Local Development Plan - the process

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Sustainable Energy and Resources

It is now widely accepted that global climate change is taking place. All aspects of our local environment, economy and society are likely to be affected by unpredictable and severe impacts as a result of global warming.

When all it takes is a flick of a switch to illuminate a house or to activate a television set, it is not surprising that most people pay little attention to where their energy comes from and the emissions that are generated as a result. It is estimated that 70% of global emissions come from the way we produce and use our energy. Renewable energy is the term used to cover energy derived from wind, water, solar, geothermal and biomass. It does not include fossil fuel or nuclear fuel. Sustainable energy covers not only renewable energy but also energy derived from passive systems such as passive solar gain and design. Sustainable energy has been recognised as playing a key role in reducing harmful emissions.

Sustainable resources refers to the use of resources such as water, materials used in construction, for example and waste products such as food waste that can be re-used and recycled whilst reducing harmful emissions. However, the rise of sustainable energy isn't just about preventing or mitigating against climate change, it could be the basis for a higher standard of living right around the globe.

Renewable energy currently accounts for 3% of the Wales's electricity generation although it is predicted that the generating capacity of renewable energy in the UK is three times that of what we consume. It is believed however, that with Wales's coastline, geography and climate it is quite feasible for Wales to produce more electricity than we as a nation consume within 20 years. Wales has signed up to the 2020 EU target of 20% of energy requirements (electricity, heat and vehicle fuels) coming from renewable sources.

The production of renewable energy and the sustainable use of resources are not the only measures available to mitigate against climate change. Energy efficiency is the efficient use of energy in order to reduce economic and environmental costs and impacts, and reduce emissions. It is the use of less energy including electricity, to perform the same function as 'conventional' energy generation.

Whilst the environmental benefits of sustainable energy and resources are widely documented and advocated, adapting to climate change can have many other positive benefits including economic and social benefits such as increased security and reliability of energy supply, direct job creation, expertise in manufacturing and development, educational and tourism opportunities, longer term health and quality of life and improved air, soil and water quality.

Background Paper 1 – Sustainable Energy and Resources is a supporting document of the LDP, it sets out the detailed information, evidence and reasoning behind the sustainable energy policies and will highlight the key issues.

adobe logo Background Paper 1 – Sustainable Energy and Resources (PDF 531kb)