Nottingham: UKâ€™s front-runner in sustainable energy race
written by Jerome Baddley
Since the adoption of its Sustainable Energy Action Plan, which sets a 26% CO2 reduction target by 2020, Nottingham is fast progressing towards the delivery of its energy-efficient future.
The Covenant of Mayors city is indeed leading the race towards sustainable energy through extensive collaboration between local public, voluntary and private sector agencies. The city’s Sustainable Energy Strategy itself was developed in partnership with key local partners and stakeholders including the Nottingham Energy Partnership (NEP), Nottingham City Homes, Enviroenergy - the district heating network operator - and the City’s two universities.
Nottingham’s sustainable energy track record is, to say the least, impressive: the city boasts the largest local authority-owned district heating network of the UK and it is by far the country’s most self-sufficient city, with 11,5% of its total annual energy consumption generated from low or zero carbon sources.
In the domestic sector in particular, collaborative work with private households and social housing organisations have ensured the city has one of the lowest and fastest falling per capita CO2 emissions of the UK’s local authorities.
Major new projects are also in the development pipeline: one of the UK’s most concentrated installations of photo voltaic panels has been installed in the Meadows area while in the North a low-carbon business park is being developed with the support of local partners. Such achievements position Nottingham as a hub for growth in sustainable business development on a regional scale.
Leading by example, the City Council has set itself a massive 45% CO2 reduction target by 2020. Alongside the installation of charging points for electric vehicles, an energy from waste plant has been set up to provide heat and energy to council buildings, major residential areas, shopping centres and businesses while reducing landfill.
Adding up the numbers, this means 47 million kilowatt-hours of energy will be saved - the same share which would be needed by every Nottingham home to use their freezer, washing machine and kettle for a whole year. The city council is also planning to save 16,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which represents the amount of energy that would use every household to drive a small car for ten miles a week over a one year timespan.