EXCLUSIVE: Up to 40 wind turbines could be built in South Gloucestershire by 2020 in line with government renewable energy targets

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UP to 40 wind turbines could be built in South Gloucestershire in the next seven years to meet the government's carbon reduction and renewable energy targets.

Council bosses are currently considering how to implement the coalition's energy agenda, and have put together a Climate Change Strategy setting out potential ways to tackle global warming on a regional scale.

With the government asking local authorities to generate at least 7.5 percent of their energy demand, around 508 GWh, from renewable energy installations by 2020, the document suggests erecting al least 40 turbines across the area could help the district meet this challenging target.

In the Climate Change strategy, district officers state: "We are committed to playing our part in limiting dangerous climate change. "We are proposing local targets on carbon reduction and renewable energy which have been derived from the legally binding UK targets and from an assessment of local renewable energy resources.

"The efficiency improvements we make in the coming years will pay dividends. They will make our businesses more competitive and our communities fairer and more resilient as well as improving our quality of life."

They later go on to explain that, with the increase in housing numbers from 109,500 to 135,900 by 2026, the need to cut down carbon emissions will increase tenfold over the next decade.

As part of the strategy, council bosses also propose to focus on solar and hydraulic power to help produce at least 7.5 per cent of its energy demand.

The Climate Change Act introduced in 2008 sets a legally binding target to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 on levels recorded in 1990.

The government has pledged that 15 per cent of the total energy consumed will come from renewable resources by 2020 in line with EU targets. The strategy was discussed at a meeting of the planning transportation and strategic environment committee in November and a public consultation has now been launched to gauge local opinion on a decision which could massively change the outline of South Gloucestershire’s landscape. To take part in the climate strategy consultation visit www.southglos.gov.uk

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