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MP calls for Govt backed Cumbrian hydro strategy

November 20, 2012 9:59 AM

Kentmere HydroSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has used a Parliamentary Question to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to call for a new hydro energy strategy and to put Cumbria at the heart of it.

Tim has asked that the Government provide financial support and grants as well as considering allowing small hydro schemes to be installed under permitted development, with certain caveats attached for marine wildlife and biodiversity.

He has also asked for the Government to look at launching a pilot scheme with South Lakeland District Council to help the authority create green energy. This would build on the council's energy co-operative scheme, which has helped cut bills by up to £700 for local residents and provided funds to tackle fuel poverty.

Tim said: "Despite the fact that Cumbria has Britain's fastest flowing water ways, there are only a few working hydro schemes in our county. I want to change that and build upon our proud history of producing energy from water here. We need a plan and the support of the government to make this happen - a few simple steps could make a massive difference. I think that the government, public and private sectors working together can create well paid jobs and safeguard our environment. Allowing small hydro schemes under permitted development could really help to boost a form of green energy that has strong local backing."

"South Lakeland District Council are eager to commit to a bold plan for green energy in the South Lakes and even build some schemes themselves with the government's support and help. I think it's time for the talking to stop and for real action to bring a hydro renaissance to Cumbria."