Green energy moves for more Sheffield buildings as part of plan to tackle climate change
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Proposals being discussed by Sheffield councillors this week include looking at setting up a pilot community-owned energy project that will be based on a council building, plus expanding two renewable energy networks already running in the city.
The council, which declared a climate emergency in 2019, agreed in March to earmark £3.5m to invest in local renewable energy and energy efficiency projects as part of a 10-point plan to tackle climate change. A proposal being discussed by the council’s transport, regeneration and climate policy committee on Thursday (November 24) suggests using £33,000 as match funding to apply for two grants from the Heat Network Delivery Unit.
This is an organisation set up by local authorities to help them develop local heat networks. One of two £100,000 grants applied for would fund plans to expand the Blackburn Meadows biomass CHP heat network and harness waste heat sources.
Blackburn Meadows, run by energy company E.ON, uses recycled waste wood to generate energy to power thousands of homes and businesses, including Forgemasters, IKEA, Ice Sheffield and Sheffield Arena.
‘Fuel poverty concerns’
The second grant would fund work to extend the district heat network run by waste management firm Veolia, which burns black bin waste to generate power for more than 125 city buildings connected to the District Energy Network.
The council is currently assessing the state of the buildings that it owns, so the proposal is to concentrate first on expanding the energy networks to public buildings that will definitely still be in use.
The report says that council-funded schools would get free energy generation to help cut costs. The same would apply to council-run libraries and leisure centres, while the others would benefit from a cheaper energy deal.
Council-owned buildings that are let on a commercial basis would have cheaper energy sold to them. The report adds: “Options to include renewable energy systems on new housing developments will be considered, particularly where it will help address fuel poverty concerns.”
Cost savings and income would be used to cover maintenance costs. Any surplus would be reinvested in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.