Channeling Cornish passion for independence

Blessed with abundant natural resources and stunning scenery, Cornwall is magnificent. It is also one of the most economically deprived regions in Europe, and as such, receives large EU hand outs.

What if new ways could be found of using Cornwall’s natural resources to generate profits? What if these profits could benefit the many as well as the few?

This is what Buro Happold and the Eden Project set out to explore in March 2015 at the ‘Cornwall Energy Island’ workshop.

Over 100 interested parties – from local government, national energy companies, government agencies, businesses and ordinary people came to learn about renewable energy, develop ideas and consider the alternatives available to create an energy independent Cornwall.

Why go energy independent?

Each year, Cornwall’s tourist trade brings in £1.85bn, but £350m flows back out of the county in energy payments each year (Value of Tourism report 2011). It doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t have to be big energy companies that profit from Cornwall. Doing it differently can use that money to take the county from fuel poverty to fuel prosperity.

To create an energy independent Cornwall may appear daunting but great progress has already been made. However, there are new constraints to overcome with respect to the development of the grid, and the need for energy storage and smarter ways of utilising energy. There are also numerous opportunities with respect to possible funding and investment. The workshop focused on defining high impact but manageable steps to move forward.

Over the coming weeks, we will provide the outcomes of the workshop that can create a roadmap to an energy independent Cornwall.

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