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Shropshire Council plans to be carbon neutral by 2050

Politics | Published:

Shropshire Council could be carbon-zero by 2050 and supply a fifth of the entire West Midlands with green energy.

Solar panels on the roof of Shirehall in Shrewsbury

It has plans to generate all the energy it needs, as well as making money by supplying renewable energy to 20 per cent of the wider West Midlands.

The authority’s place overview committee received a presentation from Samuel Kirby-Bray, sustainability commissioning officer, highlighting what the council is doing to lower negative impact on the environment.

He said: “Reducing the council’s carbon footprint for service delivery is in line with the government’s clean growth strategy.

“This parallels cost-reduction exercises and helps ensure efficient delivery of services.

“The corporate climate change strategy supersedes the carbon management plan published in 2010.

“This sets out a carbon-reduction target of 35 per cent by 2014 with a 2008 baseline. The ambitious target identified savings of £17m in five years, but was challenged by policy, austerity and resource factors.

“A reduction in funding and resource meant many projects were abandoned and savings not realised.

“Despite this, savings of £6m were realised in procurement, building operations and transport between 2009 and 2014."

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Efficiency

Mr Kirby-Bray added: “The revised CCCS builds on measures already identified and will achieve further savings through a methodical approach to incrementally improve the efficiency of assets.

“It sets out ambitions for Shropshire Council, to succeed as a low-carbon council with aspirations for zero carbon.

“Emission reductions go hand in hand with financial savings and clearly demonstrates our commitment to the environment. Pro-active co-ordinated carbon-reduction measures could achieve net carbon zero by 2050.”

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“A rapid renewable energy deployment and consumption reduction could secure net zero by 2040 together with £5m and £20m efficiency savings and income from commercial scale renewables.”

Mr Kirby-Bray added that the county could have an impact on the wider area.

“We have the capacity to generate all the energy we consume using estate natural capital,” he said.

“Indeed, Shropshire has the capacity to support 20 per cent of West Midlands’ electricity demand with renewable energy; enabling a secure income for the next 50 years as fossil fuel prices escalate.

“By exploiting brownfield sites, otherwise unusable estate and untapped roof capacity, Shropshire Council can step into the wholesale electricity market and self-generate for its own needs; becoming energy resilient and ‘future proof’.”

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