Hinckley and Bosworth Renewable Energy Capacity Study
Potential for renewable energy and low carbon energy within the Borough
Project duration: October 2012 to February 2013
This project, delivered in partnership by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Land Use Consultants (who led the work), explored the potential for renewables within Hinckley and Bosworth Borough. It revisited and refined the technical assessment from CSE and LUC’s previous regional study for the East Midlands councils, taking account of the local context in Hinckley and Bosworth.
The borough has taken a proactive role in the delivery of county wide strategies, plans and commitments to reduce carbon emissions and encourage renewable energy and low carbon developments. Delivery on these strategies was a key motivation for the study, as were a further three drivers. Firstly, strong government policy drivers for reducing CO2 emissions and delivering renewable low carbon energy. Secondly, a core planning principle of the National Planning Policy Framework, with which the borough's key policy documents need to align, is "to support the transition to a low carbon Landscape Management future.... and encourage the use of renewable resources” . And finally, the need to develop a sound evidence base to inform the preparation of future renewable and low carbon policies.
The study identified key opportunity areas and a target for the delivery of renewables and low carbon energy. A series of recommendations were given on how to interpret and use the study findings, and how to monitor the future delivery of renewables within the borough. The potential for renewable opportunities using wind (on-shore), biomass, waste, solar, hydro, mirco-generation (solar and heat pumps) and district heating were all investigated. CSE’s role in the study was to lead on the deployable resource potential and heat mapping, as well as contributing to setting the policy context, site testing and the final report.
The study approach:
- Policy review
- Review of existing renewable energy developments within the borough
- Assessment of technical potential
- Assessment of landscape sensitivity to wind energy
- Assessment of deployable potential
- Setting a target
- Identification of key opportunity areas
- Development of monitoring framework
CSE has significant expertise in sustainable energy resource assessments and heat mapping. Studies for Milton Keynes, Bristol, Plymouth, five West Sussex authorities and Teignbridge (which also included a climate change vulnerability assessment) were successful in incorporating sustainable energy objectives into core strategies. We have also pioneered a new approach to resource mapping through interactive, web-based heat maps, more recently being comissioned to produce the National Heat Map for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. This new web application, based on high resolution maps of heat demand, supports the planning and deployment of local, low-carbon projects in England.