Agenda item

Carbon Neutrality Programme - Energy policies/actions (HEP016)


Bill Gunyon (on behalf of WinACC Renewable Energy Action Group) spoke during public participation as summarised briefly below.


Bill Gunyon

Welcomed the agenda item in renewable energy. He made reference to the topic of the local plan and made observations on the districts overall energy agenda for the short and long term and considered that the question that would be asked by the review team was ‘What is the scale of renewable energy generation that you wish the local plan to encourage?’. He suggested that the 2030 target for local energy generation within the carbon neutrality action plan, was in need of review for input into the local plan process and confirmed that WinACC were due to publish an energy plan shortly to submit evidence for this view and were keen to assist where possible.


In response, the Service Lead: Community and Wellbeing thanked Mr Gunyon for his comments which he advised would be addressed when the plan was updated.


The Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency introduced the report which set out the progression towards reducing carbon emissions for energy and the challenges in achieving the council’s carbon neutrality ambitions.   Officers provided an update on key issues and specific areas of the programme including the local plan, the collaborative work carried out with Hampshire County Council, community energy generation and the local electricity bill.


Members asked a range of questions which were responded to by the Cabinet Member, Service Lead: Communities and Wellbeing and officers, as summarised below.  


·         From a planning prospective, there had been a shift in Government priorities from onshore to offshore wind farms. However, it was recognised that currently there was more potential in terms of solar opportunities in the district.


·         In relation to the local electricity bill, the most up to date figures of the level of support were now available with 445 councils (including 79 local authorities), 727 local and national organisations and 291 MP’s in support.


·         It was recognised that in order to achieve and progress the local energy generation 2030 target, specialist external consultants and advice from other local authorities and partners would need to be explored further.


·         The committee requested targets and timescales against the activity actions contained in the report and it was noted that a road map regarding the district’s carbon footprint would be developed to incorporate metrics, key points and identify priorities.



During debate, members welcomed the report and recognised the need for continued engagement with the community to educate, raise awareness and inform of the incentives of community energy schemes and targets.


At conclusion of debate, the Chairperson thanked the Cabinet Member and the community team for the report which was welcomed by the committee and emphasised that as well as looking at renewable energy generation, it was also important that the council continued to work on schemes  to reduce energy consumption.


In addition, the Chairperson also noted that while the committee was generally supportive of the proposal to use council owned land for renewable energy generation schemes, it recognised that to generate the amount of renewable energy required, it would probably be necessary to work with other partners.




                        1.         That the contents of the report be received and noted;


                        2.         That the comments of the committee in relation to the                         following points be noted, as set out above:


                                    a.         The principle of using council-owned land for                                                     renewable energy generation;


                                    b.         The opportinity for the Local Plan to promote and                                             encourage increased renewable energy generation                                         across Winchester district; and


                                    c.         The potential for community energy schemes to                                                succeed in Winchester district.


Supporting documents:


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