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Lancashire and Cumbria leading on renewable energy

New figures detailing local renewable energy capacity across the country shows that Lancashire and Cumbria lead the way in the north west, with Greater Manchester performing well on solar.

New figures detailing local renewable energy capacity across the country shows that Lancashire and Cumbria lead the way in the north west, with Greater Manchester performing well on solar.

The analysis from environmental think tank, Green Alliance, used information from nearly 700,000 individual projects to produce league tables for local authorities in England and Wales.

The league tables take into account onshore wind, solar, biomass heating, electricity from biomass and waste, gas generated from landfill sites, and smaller sources such as hydroelectricity.

Regional leaders

Lancashire leads the way in the north west with 336MW of renewable energy generation capacity installed, mainly delivered by onshore wind.

Cumbria narrowly missed out to Lancashire with 330MW of capacity installed, showing particular strengths in onshore wind and biomass heating. Allerdale in northern Cumbria is one of the top performing local authorities in the country, generating 87 per cent of its electricity consumption from renewable sources.

Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Merseyside are further behind, although Greater Manchester is the regional leader in solar; more than 23,000 roofs across the city region have solar panels.

‘Major investments’

Amy Mount, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, said: “These figures for the north west of England are exciting, as they show that local communities are seeing the benefits of the shift to clean energy.

“Across the region, families are putting solar panels on their roofs, and businesses are making major investments in clean tech.”

On Greater Manchester’s contribution, Councillor Kate Chappell, executive member for the environment at Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is proud to have joined many other great northern cities in pledging to move towards being powered exclusively by clean energy before 2050.

‘Clean energy revolution’

“We're working with other Greater Manchester authorities and partners, including the University of Manchester, to develop our collective understanding of low carbon energy, while exploring the potential for innovative locally generated renewable energy sources for the city.

“Manchester was integral to the industrial revolution and we see ourselves as being ideally placed to help lead the clean energy revolution, which is vital for all of our futures in the 21st century."

As a whole, renewables are generating 19 per cent of the north west’s electricity consumption, putting the region in fourth place behind Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales, and the east of England.