Miliband calls on public sector to take renewable energy lead

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband urged the public sector to do more to generate renewable energy in a speech this week.

Speaking at the Environment Agency's annual conference, he said the public sector owns ten per cent of land in the UK but produces just one per cent of total renewable power.

He called for public sector leaders to be brave and seek out opportunities. "This will generate energy and income, showing the sector taking a lead in tackling climate change," he argued.

The call followed the Environment Agency's announcement that it intends to build up to 80 wind turbines on land it owns. These would generate around 200MW of electricity, enough to power a city the size of York and provide up to £2.4 million of revenue a year.

Miliband said the UK must pick up the pace on mitigating climate change impacts. A low-carbon industrial strategy will be published in the spring, he added. Future climate maps will be unveiled by DEFRA next year.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Assembly Government is to release a statement on its Low Carbon Wales strategy shortly. It will also consult on a programme of action next year.

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