Cambridgeshire has been revealed as the clear leader of the East of England counties in generating renewable energy, new figures show...with Peterborough at the helm.
In a comparison of eastern counties’ renewable energy capacity by the think tank Green Alliance, Cambridgeshire is comfortably in first place, with impressive levels of solar and onshore wind.
And Peterborough Community project The Green Backyard has been held up as an example of excellence in our county.
A growing project, it was awarded a grant of over £12,000 by M&S Energy in December. The money will go towards installing solar panels on the roof of a community café which is being constructed on the site of a derelict former allotment in the centre of Peterborough.
It has now been transformed into a community garden and the new solar panels will help volunteers keep areas lit in darker months and provide electricity for events that help support The Green Backyard’s educational function.
Elsewhere in the East, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk are all taking advantage of the sunshine, as the study shows that all three counties have good levels of rooftop solar, with nearly 80,000 households across the whole region now boasting solar panels.
Renewable energy is by far the most popular energy source with people in the UK according to official government statistics which show 78% of the public support the use of renewables, with only 4% against.
For the region as a whole, solar panels are the major source of the East of England’s renewable energy. The region currently has more than a gigawatt of solar capacity installed, as well as a gigawatt of offshore wind out at sea, which is enough offshore wind to meet the electricity needs of one million households, ten times the size of Norwich.
As a whole, renewables are generating over a quarter (28%) of the region’s electricity consumption. For regions in England and Wales, this puts the East of England in third place below Yorkshire and the Humber, and Wales.
Amy Mount, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, said: “In December, the whole world signed an agreement in Paris, committing to tackling climate change.
“But it’s not only global leaders who are taking this agenda seriously; these figures for the East of England are really exciting, as we can see that local communities are playing their part in making the shift to clean energy happen.
“Across the region, families are putting solar panels on their roofs, and businesses are investing in this cleantech sector. Now it’s up to national government to match the global and local commitment to climate change, by stepping up support for the vital renewables industry.”