Reading Council look to renewables in new climate change strategy

Councillors in Reading, UK, have been asked to approve a draft Reading Climate Change Strategy that aims to increase the use of renewable energy in the Borough by eight percent by 2020
Reading Council look to renewables in new climate change strategy

Part of the strategy involves harnessing the power of Reading’s two rivers through the installation of hydropower technologies. The strategy would also promote the use of “local smart grids and power plants” in order to offer cost-effective, low-carbon sources of energy to customers. Smart meters were installed across the Borough in order to monitor and control local energy supplies and communities and businesses would be encouraged to work together to reduce their energy consumption while also developing low energy alternatives.

Solar panels would also be installed, alongside hydropower, wind, renewable heat technology, biomass, anaerobic digestion (AD) and ground and air source heat pumps. At present, 40 council-owned buildings have been fitted with solar panels alongside a further 500 private households.  The recently installed Mapledurham Estate Turbine on the River Thames, which replaced an older turbine dating from the 1920’s, generates 0.5GWh per year and wind turbines are also being considered. Even though Reading is not particularly windy, the single existing wind turbine in Green Park, right next to the M4 motorway, produces enough electricity to power 730 homes. Wind energy therefore offers a ‘significant opportunity’ for renewable energy generation.

Renewable heat sources in and around Reading include wood from extensive wooded areas in Berkshire. Ground source heat pumps are another option as is anaerobic digestion (AD) from waste and sewage. Meanwhile, businesses in Reading use around 48 percent of the energy capacity in the Borough and so the strategy also looks at how they could get involved, possibly through the implementation of energy efficiency practices and technology.  

Further information:

Reading Borough Council

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