A pioneering campaign to give local people a voice about how their electricity should be produced has been extended to all households in Gloucestershire. The "Empower" campaign is being conducted by the NexGen Group of renewable energy companies. Its aim is to achieve 10% of Gloucestershire's electricity from renewables by 2005. The move marks the second phase of the Empower campaign which asks people to vote either "yes" or "no" to more wind energy in their area. Results from the first pilot stage of over 45,000 homes in Stroud district found that 76% of residents are in favour, with 16% opposing. All 200,000 households in Gloucestershire are now being asked whether they support or oppose more wind turbines built locally. NexGen will pass responses on to local planners. The group has unveiled plans for more wind turbines in the county near its existing Enercon machine at Lynch Knoll, Nympsfield and at Berkeley. The Empower campaign is the brainchild of NexGen's director, Dale Vince. "Most people are concerned about environmental pollution, but it's difficult to know what you can do as an individual," he says. "Empower is giving people the power to do something about global climate change, in their own back yard."
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol