April 15, 2024

South West News

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Help shape green energy plan to make Cornwall and Isles of Scilly net zero

Local Area Energy Plan graphic

Residents are being asked to help shape ambitious new plans to decarbonise the region’s energy systems in order to help the region reach net zero and work towards energy security. 

Cornwall Council and Council of the Isles of Scilly are launching the creation of a Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) today (July 25, 2023). 

The project, which will be developed with residents and businesses across the region, will look at how energy is used, supplied and managed.   

It will identify and recommend required changes to local energy systems for heating, electricity, gas and transport and play a major role in helping the region become carbon neutral. 

As well as examining the type of technologies and fuels needed, the Local Area Energy Plan will propose required alterations and additions to existing energy infrastructure and make recommendations to help secure affordable energy supplies for the future. 

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the first UK rural and island region to carry out a Local Area Energy Plan. 

Residents, businesses and other energy users will have the chance to play a key role in developing the project through a range of engagement activities including the setting up of a panel made up of a representative sample of 50 Cornwall and Scilly residents.  

The panel will meet to debate and recommend solutions for decarbonising the region’s energy systems and ensure the LAEP suits residents’ future energy needs.  

There will also be community roadshows and youth-focused engagement sessions, as well as a variety of events designed for the region’s businesses that will allow attendees to learn more, ask questions and understand how they can get involved. 

A survey is published today to hear residents’ views on energy in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Fill in the LAEP surveyFollowing the year-long engagement the LAEP will identify the most cost-effective way of delivering net zero for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly while boosting the green economy and attracting funding. 

The £500,000 project has been funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero through the South West Net Zero Hub. 

It will build on the region’s track record in renewable energy innovation and ambitions to build new green industries, such as floating offshore wind and deep geothermal energy. 

Martyn Alvey, Cabinet Member for environment and climate change at Cornwall Council, said:

“The development of this plan will be a crucial element of the work that we need to do to work towards a secure energy future for the climate of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.  

“It will help us to better understand the impact of our current energy use on the environment around us and how we can use this understanding, not only to decarbonise but to grasp the opportunity, achieve energy security and make our area an exemplar for skills and innovation on the way to net zero.” 

Harry Legg, Lead Member for Environment Services and Climate Change at the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said:

“Nowhere in Britain is more exposed to the impacts of climate change than the Isles of Scilly, so we are well aware of just how important our transition to a net zero future is.

“We’re fully committed to working with our partners at Cornwall Council to ensure this plan works for our unique home, and look forward to engaging with islanders beginning in July.”  

Jon Rattenbury, Programme Manager of South West Net Zero Hub, said:

“We’re delighted to be supporting Cornwall and Isles of Scilly councils to undertake the country’s first rural local area energy plan. 

“We all need to work together to meet our collective net zero ambition and we are keen to learn from the innovative approach here to share with others.” 

Delivery of the LAEP will be carried out by Exeter-based technology company City Science, Copper Consultancy in Bristol, the University of Exeter, Penryn campus, and business engagement company Mylor Ventures. 

Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and has since worked to develop a climate change action plan, a nature recovery strategy and further declared an ecological emergency in a bid to tackle the decline in wildlife and nature.

The LAEP would sit alongside these strategies as part of the council’s wider plans for a carbon neutral future.  

The Council of the Isles of Scilly similarly declared a climate emergency in 2019 following the Five Island’s Academy ‘Strike for Climate’ petition.  Since then, the Council has adopted a Climate Change Action Plan which sets out how it will work with local, and national partners, to support and inform plans for renewable energy initiatives across the islands.  

Further information on getting involved in the LAEP will be announced in coming weeks. 

Take the LAEP survey and register for news and updates on the plan

A Local Area Energy Plan is an evidence-based approach to transforming the way an area uses and generates energy.

The process includes developing a series of scenarios for the future system, and using data, alongside engagement with residents, businesses and community organisations, to analyse how these might work.  

Copper Consultancy are a specialised stakeholder engagement and strategic communications agency which deliver bespoke, data-driven strategies to the infrastructure and property industry. 

City Science supports organisations and regions to decarbonise. It uses science, data and engagement to help public and private organisations take action to reduce carbon emissions in ways that make places better and enhance quality of life.

Story published July 25, 2023

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