Renewable energy claim is not supported by facts

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Having seen my letter in the Star under the headline Claim was unrealistic, March 18, I expected the Liberal Democrats would check their facts.

Coun Andy Sangar, in the presence of the Lib Dem Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, made the unlikely assertion that Sheffield will generate all its own energy from renewables by 2020. I called for more honesty from politicians but perhaps was being naïve.

Paul Scriven made the same claim (Viewpoint, 31/3/11). Nick Clegg has joined in – Shout success from rooftop, says Clegg in The Star, 18/4/11.

He praises them for “helping to make Sheffield the first city in the country to generate enough energy to become self-sufficient in 13 years”.

The 13 years appears to be from 2007, when the Lib Dems took control of the Council to 2020, when self-sufficiency will supposedly be achieved.

The recent council paper, Sheffield- Decentralised Energy City does contain this vision but no figures to back it up. Details are promised in August. My own rough calculations suggest the prospect of any more than 25% local energy is unlikely, based on anything in the paper.

This takes into account energy savings from the excellent free insulation scheme that Mr Clegg praises. The Lib Dems are already claiming credit for what they expect us to believe will happen in nearly a decade’s time.

Chris Broome, Sheffield Campaign Against Climate Change