Stirling and Glasgow councils have been highlighted by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) in a series of reports which considers how local authorities are continuing to progress various aspects of decentralised energy.
It comes at a time when concerns over increasing carbon emissions remains, and it supports the important role in energy policy local government can provide. The report notes that local authorities across the globe are showing an increasing interest in energy.
The NFLA report focuses on how councils can promote local energy projects in a challenging financial environment. It notes research and advice by the Association of Public Sector Excellence and the Solar Trade Association on how to unlock finance to fund renewable energy, district heating and energy efficiency projects.
It again focuses on some excellent examples of decentralised energy best practice, such as:
- Swindon Borough Council has developed an innovative council solar bond receiving £2.4m from more than 800 investors in just six weeks.
- Hounslow Council has become the first to build battery storage into its solar power schemes.
- Neath Port Talbot Council is leading a project to put solar PV and battery storage on thousands of homes across south Wales.
- Stirling Council recently completed its 1,500th installation of solar PV.
- And Glasgow City Council has recently fitted solar PV on seven primary schools.
Councillor David Blackburn, Vice-chairman of the NFLA Steering Committee, said: “Local authorities are continuing to develop renewable energy, energy efficiency, district heating and battery storage despite the challenging environment that exists within energy policy.
“Decentralised energy is an important component part of delivering a reduction in carbon emissions, producing local power for communities and new income for hard pressed councils.
“I urge the government that emerges in Westminster, along with devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the Republic of Ireland Government to provide support and encourage such schemes. What is interesting to me is that Councils of all political shades are developing these projects.”