Posted by: dorsetcpre | October 3, 2014

A report on renewable energy generation in Dorset County

Dorset CPRE’s energy expert Dr David Peacock argues that now could be the time to put a brake on renewable energy applications in the county. His research shows that some parts of Dorset are already exceeding the 2020 targets and others are well on the way to reaching them.

David concludes: “Dorset’s record of renewable energy generation and progress towards targets is impressive.
This, together with the fact that over six years remain before the target deadline of December 31st, 2020, suggests that now is an opportune time for Local Planning Authorities to review and adjust, if necessary, their renewable energy policies. If they do not already do so and accepting that targets are not ceilings, policies should from now on ensure that minimal damage is caused to Dorset’s exceptional and highly valued landscape, heritage and amenity assets.”

Extracts from his report:
The Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England is fully supportive of renewable energy and has endorsed the 2020
targets described in the Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Renewable Energy Strategy to 2020 as “ambitious” and
”aspirational”.

Renewable electricity technologies are the major source of renewable energy in Dorset and provide about 86 per cent of the total. Renewable heat technologies provide the balance.

image of the Park Farm solar array from Hambledon Hill, the Iron Age hillfort in the AONB

image of the Park Farm solar array from Hambledon Hill, the Iron Age hillfort in the AONB

Scrutiny of the County’s planning websites on September 9th revealed 13 proposals for ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) installations (all with Installed Capacities (IC) greater than 100 kW) that were not yet included in the Renewable Energy Planning Database (REPD) Extract accessed on that date. For the sake of completeness these have been included in the REPD totals.

There are 18 ground-mounted PV installations for which a planning decision has yet to be determined (the 18 includes the 13 mentioned above). The historical record shows that compared with the 29 PV REPD installations listed in this report that have received planning permission, only 3 installations (i.e. 3 out of 32, or 9 per cent) have been refused. A planning failure rate of 20 per cent has been anticipated for the purpose of calculating a conservative estimate for eventual energy generation for the 18 proposals undetermined on September 9th, 2014.

Image of the Park Farm solar array from Hambledon Hill, the Iron Age hillfort in the AONB

Image of the Park Farm solar array from Hambledon Hill, the Iron Age hillfort in the AONB

It is emphasised that the estimates of renewable energy generation provided in this report are based on installations that are either operational, under construction, awaiting construction or those awaiting a planning decision that are anticipated, on a statistical basis, to be given approval. Based on these assumptions, the estimate for total annual renewable energy generation in the County is 668 gigawatt hours (GWh). This is 97 per cent of the 690 GWh 2020 target.

The contribution to the total from each District or Borough is shown in the Table below. It can be seen that Christchurch, North Dorset, Purbeck and Weymouth & Portland have already exceeded their 2020 targets by large percentages. The remaining two, East Dorset and West Dorset, with six years remaining before the target deadline, have made reassuring progress.

Estimates for renewable Energy generation and Progress Towards 2020 Targets for Dorset County’s Districts and Boroughs

Estimates for Renewable Energy Generation and Progress Towards 2020 Targets for Dorset County’s Districts and Boroughs Oct 2014

Estimates for Renewable Energy Generation and Progress Towards 2020 Targets for Dorset County’s Districts and Boroughs September 2014

Of all the technologies, PV is the major contributor to the total: 383 GWh or 57 per cent. Ground-mounted PV technology dominates the PV contribution: 358 GWh or 94 per cent. This compares with the contribution of 25 GWh or 6 per cent from roof-mounted (predominantly domestic roofs) PV technology.

David Peacock
BSc(Eng) DIC PhD
for Dorset CPRE September 2014

Advertisements

We would love to receive your feedback

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: