Department of Energy and Climate Change

Bristol is front runner to cash in on new Government rules allowing councils to sell electricity


Rules that will come into force next week will mean Bristol council can start making cash from their green energy projects.

The laws, introduced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on 27 July 2010 mean that Local Authorities are no longer restricted from selling renewable electricity into the national or local network.

Bristol already has schemes in the pipeline that will now benefit from this change including two 2-3 megawatt wind turbines off the Severn Estuary, on council land, in the Avonmouth Industrial Area.

Bristol City Council Cabinet Member Gary Hopkins said:

'This is very welcome news and means that we can move ahead with our turbine project as planned. Wind turbines will be a boost to renewable energy production in the city, providing us with a localised energy supply.

But it also makes good financial sense, with any profits made earmarked to fund other carbon reduction projects in the city.

“We also have a whole series of small scale plans, including encouraging energy generation at schools which we can now progress as a result of this excellent announcement.

Secretary of State Chris Huhne said:

“For too long, Whitehall’s dogmatic reliance on ‘big’ energy has stood in the way of the vast potential role of local authorities in the UK’s green energy revolution.

“Forward thinking local authorities such as Bristol have been quietly getting on with it, but against the odds, their efforts frustrated by the law.

“I’ve taken the early step of overturning the ban on local authorities selling renewable electricity to the grid.

“I’ve today written to all council chief execs urging them to take advantage and lead a local energy revolution.

“This is a vital step to making community renewable projects commercially viable, to bring in long-term income to benefit local areas, and to secure local acceptance for low carbon energy projects.”

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