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Renewable energy: The key to keeping the lights on?

Professor Peter Taylor, University of Leeds

The third event in the Climate Action Ilkley (CAI) series 'Your World, Your Vote' will take place on Tuesday 16 April and cover the topic ‘Renewables – can they keep our lights on?’.

The free meeting will be at the Clarke Foley Community Hub in Ilkley from 7.30pm and the main speaker will be Professor Peter Taylor, University of Leeds.

Dr Keith Pitcher, chair of CAI’s Energy Group, said ‘People are presented with conflicting information on the need to decarbonise, reduce our use of fossil fuels and the necessary speed of transition to renewable energy. Our government is granting 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences and the Prime Minister says this is entirely consistent with UK climate commitments. But Prof Piers Forster, interim chair of the government’s independent Climate Change Committee, says continued expansion of new oil and gas reserves is inconsistent with our climate commitments.’

Wind, solar, nuclear: is it clear what they can supply and whether the national grid can support them? What part, if any, should hydrogen play? This is a major topic in this election year and Climate Action Ilkley is aiming to help citizens judge the choices which are, or should be, on offer.

The main speaker, Prof Peter Taylor, is chair of Sustainable Energy Systems at the University of Leeds. He formerly worked for the International Energy Agency and has advised the United Nations, the European Commission and various UK government departments. Prof Taylor will attempt to clarify the evidence. He will explain current policies and suggest what policies might be needed in future, to keep the lights on, to fully meet Net Zero 2050 and beyond. 

The meeting will be interactive with plenty of time for questions and there will be other specialists available for a panel discussion.

The fourth event in the series will be on Thursday 9 May on the Climate Majority Project with Rupert Read. Free tickets are available at

CAI says these events are open to anyone interested to talk about solutions to our climate and ecological emergencies. Speakers, expert in their fields, explain the current situation, how it came about, what government policies are currently in place and what needs to change in order to meet future climate and sustainability targets.


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