Friday 12 July 2024
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Ed Miliband: “Nottinghamshire will feel the benefit of large solar farms”

Ed Miliband has denied Labour’s plan for a publicly-owned energy company would run the same risks as Nottingham’s Robin Hood Energy.

The party says it will create Great British Energy if it wins the July 4 General Election.

Labour says it would invest in renewable energy to lower bills and provide energy security to the UK.

Mr Miliband, the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero said the company would be safer than Robin Hood Energy during a visit to Nottinghamshire on Tuesday (June 11).

The Nottingham City Council operated company collapsed in 2020, costing the taxpayer an estimated £38m.

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Ed Miliband 3 scaled
Speaking on a visit to sustainable steel company BRC Ltd in Ashfield, Mr Miliband said a state-owned company was needed

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“The difference is Robin Hood Energy was a supplier of energy to people. It was a product of a badly-regulated energy market and it was the product of a government that left us exposed,” he said.

“Great British Energy is a common practice in other countries – investing in homegrown energy, and producing energy through solar panels and offshore wind.

“Other foreign governments are investing in energy infrastructure – it’s time we did that in our own country.

“You’ve got EDF in France, Denmark’s Orsted. We say it’s time for Britain to invest and that’s what we will do.”

Ed Miliband 1 scaled
The Labour shadow minister announced plans to ‘reindustrialise’ the East Midlands, with a National Wealth Fund to finance projects like electric vehicle plants and hydrogen manufacturing.

Mr Miliband also said Nottinghamshire people should feel the benefits if plans for large-scale solar farms become a reality.

“It’s really important that local people have a proper say when it comes to local energy infrastructure. It’s also important that when clean energy is built, local people feel real benefits,” he said.

“We do need that cheap, clean renewable power. We were left exposed by the Conservatives during the cost of living crisis, which is still going on for many.

“We can’t have that again. So we do need solar power, including rooftop and ground-mounted, as well as onshore and offshore solar power.

“I think most people are behind that.”

Ashfield is the only constituency which was represented by a Reform UK MP, Lee Anderson, who defected after he was removed from the Conservative group.

Mr Miliband did not directly answer when asked to comment on how Reform might perform in the upcoming election, saying he was “incredibly proud” of Labour candidate Rhea Keehn.

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