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A Regional Scale Assessment of Local Renewable Energy Resources in Cumbria, UK

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date11/2012
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume50
Number of pages11
Pages283-293
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There is increasing focus on the role small-scale decentralised renewable energy developments could play in helping the UK meet its target of over 15% renewable energy by the year 2020 and alter energy behaviours through active community engagement. Upland areas are considered key areas where such community-based developments could occur due to their natural resources and range of community scales. This study uses GIS-based techniques to develop a methodology that assesses the regional-scale potential for community-based renewable electricity across Cumbria and whether a combination of these developments at the community-scale could make a significant contribution to local electricity consumption. This methodology looks at a range of technologies including hydro-power, wind-power, solar PV and bioenergy. The results suggest there is ample resource available for small communities by combining a mix of localised renewable electricity developments, which is highlighted through energy scenarios for a selected community. Further work will investigate whether this potential can be realised in reality by looking at resource resilience and community-level acceptability.