[wptabcontent] In 2010 Herefordshire County Council commissioned a report into renewable energy potential in the county. This was done as part of the evidence base for an existing Local Planning process (LDF), so the report was constrained by its brief. It also suffers from a flawed methodology, making its conclusions dubious. Despite this there is much useful data in the report and it makes some useful recommendations. More[/wptabcontent]
[wptabcontent] Water power is one of the oldest renewable energies harnessed by human ingenuity. Originally providing shaft power to drive mechanical tools and processing materials. Modern hydro plant generates electricity with high efficiency. The requirements for a viable scheme are a combination of the fall or head of water, and the volume of flow. Studies have shown only a limited economic resource in the county, but what there is ought to be developed !See also Hydro Myths[/wptabcontent]
[wptabcontent] Another ancient resource now available to high efficiency modern equipment. Small turbines can be seen around the county, but many are sited in unsuitable locations due to poor decision making. One medium scale project has achieved consent and is in development by a family farmer, and there is consent for a four turbine commercial scale installation at Reeves Hill near Knighton. A study for Herefordshire Council shows potential resource exists to provide 20% of all energy loads from wind systems. There is little public awareness of the benefits of scale in wind systems. See Wind Stories [/wptabcontent]
[wptabcontent]This technology has been around for over a hundred years, but is more suited to warmer climates. Modern techniques now permit AD plant to work effectively in the UK and a pioneering municipal system has been running at Ludlow for some years. Whilst AD is a proper way to use waste materials, it remains debatable if it is proper to produce crops solely to feed into these systems. More detail here. [/wptabcontent]
[wptabcontent] Now the most widely adopted micro renewable technology due to the original Feed in Tariff system. A few fortunate homeowners have been able to benefit from the scheme, along with some larger rural businesses. The Leominster solar roof uses this equipment, but it is unclear if larger community schemes will be viable in the future, at least until either the cost of installations falls radically or the price of electricity passes certain thresholds. For more about PV see here.[/wptabcontent]
[wptabcontent] Herefordshire’s legacy of semi natural broadleaf woodland is a survival of a medieval iron working industry which demanded the produce of a county wide coppice rotation woodland system. Ancient documents suggest that high yields are possible with a proper management regime. This would create hundreds of jobs and enhance biodiversity. Woody materials can be burned in larger combined heat and power (CHP) plant integrated with district heating to provide denser population centres with sustainable heat. For more see Fuel wood.
[wptabtitle] Solar Thermal[/wptabtitle]
[wptabcontent] Passive solar collectors use sunlight to heat water for domestic uses. For most of the year this allows reduced demand for heating fuels and is a most economic technology. Larger scale systems combined with thermal storage may have a role in urban or institutional systems such as schools or hospitals. This passive technology pays back quickly on it’s investment and is suitable for almost all types of buildings, but consents will be needed in heritage locations. More.
[wptabcontent] There is no doubt that the most effective path to reducing environmental and economic impacts of energy use is to reduce the amount we use. First cars, and now new houses, are being built with energy saving at the heart the design process; but we do know how to build houses which need little or no additional heat energy. The challenge is to retro-fit existing buildings for low energy use. Achieving this is a policy target of the so called “Green Deal” due in late 2012. More.