Local Dorset councils and associated partners are to reveal the renewable energy strategy for the county
Dorset County Council put together the strategy as part the Dorset Energy Partnership, which includes local councils from across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole as well as other partner organisations.
Dorset currently only produces 0.95 per cent of total energy demand by renewable means – a third of the UK national average of 3 per cent.
The new strategy, which builds on existing plans, sets out six priority areas for the partnership to work towards by 2020. These are:
- Supporting community renewable energy projects
- Making sure the local area and economy benefits from renewable energy
- Creating a more supportive planning system for renewable energy
- Encouraging renewable energy that is appropriate to Dorset
- Increasing understanding about renewable energy and its role in Dorset
- Working in partnership to deliver projects
It aims to give Dorset more of a say in what renewable energy technologies are used locally. The strategy will be presented to county councillors next week and sent to other organisations in Dorset for their support.
A draft strategy was consulted on last summer and more than 180 responses were received.
Many of the responses highlighted that the county should play its part in renewable energy while other responses expressed concerns about the landscape impacts of onshore wind turbines and the import of bio-fuels for large scale power stations.
A number of changes were made to the strategy following the consultation, including a greater emphasis on the work already under way in the county to support renewable energy; clear information on the role of all renewable energy technologies and their realistic potential; and encouragement of those renewable energy technologies that are most appropriate to Dorset and that have the least visual impact.