St Edmundsbury powers into first place in renewable energy rankings

A solar development

A solar development

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St Edmundsbury is one of the greenest place in the country to live when it comes to renewable energy, new figures out today show.

Amazingly, 110% of the borough’s electricity consumption comes from renewable sources.

St Edmundsbury has been named number 1 in the East of England for renewable energy

St Edmundsbury has been named number 1 in the East of England for renewable energy

Most of this is from biomass and waste, but it is supplemented by solar panels, showing how an area’s electricity needs can be met by a diversity of renewable sources.

And while Cambridgeshire is the clear leader of the East of England counties in generating renewable energy, with impressive levels of solar and onshore wind, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk are all taking advantage of the eastern sunshine, as the study shows that all three counties have good levels of rooftop solar, with nearly 80,000 households across the whole region now boasting solar panels.

Amy Mount, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, said: “In December, the whole world signed an agreement in Paris, committing to tackling climate change.

“But it’s not only global leaders who are taking this agenda seriously; these figures for the East of England are really exciting, as we can see that local communities are playing their part in making the shift to clean energy happen.

“Across the region, families are putting solar panels on their roofs, and businesses are investing in this cleantech sector. Now it’s up to national government to match the global and local commitment to climate change, by stepping up support for the vital renewables industry.”

Renewable energy is by far the most popular energy source with people in the UK according to official government statistics which show 78% of the public support the use of renewables, with only 4% against.

For the region as a whole, solar panels are the major source of the East of England’s renewable energy. The region currently has more than a gigawatt of solar capacity installed, as well as a gigawatt of offshore wind out at sea, which is enough offshore wind to meet the electricity needs of one million households, ten times the size of Norwich.

As a whole, renewables are generating over a quarter (28%) of the region’s electricity consumption. For regions in England and Wales, this puts the East of England in third place below Yorkshire and the Humber, and Wales.