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Why Did CPRE Commission Renewable Lobby Outfit, Regen?

June 21, 2017

By Paul Homewood




I posted on the story of Philip Bratby’s report for the CPRE into renewable energy in the South West.

It was covered by, who quoted critical comments from an outfit called Regen South West:

Regen South West, an independent not-for-profit organisation set up to promote renewable energy in the region, has hit back at the CPRE report.

Regen chief executive Merlin Hyman has pointed out Mr Bratby’s "views on climate change and renewables are somewhat at odds with those of the scientific community and indeed of CPRE nationally who commissioned Regen to look at how we can meet the Paris Climate Change Agreement whilst minimising landscape impacts".

So who are Regen? The label “not for profit” is often used to persuade people that such organisations are some sort of goody goody outfits, a bit like a charity, and operating in the public interest rather than chasing a profit.

Unfortunately if you believe that, you are probably being conned.

Regen’s website states:

Regen passionately believes that sustainable energy has a vital role at the heart of a successful economy and thriving local communities.

We are an independent not for profit that uses our expertise to work with industry, communities and the public sector to revolutionise the way we generate, supply and use energy.

They clearly have strong beliefs in these matters, and there is no problem with that.

But they obviously don’t work for free, and neither do their suppliers. So who pays the bills?

This is where it starts getting murky!

Regen rely on membership subscriptions, as their website tells us:


Altogether they earned £1.1m in 2015, according to their latest accounts.

And, naturally, the businesses who were happy to pay these fees were the very same businesses who stand to  make a fortune from renewable subsidies and the whole renewable scam.

In short, Regen, for all of their fancy words and mission statements, are nothing more than a lobby outfit for renewables.

Nothing wrong with that, but perhaps the media, from the lowly of the low, such as Devonlive, to the gullible journalists of the Telegraph, might recognise that, and not continually afford them and their ilk the veneer of authority, with which they would like to clothe themselves.

One might also ask why the CPRE decided to commission Regen in the first place?

  1. June 21, 2017 8:23 am

    RegenSW is the first port of call of the BBC in the south-west for comments on anything renewable. The Chief Executive, Merlyn Hyman is a regular contributor to BBC TV and radio in the south-west. His qualifications are in the fields of philosophy and environmental policy. So any claims that he is an expert in renewable energy are totally false. He is a propagandist for the renewable energy industry.

    I cannot answer the question as to why CPRE commissioned RegenSW to do the work, except as I pointed out in the previous post, CPRE National Office in London is full of green people (obsessed with climate change and renewable energy) who have no knowledge of anything scientific or engineering, or indeed rural England. They also tend to be strong Labour supporters.

    • June 21, 2017 8:29 am

      I cannot find anything on the CPRE website about CPRE commissioning RegenSW to look at how we can meet the Paris Climate Change Agreement whilst minimising landscape impacts. I will make enquiries.

  2. June 21, 2017 9:06 am

    One more attempt to post this comment which is a copy of an email I have just sent to CPRE. Others might want to ask CPRE similar questions ?

    Dear Sirs,

    I have recently been apprised of your support for windfarms and your ‘commissioning’ of the renewable energy lobbying organisation “Regen” to support your efforts.

    At first aquaintance your active lobbying support for the wind and solar industries seems rather questionable, and something of an over-stretch of your stated aims.

    Since you are a registered charity, I would like to ask if in order to obtain Regen’s services you had to become supporters of it via their £840 + VAT membership scheme, and whether any other fees accrued?

    Additionally, because I am extremely concerned about the rural environment – partly I admit because I live it in, but not solely for that reason – I would like to ask what proofs of catastrophic planetary overheating you adduce to justify your policy of giving wind and solar farms your support. Not mere subjection to the Climate Change Act, but actual empirical data. In particular I would very much welcome your data establishing that these industries have measurably affected the putative overheating, and once its existence is established, then by how much they have ameliorated it.

