Sheffield City Council has announced plans, in partnership with energy company E.ON, to become the UK’s first energy self-sufficient city.
The plan was endorsed by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday during a visit to the city’s University and Sheffield College.
The city plans to generate enough renewable energy to cover all its power needs within ten years and ultimately produce an excess, which could be sold back to the national grid.
“This partnership, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will deliver many benefits for local people. Not only will Sheffielders be leading the way in the fight against climate change, but they will see lower energy bills and extra local green jobs created,” says Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Paul Scriven.
Huhne said that the “exciting plans” show how low-carbon technologies can be made to work for local communities.
“Partnerships like this will pave the way for the massive energy efficiency drive that the Secretary of State has called for. If we can work together as a community; if we can build energy efficiency into our everyday lives,” says Michael Woodhead, managing director of sustainable energy at E.ON.
Last summer, in one of Huhne’s first acts as Energy and Climate Change Secretary, he overturned legislation preventing councils from selling energy from local sources to the national grid to generate revenue.
But his encouragement of local renewables projects has been thrown into jeopardy with the announcement of a review of feed-in tariffs for larger-scale solar projects.
For further information:
UK Government launches review of feed-in tariffs (7-Feb)
More encouragement for community renewables needed, say researchers (14-Sept 2010)
English local councils free to sell green electricity (7-Jul 2010)
25 February 2011