Tag Archives: Greg Barker MP

Solar powered hospitals project to press ahead

Community Energy Warwickshire has announced that it is pressing ahead with its share offer to raise funds for its solar-powered hospitals scheme – despite the Government’s announcement on Monday of savage cuts to feed-in tariffs for solar power installations.

The scheme – which would see the installation of solar panels on roofs at Stratford upon Avon and Warwick hospitals – was launched on 24 October. But just one week later the Government announced that cuts of over 50 per cent in feed-in tariffs would be introduced on 12 December.

Community Energy Warwickshire has decided to press ahead to see how many panels can be installed before the 12 December deadline. Chair Keith Sinfield said: “We have decided to see what we can do to salvage the scheme in the short time available. The Government’s announcement has left us with a very challenging task, but we are determined to create a robust project along the lines on which we have worked for the last year.”

The scheme also includes plans to help hospital staff with energy saving, and this is also at risk as a result of the Government’s announcement.

In July Energy Minister Greg Barker described the solar powered hospitals project as “exactly the kind of project delivered through exactly the kind of partnership we need to see more of”. “Unfortunately, the Government is jeopardising this and similar community energy projects,” said Keith Sinfield. “We will be meeting Mr Barker in December and will be urging him to provide a supportive environment for community energy schemes.”

For more infomation about Community Energy Warwickshire and its share offer, go to www.cew.coop or phone 01789 290736.

Government minister endorses solar power plan for hospitals

Innovative plans for community involvement in the installation of solar panels at Stratford and Warwick hospitals have been praised by Government energy minister, Greg Barker.

The plans, announced last week by Community Energy Warwickshire and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, would see 70 kilowatts of solar panels installed on selected roofs at the hospitals. Community Energy Warwickshire will be raising the finance for the panels, which will supply the hospitals with reduced price electricity.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday 7 July in reply to a question from Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White, Mr Barker said the scheme was “exactly the kind of project delivered through exactly the kind of partnership that we need to see nore of.”

Keith Sinfield, Community Energy Warwickshire’s chair, said: “We are currently working with the hospitals to organise the installation of the solar panels, and we will shortly be inviting local people to invest in the scheme through a community shares offer.”

The scheme will also see Community Energy Warwickshire promoting opportunities for energy saving with hospital staff. Community Energy Warwickshire’s long-term plans are to work with local communities to help them switch to renewable energy as well as to save energy and cut fuel bills.