REvision 2010: Renewable Electricity Targets for the South West
Identifying opportunities, implications and constraints for sub-regional renewable electricity targets
Project duration: April 2003 to January 2004
A study has shown that, taking into account environmental, economic and technical constraints, the South West of England can achieve 11—15% of its electricity generation from renewable sources by 2010.
REvision 2010 was a project designed to work in partnership with the sub-regions within the South West. REvision 2010 provided technical support and a process of stakeholder engagement aimed at identifying the opportunities, implications and constraints for sub-regional renewable electricity targets in the South West, in order to take the overall 11—15% target a step closer to reality.
For the purposes of the project, the ‘sub-regions’ referred to the six counties (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire) and the former Avon area. Therefore the project aimed to encourage authorities and partners to establish seven sub-regional targets throughout the South West.
As well as supporting the adoption of renewable electricity targets, the project worked to develop the following:
- locational guidance criteria for renewables projects, to provide guidance for planning control officers — this will be incorporated into regional interim planning guidance
strategic level landscape character assessment for wind and biomass
The project involved the following phases:
- January 03: Meetings with regional bodies, including Regional Assembly officer groups, to refine the process of consultation
- January—February 03: Survey of stakeholder views into renewable energy generally and the types of renewable energy appropriate to their area
- Development of sub-regional renewable energy resource maps for each of the seven sub-regions to clearly demonstrate the potential for different renewable technologies
- March—April 03: Seven sub-regional consultation events involving planners, councillors and local stakeholders to review and discuss renewable energy options and possible targets for each region
- 19 May 03: REvision 2010 conference. Regional conference to review results of sub-regional events, discuss possible target scenarios and focus on next steps to get targets adopted in local policy plans
- June—December 03: Supporting the adoption of the agreed sub-regional targets by county and unitary authorities in whatever way is appropriate for each sub-region (e.g. ensuring targets are included in each sub-regional structure plan)
After careful consideration and consultation, it was agreed that the most logical and appropriate basis for each of the sub-regional targets was MW installed capacity (as opposed to % electricity consumed or produced).
The sub-regional events were generally judged a success by the participants and played a key role in raising awareness and increasing the level of knowledge about the options for meeting any renewable electricity targets. Certainly there was a fair and frank exchange of views and a real engagement with the issues around each of the three key technologies, namely on-shore wind, biomass/energy crops and energy from waste.
The regional conference was held in May 2003, attended by over 150 key stakeholders in the region, and was judged a success by participants. Discussion focussed on the opportunities and constraints faced in successfully delivering the required capacity.
Target range scenarios were developed for each county and then detailed discussions held with stakeholders in each county to achieve adoption of a target. All of the counties have now adopted either a single figure or a target range for installed capacity by 2010.
Several counties have, or are planning to incorporate, the target into their new/revised structure plans. Others are looking to incorporate the target as part of a renewable energy strategy or supplementary planning guidance. The locational guidance criteria work element is now being developed separately by the South West Regional Assembly and Government Office for the South West.