Residents have been told that plans to cut fuel bills by using green energy will not lead to large-scale wind farm development in Lichfield and Burntwood.
Staffordshire County Council has agreed a new policy that aims to speed up its use of alternative energy sources as it looks to reduce a £14million energy bill.
However, it has reassured residents who have seen a number of wind farm schemes proposed in recent years that the plans won’t mean turbines appearing across the county.
County Councillor Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Environment and Assets, said:
“The fundamental fact is that we need to power public services more efficiently. Fossil fuels are running out, and as this happens they will become more expensive. Anyone who pays household bills will be painfully aware of this. We have made excellent progress in making our buildings more energy efficient through modernisation.
“This policy goes much further than that and looks at how we can vigorously pursue the use of alternative means of creating our own power. The only technology we will not be actively pursuing is large scale wind-farm development on county council land because of the adverse environmental impact on the county’s countryside.”
The authority also hopes that the new policy will encourage a growth in ‘green jobs’ in the local economy.
Among the new energy sources being investigated are solar panels, solar thermal, micro-hydro and biomass-based thermal electricity generation and heating.
Cllr Winnington added:
“We anticipate that Government incentives will make moving to green energy increasingly affordable, while advances in technology will reduce unit costs. Ultimately we anticipate moving to these new technologies will be a real money saver and a number of pilots are now planned. The one thing that is crystal clear is that doing nothing is not an option.”