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Renewable energy

Renewable energy technologies use free, clean sources of energy such as the sun, wind and water or replaceable sources such as wood to generate electricity or heat that can be used in our homes and reduce our dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels.

Council-owned renewable energy

The council is dedicated to demonstrating strong leadership on renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions:

  • our BREEAM excellent office on Badminton Road is heated with a biomass boiler;
  • we have 2 ground-mounted solar PV schemes at Badminton Road and Moorend that generate nearly 1000 MWh of electricity each year
  • we are installing new technology in our buildings and schools such as roof mounted solar PV arrays, solar thermal arrays, Biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps and air source heat pumps

Renewable energy and the climate emergency

Renewable energy generation must increase significantly to help meet the target in the Council’s climate emergency declaration for South Gloucestershire to be carbon neutral by 2030.  The Council also pledged to provide the leadership needed to enable our communities to achieve 100% clean energy across all sectors.

The proportion of local energy demand generated from renewable energy installations located within South Gloucestershire is monitored annually to provide an indication of progress. The Annual Renewable Energy Progress report provides further information on this, and also includes an overview of the current installed renewable energy generation capacity and the amount of renewable energy generated in South Gloucestershire.  An assessment of current local energy demand (which includes energy demand from power, heat and transport) is also given, along with a brief insight into potential projects that may come forward.

Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Study (RERAS)

As part of our Climate Emergency Action Plan we have undertaken a Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Study (RERAS) for South Gloucestershire. The study was completed in Autumn 2021.

We, with partners (Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority), commissioned AECOM to undertake a Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Study (RERAS) as an evidence base to inform the development of local planning policy and a other areas of potential future work requiring the consideration of different renewable energy resources. The RERAS consists of a bottom-up assessment of the potential for the deployment of various renewable and low and zero carbon energy technologies at different scales and in different locations across South Gloucestershire.

You can read the full report and the maps from the report:

You can also read the supporting document to the RERAS:

Renewable technologies for your home

We have joined in partnership with Wessex Home Improvement Loans (WHIL) to offer low cost renewable energy loans to householders.  Wessex is a community development financial institution which also works alongside ten other local authorities across the South West.

See the link above for full details, loans can be used towards solar panels (for either hot water or electricity), biomass, heat pumps, wind turbines and small scale hydro power schemes.

Planning requirements

Installation of domestic scale renewable energy is now a permitted development right in most cases. However, some works still require planning consent and/or building regulations approval.

New development – Sustainable Energy Requirements

All major (residential and non-residential) development proposals are required (via the Local Planning Application Requirements list) to include the submission of energy information in the form of a Sustainable Energy Statement or as part of a Design and Access Statement.  Major development is defined as residential development comprising 10 or more dwellings, or development comprising over 1000 sq.m. of commercial floor space.

You find out more information here.

Supporting renewable energy

The government has some financial support mechanisms to help increase the development of renewable electricity and renewable heat systems. Payments are made per unit of energy that householders (and other owners of renewable energy installations) generate – via the ‘Feed-In tariff’ for renewable electricity and the ‘Renewable heat premium’ for renewable heat.

The Feed-in-Tariff will be closed to new applicants from the 31 March 2019.

Further information on the feed-in tariff and the renewable heat premium as well as a range of free advice on sustainable energy measures for your property is available via the Energy Saving Trust locally via Severn Wye Energy Agency or the Centre for Sustainable Energy


To get in touch please email:


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