy Middleton Director, TYF Group Mark Griffiths Partner, SecondNature Vicky Grinnell-Wright VKG Consulting Community Power David Hunter Consultant (Charity & Social Enterprise Dept) Bates Wells & Braithwaite Christine Bone International Relations Coordinator School of Management Jane M. Wernick, FREng Jane Wernick Associates Peter Martin Research Director, CarbonSense John Malone Director, Energy4All Craig Miller Owner, Ongen Merlin Hyman Chief Executive, Regen SW Toby Darbyshire Chief Executive, Engensa Hugo Schonbeck Repowering South London Peter Edwards Director, Windelectric Professor Stephen Frankel Founder/Chairman, WREN Alban Thurston Director, Juice from Your Roof Chris Church Chairman Low Carbon Community Network Rod Wood Managing Director Community Windpower Mark Luntley Chair Westmill Windfarm Cooperative Damian Tow Brighton Energy Co-Op Mary Walsh Founder, London Community Energy Project Peter Lefort Project Officer CAG / Resource Futures Andrew Mercer CEO, 2oc Tom Black PEDAL Portobello Transition Town Claire Morris Wind Energy DTC David Edwards Head of Business Development Solarcentury Toby Ferenczi CTO, Engensa Tom Pakenham Founder, Green Tomato Cars Michael Chesshire Director, Evergreen Gas Chas Warlow MD, Ham Hydro CIC, Peter Madden Chief Executive Forum for the Future Hugh Knowles Principal Sustainability Advisor Forum for the Future Tony Juniper Sustainability & Environment Advisor Jonathon Porritt Founder/Director Forum for the Future John Sauven Executive Director, Greenpeace Lord Hunt Lab Lord Tyler Lab Lord Whitty Lab Mary Glindon, MP Lab Alex Cunningham, MP Lab Martin Horwood, MP Lib Dem Meg Hillier, MP Lab Helen Goodman, MP Lab Joan Walley, MP Lab Bill Esterson, MP Lab Mark Lazarowicz, MP Lab Kelvin Hopkins, MP Lab Martin Caton, MP Lab Mike Weir, MP SNP Chris Williamson, MP Lab Naomi Long, MP Deputy Leader, Alliance Party Dr Julian Huppert, MP Lib Dem Danny Chivers Author, No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change Rachel Johnson Editor-in-Chief, The Lady

Zoë Casey,