An updated league table ranking regional progress on renewable energy places Lancashire and Cumbria in the top ten counties in England and Wales for progress on wind and solar power.
The Renewable Energy Locator, run by environmental think tank, Green Alliance, provides a comparison of how the rollout of renewable energy is progressing in different regions in England and Wales.
The online tool, originally launched in March 2016, has now been updated with new data from over 800,000 individual projects. The data include installations funded through the Feed-in Tariff and other subsidy schemes.
The data show that in the year from 2015 to 2016, England and Wales added over 4,300MW in renewable energy capacity, three quarters of which came from offshore wind and solar PV. This is equivalent to powering nearly one million homes.
There are now over 83,000 individual renewable energy projects in the North West, meeting 20 per cent of electricity consumption.
Within the region, Greater Manchester is the county with the highest number of renewable energy projects at over 29,000. The vast majority of these projects are solar PV installations in the domestic sector (98 per cent), although there have been more than 500 installations by businesses.
However, Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire generate the most renewable energy at around 1 million MWh per year each. Cheshire is strong in energy from waste and landfill gas generation, while Lancashire and Cumbria perform highly in onshore wind power.
In fact, Lancashire is one of the most improved counties in the country for wind power - it is beaten only by Mid Glamorgan in Wales for progress in deploying onshore wind in the last year.
Cumbria was also inside the top ten counties in the country for progress on solar PV.
Overall, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Allerdale, Carlisle, Eden, South Lakeland, Manchester, Lancaster, West Lancashire and Wyre are the top ten local authorities in the North West for commercial and industrial renewable energy projects.
Amy Mount, head of the Greener UK unit at Green Alliance, said: “Following the UK’s ramification of the Paris climate agreement, these data bring it home, showing that progress in tackling climate change isn’t just about world leaders making deals - though they’re very important.
“It’s as much about the actions of communities and businesses here in the UK, who are gradually transforming our power system into one that’s pollution-free and fit for the 21st century.”
To find out more about progress in your local authority area, click here.