Climate change is an area of increasing obligations. The Government has signed up to international, EU and national targets. Under the Kyoto agreement, the UK agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80%; it is subject to the EU renewable energy directive, whereby 15% of our energy needs to come from renewable sources and has passed the Climate Change Act 2008, to put much of this into domestic law.
Local authorities need to be part of this positive agenda. These targets filter down to local level, either directly (for example by local authorities being subject to the Carbon Reduction Commitment or CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme) or indirectly via local authorities having to aspire to greater heights of carbon management in their buildings.
Each local authority should develop a holistic climate change strategy, setting targets and goals, building a route map towards them, and coming up with projects that form the steps on that path. Such a strategy should join up the various different parts of the agenda and link them to corporate goals and aspirations. As an example, buildings might include schools, social housing, leisure facilities or civic headquarters, but all have the same issues in relation to energy management and efficiency and the fitting of renewables. A corporate approach is therefore vital.
As part of the overall climate change strategy, each authority should have a position on renewable energy. This might be a subsidiary strategy, with a clear plan to introduce renewable energy of some form or other to the authority’s land and buildings. This should identify which of the new renewable technologies is appropriate and where it can be used.
In the past few months APSE has been working with a number of authorities on renewable energy projects. For example, APSE has undertaken workshops with senior management teams to facilitate creation of a specific vision at authority level and encourage commitment to next steps. Other consultancy projects have included writing business cases for funding to progress a renewable energy project.
APSE understands the specific benefits and cost incentives available to local authorities, and we are committed to helping our members develop viable renewable energy projects which will give real returns. Where appropriate, APSE can incorporate the revolving fund – the new ‘in-house’ green team.
In particular, APSE associate consultant Stephen Cirell has worked with many authorities on solar PV, wind, biomass and heat projects. Stephen is a local government expert. He has a record of innovation, leadership and delivery in local government corporate and commercial work from both the public and private sectors, across 30 years. He is now specialising in local government climate change work.
As Programme Director for the Green Cornwall Programme, he was responsible for the entire Council’s work in this area, both mitigation and adaptation. He has recently authored a new APSE publication about the benefits to a local authority of engaging in renewable energy generation. This publication is available from APSE for members at £20.
APSE works with each council to determine how it can best benefit from renewables. A good starting point is for APSE to conduct a workshop with officers to raise awareness of renewable energy opportunities. Following this, APSE will work with the Council to develop a business case and assist with the procurement process.
APSE believes that councils should develop a plan to roll out PV installations on their buildings and to deliver this via their own workforces. This way the benefits are maximised. The work should be based on a business plan outlining the income and expenditure and making projections as to payback.
APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien has written a number of articles and blog posts around the renewables agenda, including an article for The Guardian. Click here to find out more.
- Green Cleaning Briefing 11/43 August 2011
- Green income generation for local authorities Briefing 11/37 July 2011
- The Renewable Heat Incentive Briefing 11/28 June 2011
- Feed-in Tariffs for small scale low carbon electricity Briefing 11/25 May 2011
- APSE response to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010 Briefing 10/71 December 2010
- CRC energy efficiency scheme update Briefing 10/67 December 2010
- Councils able to sell renewable electricity Briefing 10/51 September 2010
- Energy and green issues –maximising the economic and environmental case Briefing 10/38 August 2010
- Green jobs and skills Briefing 10/15 April 2010
- The new green team: Local government, sustainable energy, jobs and skills APSE, Unison and TUC, October 2011
- The virtuous green circle: creating a revolving fund for local authority solar energy APSE, April 2011
- Rapid environmental impact assessment research report and toolkit
- ‘A pause before feeding on renewables recommences’ Paul O’Brien, November
Training courses are available on a variety of topics including
- Climate Change
- Renewable Energy
- Carbon Reduction Commitment
For further information and the date of forthcoming courses please click here.
Advisory groups are quarterly meeting free to all APSE members. Suggested groups relevant to this topic are:
- Renewables and Climate Change
For further information and the date of the next group please click here.
For further information on consultancy services, please contact:
- Andy Mudd, Principal Consultant
- Gayle Gibson, Senior Consultant
- Davina Rai, Client Co-ordination Officer
Or telephone APSE on 0161 772 1810 for an informal discussion on how we can help you or about any of the other services APSE provides.
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