Renewables toolkit launched for local projects

solar panels and wildlife

Economists and environmental scientists from Northumbria University have created a renewable energy toolkit, for those interested in developing local scale renewable energy projects in North East England.

Working with local authorities, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the National Trust and industry experts, academics from the university have developed the toolkit with tailored advice for use at a local level, prioritising individual farms or smallholdings.

The toolkit takes into account the region’s diverse energy needs, considering not only electricity generation, but also heat, energy efficiency, and energy storage.

It covers frequently asked questions on the logistics, finance and planning considerations relating to solar panels, onshore wind turbines, heat pumps, hydropower, and anaerobic digestion, among other projects.

Economist and Assistant Professor at the University’s Newcastle Business School, Dr Dongna Zhang, co-authored the guidance with Dr Andy Suggitt, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, and Research Assistant, Natasha Johnson.

Dr Zhang said:

There are lots of people looking to develop local-scale renewable energy solutions, but it isn’t always obvious where to get the information from.

We co-designed this toolkit with local experts with the ultimate aim of bridging that gap, helping individuals and communities to begin their renewable energy journey. This is an important piece of work which we hope will be of use in local efforts to achieve net zero.

Heidi Mottram CBE is Co-chair of Net Zero North East England, a new collaboration between local government, business, education, the public sector and civil society to drive a comprehensive regional approach to tackling the climate emergency.

She said:

The challenge of developing local scale renewable energy solutions can be daunting, however this toolkit is a welcome source of support and guidance.

By making information accessible, the toolkit eases the path for all, fostering a collective effort towards a sustainable and energy efficient future.

For further information, you can to access the toolkit here.

Find out the latest on renewable solutions at InstallerSHOW 2024 – running 25-27 June at the NEC.