Northwest on target with renewable ambitions

The Northwest is expected to make a major contribution to the UK meeting its renewable energy targets, according to a new report. Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire are […]

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By Kelvin Ross

The Northwest is expected to make a major contribution to the UK meeting its renewable energy targets, according to a new report.

Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire are set to produce 30% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The UK as a whole has been tasked with sourcing 15% of all electricity from renewables by 2020.

The report was compiled by the Northwest Climate Change Partnership, which is funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and aims to assist local authorities in developing low-carbon policies. Its findings do not include off-shore wind, wave and tidal schemes as they operate outside of local government jurisdiction.

Figures reveal that Cheshire provides 20% of the region’s energy provision thanks to a commercial-scale wind facility. Merseyside has 474MW of solar photovoltaic and solar thermal resources and Cumbria provides more than half of the Northwest’s small-scale hydropower potential.

Lancashire also has an extensive commercial-scale wind scheme and Greater Manchester has the largest solar photovoltaic and solar thermal stores.

Dan Griffiths, head of climate change at NWDA, said: “England’s Northwest has the potential to play a vital role in the country’s future energy mix, with an enviable combination of natural resources and human expertise, driven by technological innovation.”