    I would ask if you would be so kind as not to send me carefully selected extracts of the IPCC’s AR1 / 2 / 3 etc. because I am already aware that the IPCC nowhere definitively concludes that catastrophic planetary overheating is happening or will happen. I would much prefer your putative proof.

    I note that you maintain that it is feasible to chase CO2 ‘targets’ “whilst minimising landscape impacts.” I find this particularly interesting but am singularly confused as to how you ‘square this circle’. I have seen very many wind and solar farm installations all over Britain, and cannot recall a single one which would satisfy anyone as to the ‘minimisation of landscape impact’.

    Would you please be kind enough to direct me to one wind or solar installation (or more of course if there are more) with which the CPRE was satisfied from a minimisation of landscape impact viewpoint? This (these) could act as a template for any other wind or solar applications once a general agreement was obtained from the populace that your decision was correct.

    In the absence of such the impression is left, which I am sure you would wish to qualify, that the CPRE wants wind and solar farms installed wherever and whenever possible, and provided the planning authorities’ boxes are ticked you will be happy with them. If that is the case then your basic aims must have been amended such that the CPRE’s primary goal now is control of the global climate, via the single artifact of control of mankind’s emissions of carbon dioxide. This is not in your stated charitable aims so far as I can ascertain – except by a considerable stretch of definitions.

    Yours faithfully

    Robert J V Trueman.

    • June 21, 2017 3:05 pm

      Yes, I contacted them for details of how the climate has changed, since when, and how that has been quantified. Still waiting…

  3. Jack Broughton permalink
    June 21, 2017 9:12 am

    The brainwashing of the fairly intelligent younger generation is a major part of the problem affecting CPRE and such.

    I was recently with the off-spring of some right-wing, well educated friends (aged 30s to 40s) and AGW came up: I gave my views that it was a scientific fallacy and economic disaster. Voldemort would have been better received than I was! I suddenly became a heretic who was beneath discussion.

    The brainwashing has been so successful that this year must be 1984.

    • A C Osborn permalink
      June 21, 2017 12:54 pm

      Jack, I totally agree about the youngsters, my nephew is 22 and totaaly sold on CAGW and Renewables.
      It does not matter what facts you try to show him, he firmly believes anything at all contrary to the CAGW meme is paid for by the FF industry.
      Competely brainwashed.
      Women in particular seem to empathise with the CAGW cause.

  4. Jack Broughton permalink
    June 21, 2017 9:20 am

    Meant to mention that the ITV news last night had a short section about the current warm weather that was immediately followed by total lies about the risks of global warming to the UK countryside and lifestyle as this hot weather becomes the UK norm. The TV survived!

    • RoyHartwell permalink
      June 21, 2017 10:45 am

      It would appear you were lucky enough to miss the recent BBC Horizon, ten things you need to know about the future, which featured a mock weather forecast for 2050 describing everything but the plague of locusts and a new ‘renewable energy’ scheme fearuring a glider dragging a length of rope behind it to generate electricity. You really couldn’t make it up !

      • Robert Christopher permalink
        June 21, 2017 11:04 am

        “… describing everything but the plague of locusts …”

        So, what are we going to eat?

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        June 22, 2017 3:04 pm

        The only news programme that I am now allowed to watch is Russia Today. The only news programme that has a simple, easily ignored bias. It is for the good of the TV!

  5. Ian Magness permalink
    June 21, 2017 9:46 am

    It seems to me that RegenSW’s description of themselves as “not-for-profit” is highly misleading virtue signalling. In my experience, such bodies (generally charities and public sector related bodies) are not sponsored by industrial bodies who will gain from the not-for-profit’s commercial activities. RegenSW fails this test and seems to me to be just a standard commercial outfit. The ultimate ownership make-up and how the profits (which they will clearly make!) are divided between directors and shareholders would also be instructive.

