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Redditch Council confirms renewables commitment

Redditch Council has reconfirmed its commitment to its renewable energy projects amid uncertainty over the future of national solar energy schemes.

Reviewing its solar projects in light of possible reductions in the amount of money that the Government will pay for the generated power, the council’s executive committee confirmed that solar projects set for the borough will still achieve their goals and represent good value for residents.

Council’s portfolio holder for local environment, Councillor Brandon Clayton, said: “This council’s support for solar generation was never really about money.”

“One of our main priorities is to keep Redditch clean and green and I am pleased to confirm that whatever the outcome of the Government’s changes to this national policy, our solar schemes are here to stay.”

“They will help us achieve our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Solar panels are set to be installed on the council’s town hall, Palace Theatre, crematorium and some larger sheltered housing sites under the Government’s ‘Feed in Tariff’ scheme.

However, proposed changes to the scheme are currently subject to legal challenges.

If the proposed changes are enacted, the council’s schemes would pay for themselves in around 11 years as opposed to the originally expected six years, which is calculated at current electricity prices. With prices predicted to increase over time, the payback time may be even shorter.

Furthermore, once the panels have paid for themselves, the council still expects to make significant income over the 25 year period, which could be used to protect other services in the longer term