Local-first strategy driving British energy

June 6, 2013 at 7:16 AM

LONDON, June 6 (UPI) -- Local communities are called on to help drive the conversation on the best policies for clean energy goals, British Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said.

The British government announced Thursday it opened its first-ever community energy strategy, the aim of which is to encourage local communities to weigh in on the management and generation of power.

The government said community groups know best what they need in terms of energy projects.

"People in villages, towns and cities across the nation are already seeing the real benefits that investing in their own clean green local energy generation can bring," Barker said in a statement. "But I want to see even more communities taking local power production into their own hands, bringing communities together."

British officials have set a goal of getting 30 percent of the country's electricity generated by renewable resources by 2020. The British government in May, however, pledged to maintain economic policies that would encourage investment and address skilled-labor shortages in the oil and gas sector through research investments.

The government said the strategy would provide a boost for conventional resources while ensuring energy independence.

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