Local Authorities given go ahead to generate renewable energy

From 18th August Local Authorities across the UK will have the restrictions on generating and selling renewable energy removed, following an announcement by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne this week.

The potential for Local Authorities to lead the way in clean energy generation has been highlighted due to the size of many Local Authority owned estates, combined with a new ability to benefit from the new Feed in Tariff payments. This potential sharply contrasts with existing Local Authorities’ efforts, which have been restricted by 1980s regulations put in place during the privatisation of utilities. This has resulted in Local Authorities generating just 0.01% of renewable electricity nationally.

DECC hope this decision will stimulate action to tie in to their wider climate change mitigation strategy to increase the percentage of energy generated from renewable sources, and reduce carbon emissions. The decision also mirrors the new Coalition Government’s local democracy agenda, by giving Local Authorities an active role in the low carbon transition and the freedom to lead by example. To read Huhne’s letter to Local Authorities, which includes more information on the rationale behind his decision, click here.