    • Tom O permalink
      June 21, 2017 3:43 pm

      Could it be that “not for profit” is just part of their name rather than a declaration of the corporate entity? then again, “profit” implies that there is intended to be money beyond expenses, so perhaps they intend that all money that comes in the front door, so to speak, is completely expended in salaries and associated expenses, thus they ARE working “not for profit.”

  6. Green Sand permalink
    June 21, 2017 10:11 am

    Regen SW info

    Sure have a lot of directors for a little ‘non profit’ outfit

    • Green Sand permalink
      June 21, 2017 10:16 am

      They also have a nice little £500k showing in the Dec 2015 P & L. Not yet filed Dec 2016

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      June 21, 2017 5:05 pm

      Their articles involve a “not for profit” clause, however, the directors mainly have interests that gain from their lobbying activities. Thus, while they pretend to be acting out of the goodness of their hearts in the public interest, they stand to gain substantially: while this is not fraud, it is certainly not ethical business.

  7. permalink
    June 21, 2017 11:08 am

    Dear Mr Homewood, I am yet to see a response from you about BBC2’s Horizon programme at 8 on Monday. It was one of the BBC’s worst yet! D Boyd

    • Ian Magness permalink
      June 21, 2017 11:59 am

      Whilst bashing the risible BBC, have a look at this tripe from two days ago:
      It’s entitled “Coffee under threat. Will it taste worse as the planet warms?” It’s full of hysteria about how “climate change” is strongly reducing the global area suitable for coffee growing and it’s only going to get worse and worse, we’re all doomed etc.
      Only problem: without a hint of irony they show a graph of global coffee yield over the past 30 years and, guess what?, it is climbing strongly ever upwards, especially over the last 20 years. Apparently, it never occurred to them that publishing this graph destroys any credibility of the the rest of the article.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        June 21, 2017 12:57 pm

        Ha, but it will outgrow it’s strength and that is why it will taste so aweful.
        /Sarc off

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    June 21, 2017 12:40 pm

    As the CPRE is a registered charity it will have some guiding articles as to what is should do. The question arises as to how supporting windmills and solar farms is in line with this policy. The Charity Commission could be asked to review their status. I don’t know if anyone has tried this with the RSPB since they are promoting windmills that kill birds which is a slightly strange policy. Same as they supported – and received lots of taxpayer cash to implement – the flooding that devastated the Somerset Levels recently.

    • June 21, 2017 1:41 pm

      The RSPB have their own turbine helpfully installed by Ecotricity, who saw this no doubt as a major PR coup and an effective statement of support by RSPB for turbines.

      From Ecotricity, a quote I have seen before: “Climate change is the single biggest threat to our planet,” says Martin Harper, RSPB’s director of conservation.

      It became necessary to destroy the birds to save them.

      Too late, RSPB have cottoned on and tried to block various wind farms near Bass Rock etc.

      Meanwhile, it sounds as if the CPRE are also of the opinion that the greatest threat to the countryside is climate change. This also appears to justify destroying the countryside to save it.

  9. Old Englander permalink
    June 21, 2017 5:05 pm

    What on earth is a “not-for-profit” anyway ? I thought this was some adjectival phrase and looked for the noun – was it a “not for profit company”, “not for profit charity”, “not for profit consultancy”, “not for profit think tank” … Seems it is a registered company at Companies House, so that’s my answer, but why can’t *they* say so ?

  10. dennisambler permalink
    June 22, 2017 5:23 pm

    There is little difference between the BBC and other news outlets these days.

    They all just keep repeating the mantras:

    As the planet warms….

    As the Arctic melts….

    As sea levels continue to rise….

    As thousands of species go extinct….

    Scientists warn……

    Already impacted by climate change……

    They never question, they just rely on press feeds and incorporate the language of climate change into every news item they can.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      June 22, 2017 7:52 pm

      I now only watch Russia Today and Al Jazeera for world news. They may be biased but produce less Biased Bullshit Content than any western news media that I have found.

      Sustainable, experts, proven science, renewable ….. BBC.

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