SE4: Develop area wide renewable energy targets (MW of heat /electricity) as stimulus for concerted local action
Description and rationale for policy objective
We have included this as a policy objective because we know that several local authorities have included, or are considering such targets, as part of their core strategy. This is because it can provide a useful benchmark for an area of the scale of deployment that will be required to make a meaningful contribution to UK targets by 2020. It also can act as a stimulus for corporate and wider stakeholder action to assist in increasing the deployment of renewable energy.
Arguably, this sort of target, given its link to broader corporate action, would better sit in a Community Strategy, Climate Change strategy or local authority Corporate strategy. However, the core strategy may often provide a convenient and pragmatic “home” for such targets, given the current cycle of LDF development.
Although the Climate Change PPS does say that regional planning bodies should set regional targets for renewable energy generation (see para. 13), it does not specifically state that local authorities should set similar targets at a local level. However, it does not state that they shouldn’t do this, and states in relation to core strategies (para 18):
“Planning authorities should consider the opportunities for the core strategy to add to the policies and proposals in the RSS, such as where local circumstances would allow further progress to be made to achieving the Key Planning Objectives set out in this PPS. In doing so, the core strategy should be informed by, and in turn inform, local strategies on climate change including the sustainable community strategy.”
In also states, in relation to renewable and low-carbon energy generation (see para. 19) that:
“In developing their core strategy and supporting local development documents, planning authorities should provide a framework that promotes and encourages enewable and low carbon energy generation. Policies hould be designed to promote and not restrict renewable and low-carbon energy and supporting infrastructure.”
Renewable energy targets can be regarded as part of such a framework.
An example of district level renewable energy targets for heat and electricity is set out in the Core Strategy spatial options consultation, October 2009, for Bath and North East Somerset.
The Environment Agency has recently completed a study for the UK (February 2010) looking at the potential for run-of-river hydropower facilities, which provides maps of opportunities for each region. See
Regional wind and biomass data is available from Regen SW.